Thirteen hearty hikers showed up at Elk Pen in Harriman State Park in NY for the 4 mile and 8 mile hikes. The hike was co-sponsored by the NJ-NY Active People meetup group, and leaders Mariano and Nick were on hand to lead the way!
Also on hand was barefoot hiker Susan Letcher, co-author of Southbound and Walking Home, fantastic books chronicling the 2000-2001 yo-yo of the AT by Susan and her sister Lucy. Some hiking fans had brought along copies of her books for her to sign, which she gladly did. Thank you, Susan!
Friends, Old and New
As we hiked along the forest paths, we re-connected with old friends and made new ones. We passed long-abandoned mines, squeezed our way through the Lemon Squeezer, and chatted and shared our food with a thru-hiker, NikMac, at the Fingerboard Shelter. (He looked like he needed it!) We encountered several deer in the forest meadows and spied dozens of bright orange newts, a land-living stage of a salamander, along the side of the trail.
But the minor pain was well worth it: counting checks and donations received for HIKE for Mental Health shirts on hike day, the total raised by this hike was $1,258, or 25% more than the hike goal!!!
Many thanks to our hikers and their sponsors! Special thanks to Eric and Mona whose fundraising contributed heavily to the results but who were unable to make it for the hike – next time!!, Thanks also to Mariano and Nick from NJ-NY Active People – let’s plan another hike together soon! And finally, many thanks to Susan for her continuing involvement and support!