Home, Kensington, Md. Tuesday July 15, 2014 — One of the first things a thru hiker learns is that dependence on other people, whether paid, trail angel or amazing friends, is the norm for the duration. For hyper independent type A folks like me, that’s a personal growth opportunity. I have learned humility from the incredible support I have received along the way.
The return to the trail logistics are as complicated as the extraction was. Today I was able to nail just about everything down. Once again it’s a friend to the rescue.
I decided to share the mundane details in the spirit of my readers’ interest and for those hiking in the future who may find this blog through their research.
It would be ideal to park my car in Millenocket (the town closest to the finish) and pay for a shuttle to Rangely where I will resume my hike. I discovered that scenario is a pipe dream.
To make it come true, you have to either discard common sense or be smoking something. The cost of the shuttle from Millenocket to Rangely (~220 trail miles) is $660 by ground or air. Ironic that there’s no difference? Didn’t pass the sanity check. Plan B?
Enter my friend Ed. I stored my pack at his house, so I had to go there anyway. If I could patiently wait ’til Sunday, he could ferry me to Rangely. If he’s back from vacation when I finish, he can scoop me up in Millinocket. If not he has a friend I could compensate. This sucker just might work!
I’ll start northward Monday morning after I retrieve new replacement tent poles from the Rangely post office kindly supplied by Big Agnes. Resupply stops are planned for and food boxes have been sent to Caratunk and Monson. There you have it.
After all that, one might ask if this sojourn was worth the hassle. In a phrase, you bet. Here’s a bit of the back story.
The bride is a very special young person in my life. As a Georgia Tech freshman basketball player she had the temerity to ask to intern in my office. Bold move? Betcha. My response, “You’ll have to interview for it.”
Needless to say Shaday (aka Day Day) aced the interviews. Everyone in the office wanted her on our team.
As I got to know Day Day and her family, her amazing potential became evident. In response I recruited/appointed an entire team, people with the skills and connections to help a young person develop and optimize her talents. We also added considerable rigor to her program.
The rest, as they say, is history. Today she’s working for a Fortune 50 corporation. I didn’t know her new husband, but knew of him. I knew one thing. If she picked him, he was the best. When I met him, that was a blinding flash of the obvious.
The photo is of Day Day, myself and Lee Rhyant. Lee is a friend and former Lockheed Martin colleague. Lee and his wife joined our mentoring team in position to help in unique ways. He also had the fortune to give away the bride.
BTW, I am acutely aware that my suit has out grown me. It must be due to its lack of exercise just hanging in the closet doing nothing for the past several months. 🙂