This hike is associated with hikeformentalhealth.org. If you’re interested in supporting this trek financially, I strongly encourage you to check them out! 80% of your contribution will go towards much-needed research on treatment for mental illness, and 20% towards conserving wilderness trails: https://www.hikeformentalhealth.org/hikers/hike-for-mental-health-iat/.
Thank you to Vargo Outdoors for my titanium frame backpack, wood camp stove, and a generous offer to cover anything else I needed, before the hike had begun; and to Big Agnes for a substantial discount on my bivvy.
Here is an incomplete list of the folks I’m thankful for every day on this hike:
- Richard Anderson, for making this trail. And existing, as the incredible human he is.
- Don, Amanda, and others in IAT/SIA chapters who have worked every day to build this trail, for decades (and who give excessive support!)
- Motherski, pater, and family for my old pair of Eddie Bauer pants, feeding, and everything else ya dinguses
- Those of you who have monthly paypal donations, which help keep this Sail afloat
- Michelly for her annual gift of a pair of socks, even though I burned last year’s by accident, and ripped a huge hole in this year’s pair yesterday, with a darn stick. At least they are clean.
- Amber for my backup sock pair, knitted cap, super-strong light yacht line just in case, late night drives, and in general being a BA.
- garrett g for the pocket knife for all my cheese cutting needs
- Jill, Elaine, and little squick for my raggedy ole shoes
- Rick, for the orange plastic rain poncho. Now patched with extra duct tape, but still warning all and sundry that it is raining, and Sail is not to be shot at.
- Jacqueline and Rejean, for the repurposed ski pole, coffees, delightful conversations, long drives into the mountains, and so much else besides.
- Laurie, Samurai Blue, and their respective spouses, for all their love, all their hospitality, my cool yellow 2017 AT tag, and also hiking pole *cough* I don’t break them that often.
- Saphrona, for adorable overly warm ski mitts, as needed
- Allen, for the cursory and brief loan of a beloved tent
- Don (again) for a winter wood stove, which has so far kept my soul alive through freezing rains and sadness (no small feat).
- Brenda. Even though I forgot your last name for the first year, your Canadian mom-ness is forever.
- Klar. MY SPOON. Soon it will be naught but a cracked bamboo nub, but at least it’s still antibacterial…
- The rangers at Gaspesie National Park for the pen I wrote this list with, which I’ve been using since you gave it to me in my time of despair.
- Clemence and Patricia of PENS, Fred of Roundtop Bagels, Fresh Grounds, Ole Man and Navigator, David, the rangers of Shenandoah Park, Tim Harrison, and all the many, many others who’ve helped with rides, financial, culinary, linguistic, and moral support.
This list should be so much longer, but I will end it here and go hike. To all y’all trail angels who I’ve not yet named, I send much love.
This life would be much more difficult without you, and you’re wonderful.