Last week we were blessed to spend time in the Smoky Mountains. Besides the beach, the mountains are a place I love to visit. We saw my name sake, Mountain Laurel, some black bears, turkey, and deer. We toured Cades Cove and hiked up to the top of Clingmans Dome which is the highest point of the Appalachian Trail. It was a great trip.
There’s a show we like to watch called North Woods Law. Each episode shows the life of the game wardens in Maine or New Hampshire. The Appalachian Trail runs through the Smoky Mountains all the way up to Maine, and several episodes of the show have been about hikers who get lost or injured and the part the wardens play in their rescues.
One episode in particular we saw a few weeks ago was about the search of a lost woman hiker on the Appalachian Trail. It was so compelling, I read a book about her called When You Find My Body. I won’t spoil the story and ending, but I recommend the book. She was out there hiking the Appalachian Trail, or the AT as it is known, as a 66 year old. Most of the time she was alone.
I’m not sure I could do it. Could you? Alone except for the hikers you meet on the trail?
She stepped off the trail to use the bathroom and was lost. She lasted a few weeks.
She died alone.
She kept a journal and left notes to her family and friends.
I think about her and how much strength it took just to begin her trek along the AT. She was a person who believed in God.
Perhaps her faith is what got her through her. Perhaps that is what gets us through each day too.