Hike 43 - Wagner Butte


A few days before the hike I got a call from a woman named Julia. She had planned on joining but was unable to make it, and since she donated to support the tour, she wanted to make sure she could send some people in her place. She sounded interesting on the phone, and I pulled my typical Sydney line:

"So, Julia, what's your story?"

Julia is 80 years old, and for the last 13 years, she's been hiking with a group called the Sole Sisters. She told me about the hike she had done with the group that day, some 10+ miler through a forest near Ashland. She went on to talk about how we all have interesting stories to share, and she wanted to hear mine someday.

Julia sent two friends in her place on Saturday. We met Daisy and Jerry in the parking lot and for the first half of the hike, I pulled up the rear with them, hearing more about their life together on the trail, and sharing my story since they weren't able to attend the talk earlier in the week.

Daisy shared about how she and Jerry are lucky in that they get to share this together, and I gushed about how lucky I am to have @maker_of_waves by my side through all of this. She also told me that the youngest Sole Sister is 58, and the oldest member is 82. Some of the sisters have passed on, and their daughters are keeping the legacy alive.

This got me thinking about legacy; what it means, how loaded the word is, while examining my preconceived notions of what constitutes a legacy. If I have one hope for what we are doing here, at the very basic level, I hope that sharing my story sparks a sense of "if she can do it, I can too" and becomes a catalyst for change - big or small - in people's lives.

#HikingMyFeelings has helped me quiet my inner critic, recover from sexual assault, and reverse my Type 2 Diabetes. It has also opened up the opportunity to connect with folks like Julia, Daisy, and Jerry. Every talk and every hike is a beautiful experience, and I'm deeply grateful to the people who choose to spend time with us on the road and on the trail.