Hike #2 - Parting Thoughts and Observations

I usually learn a lot on my hikes across the AT and this trip is no different.  First thing I learned is that Georgia is a beautiful state.  I love my N.C. mountains and think they are the most beautiful mountains on earth, but they had better watch out...the Georgia mountains could easily take that title away.  They are absolutely gorgeous and I can't wait to visit them again soon. We hiked 30.8 miles on this section which brings my total miles hiked thus far to 50.9.  Only 2,124.10 miles to go.

Another thing learned... I'm not as young as I used to be.  Those of you that know me well are probably saying, "Gee, Mike, you are just now figuring that out?".  Old age creeps up on us all and when you catch it doing so it usually is depressing at first.  Whether it was struggling to "converse" with some of the younger hikers or when I almost gave Grayson my cholesterol medication instead of the Advil he requested...my age was on full display for the entire forest to see.  It helps that there are hikers and adventurers even older than me out there doing their thing.  I'll definitely keep them in my mind as I plan the next hike.

My trail name?... well, I'm still working on it.  Grayson calls himself "Tin Man" and that is a fitting name since he is raising money for the Children's Heart Foundation and the Tin Man is a reference to the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz.  That's a cool name and makes sense.  For me... well Grayson wanted to call me "Working On It" since that is what I continued to say to other hikers that asked, but that ranks right up there with "Lasagna" that the dude from my previous hike waned to call me.  I know the right name is out there somewhere.  Maybe I'll have a contest to see who can give me my perfect trail name.  Who knows?  If I don't find the right name soon... it is sure to find me.

I feel honored that I got to spend a few quality days with my cousin, Grayson (aka Tin Man), as he makes his way along the AT towards Maine. My uncle Larry and aunt Carolyn should give themselves a big pat on the back and be proud that they have raised such a well round and caring son as Grayson.  We shared many great conversations pertaining to just about everything there is to talk about.  It was great and I will never forget it.  I wish that I had a fraction of his determination and zest for life when I was his age.  There are plenty of people in my life to worry about, but Grayson isn't one of them.  He is going to go far in life and I can't wait to see what happens next as the "Tin Man" winds along his own yellow brick road.