My husband Bob and I started planning the “Big Hike” over a year ago, and while there were many starts and stops we are finally on our way. We spent many months planning the logistics of the hike, securing funds and training. There are so many things to think about. I know that my family has finally accepted my decision. They were concerned about my hiking solo, which not something I would have done, as I know my limitations. Then, there were concerns on being out in the “wild” for such a long period of time (at least two months). My mom, especially, didn’t realize that wild to me is being back on the streets of New York City. I do love New York but I am so accustomed to being out west that NY was analogous to “wild” for me.
My family has always been behind me, in spite of my seemingly strange adventures. Moving to Costa Rica; to Italy; studying art; becoming a banker; and a plethora of diverse changes I’ve made throughout my life.
We had a deadline for funding of August 21, 2012. About a week before the deadline I received an email from Liz Mares. She was hiking the Arizona Trail, solo, in September. I immediately reached out to her and asked if she would consider hiking with another hiker.
It turned out that we had a lot in common and our hiking pace was symmetry. Liz is an RN and also an artist. She’s from Ohio, where Bob is from and lives in Arizona now. She had Lymes Disease, and is sometimes affected, and I have MS.
Our fundraising efforts had been slow but gently it was trickling in enough to start us out, with the hopes of donations during out hike (insert link to donation page). To make sure we were able to start the journey, we dug into our own pockets the initial amount needed to begin. While Liz and I will be on the trail, my husband Bob, will be providing support by following us in a supply vehicle and posting up dates on our progress. I am also excited that my dad, of 73 years, will be joining us for three weeks! We’ve also been offered help from Trail Stewards, friends, family, and other avid hikers. And, my mom’s efforts will be in helping us fundraise, and moral support.
With so many blessings and the support of my loving and also patient husband we can now embark on this journey. Our first day on the trail was September 11. I will do my best to provide updates through my blog (Hiking for Multiple Sclerosis) and this one provided by MSAA. I hope that you will find my story inspiring and please feel free to comment or leave words of encouragement! I will do my best to respond when I can.