I have received a SPOT message stating "Yo, we're alive!" every day but I haven't actually talked to Michael since last Friday. AT&T has had no cell service in his area.
I went to Owingsville today to watch the May Day parade. Just as the event started Michael called (twice) but I was outside and didn't hear the phone. I hate it so bad. I really miss him. He left a couple of voice mails just to say he had some spotty service and would try to call me later. I have kept my phone in my pocket the rest of the day. Hopefully he will call back tonight.
I called Michael's mother because he usually calls his parents when he calls me. He had called her. He told her he is doing fine and meeting lots of nice people on the trail. He has met a few people from Kentucky. He told her Branden is just figuring out what great physical shape he is in (at the ripe old age of 26 lol) and wants to run like the deer and the antelope. Since Michael doesn't have that speed in him he is waking up and leaving camp earlier than Branden each day and then Branden catches up with him. Michael can do the miles he just has to go at a slower pace. In my opinion Michael is a fast hiker. He can definitely hike faster than I can. He had to slow down some when we met them in North Carolina. Branden laughed and called it the senior citizen's pace. Branden is such a nice young man. He would stay right with me and his Mom even though he would have preferred a much faster pace. The next time we meet them it will be even harder for us to keep up. They realize we can't just jump on the trail and travel at their pace. They have their "trail legs" and have gained strength and stamina. I am reading a book about women who have hiked the trail, thru hikers as well as section hikers. They range in age from teens to 80's.
Amazing! It is very interesting. I admire all of these women so much.
I know I am not brave enough to even think about a thru hike on the AT.
Especially solo. I wish I were. A good quote from this book is "Thru hiking the trail takes 99% heart and 1% of everything else."
That pretty much sums it up.
Many of these posts are by Shelia Campbell, Michael's wife <3
Bath County, Kentucky resident, Michael Campbell, is hiking the entire Appalachian Trail to raise funds for the not-for-profit group dedicated to protecting Kentucky’s native forests, Kentucky Heartwood. Michael, a long-time member of Kentucky Heartwood, began his hike on March 22 at Springer Mountain, Georgia. By the first of September, after covering 2,181 miles of trail by foot, Michael will reach Katadhin Mountain in Maine and complete the entire trail.