Something Sweet, Beautiful or Warm

White Cliff Rocks

The mountains were perfect today. The sun was warm and the breeze was light and cooling. The fog cleared out early and left long clean views and fresh air that had just a hint of spring sweetness. My body is really hitting its stride. My feet feel great and I’ve found my favorite strides for climbing and descending. The days are falling into an easy rhythm of sunrise starts and early lunches followed by an early camp by 3 or 4. It really couldn’t be going any better except for what’s happening above the neck.

AT Markers showing me the way

I’m getting sporadic cell coverage just strong enough to open the paper for a few minutes. I have a short morning call with Bryan and shocked again with another dose of horror from the news and then I’m in blackout zones for most of the day. My mind races and fills in the rest with the worst case scenarios. My head stories get worse as the day goes by. I’m shocked back into my surroundings by a beautiful crystal clear mountain spring offering cold clean water. The birds are singing in the background. Which is the right reality here. What’s really going on?

The mountain springs along the NC/TN border are amazing

At lunch another hiking buddy decided to go home. A victim of the craziness out there that we don’t really understand. Each time someone leaves it feels like a death in the family and I had too much. I reached out to the group and just asked for some help to get me out of the ditch. They understood completely and helped put a few things into perspective and it got me through the rest of the day. One of our buddies Mango is hiking through a stage 4 cancer diagnosis and stopping in Damascus for treatment before pressing on to Maine. He is carrying some heavy stuff through. I can too.

Beautiful steps up to a perfect summit day

When I got into our camp spot at mile 301 there was trail magic waiting for us! Derrick ran up here from town with bananas, dates and snickers bars. It was such a wonderful surprise and we chatted with him about his impressive ultra running career while we built a fire in the shelter fireplace. Somehow this trail continues to rescue me from the dark place. I think she can sense it and sends something sweet, beautiful or warm ahead. Today, she knew how bad I was hurting and so she sent all three.

Shelter Fire

8 thoughts on “Something Sweet, Beautiful or Warm

  1. Drew I’m so enjoying your journey. I hope the trail and this journey gives you everything you have been hoping for. Lots of love and hugs. Keep writing your story. Thank you so sharing it.


  2. Know this was a difficult but beautiful day. None of us can fix this scary scene, but we can promote hope, resolve and a look into a healthy future for all of us. I remain strongly positive and some how just know everything will be happy and good again. Having gone through a serious medical crisis not knowing how all would turn out, the positive vibes around me kept me going. Enjoy the beauty and calm around you. Much love and have a peaceful rest.


  3. So good hear from you Drew! It’s so Intriguing to read about your experience. I have a new respect for what it means to be “one with nature” #TeamDrew!


  4. Your posts are wonderfully good for me. I can’t be in the mountains but through you. Thank you! Focus on the beauty that surrounds you and allow it to enrich you fully. . The craziness of the world will be here when you return. Stay there!


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