In My Shoes: Sharing and caring abound on the Appalachian Trail

After listening to my sister’s stories about her Georgia-to-Maine adventure on the Appalachian Trail, I’m thinking it might be a good idea for us all to spend some time on foot in the deep woods. Life on the trail, from what Pat tells me, while hugely demanding physically and emotionally, seems a lot like life ought to be here in “civilization.”

On the trail, everyone is on equal footing, literally and figuratively. The back country is a very accepting place: Pat encountered older people, kids, men, women and individuals of all varieties of stature, ethnicity and experience, and nearly all of them found the wilderness an excellent place to lower their normal defenses.

Around campfires and among the trees, Pat encountered more than one person fresh out of the military and “walking off the war.” She met a woman who was attempting to come to terms with being the victim of a violent crime.

She ran into folks who were going through career and life transitions. She met a man who had made all the fortune he thought he needed and was spending several years traveling the globe in simple ways. She met Boy Scouts and a couple of people who seemed decidedly un-Scout-like.

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