I found the American Perimeter Trail in October 2020 and was hooked. The people and the project have been a source of joy and inspiration keeping in mind all the land and animal habitat that will be protected. I spent a great deal of my childhood trying to commune with rabbits and trees and squirrels. I had the amazing experience of hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT) through Conneticut (CT) with my 4th grade class and my crazy teacher Mr. Peck. It made such an impact that when I re-hiked the CT AT 45 years later, I was pretty sure I remembered that tree and that rock over there….
Around that same time in my life, my Dad decided we were going to see the country. I hiked a glacier, built a lean-to in Yellowstone, saw Crazy Horse when it was just a hole in a mountain, climbed at Mesa Verde and tried to figure out which contraption was probably the safest if I was to go over Niagara Falls. Oh, the Places I’ve been, 47 states plus Canada and Mexico. My love of the outdoors grew as did my understanding of the need for us to protect it and all its inhabitants. My oldest daughter and I went and lived on a mountain in West Virginia and explored tipi life when she was four. My middle daughter joined big sis and Mom on many hikes all over CT, starting out in a carrier and then on her own two feet, and my youngest daughter became an expert camper by the time she was five. It fills my heart when my now grown girls bring up the story about ‘that time the skunk was in our campsite…’.
I continue to spend a lot of time in nature, honing foraging skills and trying to get deer to come have a chat. My now and then hikes turned into every Sunday since Summer 2020, logging a little over 500 miles of trail a year. If I can pass one thing on to anyone, it would be the importance of conservation and how it benefits ourselves as well as future generations. If not for one person having an idea then engaging others to help push that idea to fruition, we would not have the AT, the PCT, our National parks and all the other beautiful and protected trails and areas we can still experience nature in its pure and rightful form. I am so grateful to be partnering with Rue, Leilah, and our growing community to see this spectacular conservation effort of the American Perimeter Trail Conference come to life.