June 26, 2010
Charles, 19, and Anne McCarthy, 17, our son and daughter head from Amicalola Falls State Park, just north of Atlanta, GA., to go on a 30-day hike on the Appalachian Trail (AT). Judith has been sick so I took them up and walked the first three miles with them to Frosty Mountain. This video picks up the start of their adventure on the Approach to the AT. The back story is below the video.
enjoy this 5-minute video and then I invite you to use the comments section below to share what adventure you would do if you were brave.
Back Story: Charles has been hiking the AT since he was ten when he went to Camp Deep
Woods for Boys, a truly life-changing experience for him thanks to
Kells Hogan, the Camp Director. At the Christ
School Outdoor Program, Charles continued his love of outdoor
adventure and training. Anne, on the other hand, is a novice hiker but a
This all started this winter when Charles posted a request on Facebook inviting people to join him on the AT. His itinerary was planned to attract others to join him for the entire hike or to join him part way. The only person who responded was Anne! Kudos to her for stepping up. Kudos to both for thinking it was a cool idea to hike the AT with their sibling.
Some think Judith and I are crazy to allow our older teens to hike the AT alone. We think we're crazy not to support them in this adventure. There is tremendous support and services along the way. This is wilderness, but not raw and unmapped wilderness. Both kids' abilities to reason and make good decisions are strong. Here's an amazing opportunity for them to work together as a brother and sister
while testing personal character and endurance against what nature can
throw their way. Leadership is about facing fears and challenges both
physical and mental. Frankly, we couldn't be more proud of them both.
We also figure that this hike will either bond them for life or one of them will the kill the other. Clearly, we're betting on the former outcome and feel the odds are heavily in our favor. I guess the theory is this: What our failures as parents didn't produce in them they are likely to beat each other into a better relationship on this trip! Tell me now who is crazy!
you fellow National Speakers Association member Jana Stanfield
whose song, If I Were Brave provides the music score. She's
gracious about granting permission for use.
For the record, I did
jog from Frosty Mtn. back to the car in just under an hour. I had a few
stops to chat with other hikers, drink water, and walk some of the
uphill sections. Then I hit the road and drove home to Winter Park. What a great day!