Appalachian Spring!

Posted by Kinsey Michal on Sunday, June 12, 2011
After weeks of wondering if the rain would ever stop, my father and his brother have all of their seeds safely covered by the soil, ready to soak up the summer sun.  And just in the nick of time.  Now lets hope the rain doesn't neglect us when we need it most.

 My spring has been complete with the birth of my third nephew, a trip to the sunny beaches of Los Angeles, and a five day trek on the Appalachian Trail.  This trip in the Shenandoahs was especially memorable.  I embarked on this adventure with five of my female cousins.  All six of us put on our 35 Ib packs (we packed about 30% too much food) and proceeded to hike a total of 44 miles up and down the mountains of Virginia.  We endured monsoons, quarter size blisters, intense knee pain, and toxic latrines.  But let's be honest, we were on the trail for five days!!  That is nothing...the real interest came as we began to befriend the many "through hikers" we enjoyed at the camp sites each night.  The through hikers we met are devoting between four to six months of their lives to creaking awake their tired muscles and bones every day to hike another 15-20+ miles getting them from the mountains of Georgia to the final peak in Maine.  These hikers are quite admirable and frankly, a little insane (as our friend "Wild Rain" freely admitted).  The culture on the trail is fascinating and unique.  The unity and camaraderie found in this group of courageous nature lovers was delightfully memorable.  The experience of these new relationships is only second to the joy of coming from a family where six young woman can venture into the woods, get a bit beat up and still sing trail songs every day, tell stories every night, and play Schmear in the rain.  I was rather impressed with the strength of my fellow family members and their ability to hold back any temptation to complain.  You girls rock!!