March 31 2012
We got down to Winding Stair Gap a little after noon yesterday, 3/30, and called Karen down at the Budget Inn to come get us. Great high speed ride screaming down the hill into Franklin. Was walking over the past three days in very rugged north Georgia country and into North Carolina. Everything is blooming...trillium, blood root, bluets, dutchman's britches, and some kind of tree I don't know but one person said it was a cottonwood.
So this is like God's backyard garden and evidently God likes his backyard steep. We are walking ridges and gaps and getting great views. Generally, the terrain is the same type, the vegetation (with the exception of the above 5,000 ft.), and soil. But there is a different type of feel because of the overall height and distance of the hills and the sheer steepness of the slopes.
I found out how steep one of the slopes was yesterday when I stopped to eat and let my cooking pot (which is shaped like a wheel) start rolling down the hill. I didn't do it on purpose of course. But down I went and got it and started back up. My legs never burned so much.
Branden is healing and is a monster. Uphill is not a problem for him so I just let him go and it gives me time to think....and when I think out here my thoughts go everywhere. I am thankful for everything I have, not possession wise, but people wise. I have had many conversations with many different types of people. Everyone is more Fox brainwashed than I had previously thought. I have not initiated politics but others do, so I'm practicing keeping my mouth shut, practicing saying something that veers the topic away, practicing giving.
Speaking of giving, there are some takers out here. People totally unprepared, people who just got fired, kicked out of their apt, something like that and they just need everything you've got. We give but we draw a line too. I will never be selfish with anything I've got but I won't be conned by a skunk either. I have helped several people up steep long hills by stopping and walking behind them and getting them to tell me about themselves. It motivates a person to talk about their families, jobs, etc. One fellow was trying hard to get up a hill and wanted to let me by. I said no way "you're just as strong as me, and younger, let's go together." He had lost his father in December and wanted to walk in his Dad's memory. He was a genius of some sort, a computer statistics guy, really nice, but it made me cry after I got to the top of the hill and had to say goodbye and walk past him. I've got my father...I have so many people. I am blessed. I will make the most of the blessing.
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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.