Continuing the story of how I got the name of this blog - Part 1 here
As our tight knit class of 20 some odd 5th graders practically ran up the trail, there was one thing on every child's mind. Not the scenery, not the wildlife, not the blisters developing on our heels, but finding that perfect hiking stick. Classes before us had brought back impressive lengths of wood, selected, carved, and cherished by each individual. We were determined to find bigger and badder sticks to brag about.
On those first few miles more time was spent combing the brush for felled limbs than was spent hiking on the trial. I was determined to find the best of the best, to find one that fit perfectly in my hand, to make it mine through the miles before us. On this day I failed. I came up with only an enormous Y shaped limb, taller than me by two feet, and thicker than my leg.
After the Hike concluded, and long after ditching the tree trunk I had lugged for quite a while, we stopped by a general store along the trail. The Walasi-yi Center was packed with everything expected of an AT store. Boots, packs, first aid kits, and even stuffed animals distracted us from our aching feet. While we searched every nook and cranny for something good in our $5 price range, the smell of fresh leather and the cool rain from outside filled our nostrils, the smells still bring back the most vivid of memories today.
The Walasi-yi Center*
We retreated victoriously to our cabins, admiring our new scars and purchases with the same appreciation, we felt accomplished, ready for dinner, a shower, and a good night's sleep. Tomorrow would be the tougher of two days, with Blood Mountain rivaling Denali and Everest in our 12 year old eyes.
*Photo by David_Lee_Muse