March 4, 2000

Dallas, TX 0 Miles Hiked Today 0 of 2167 Miles Hiked Total

Erik's dad Lonnie, coworkers Christina and Danielle, and Erik enjoying said tequilaLast night at my sister's house we celebrated my upcoming adventure at a going away party. About 30 friends, family, and coworkers were there to wish me well and hear more about my plans. Either that or they wanted free beer and tequila. Either way, it was fun. 

Rob gets Steve to smile for the camera The highlight of the party was a "life and times" my best friends Rob  and Steve and my sister Carol put together. The key thread through all of it was my changing hair styles (scary pictures) and going hiking. My sister also surprised me with a birthday cake. She didn't want me to miss out on my birthday, which is in May, when I am on trail. The cake was awesome, with hills, a river, trees, a bridge, and a hiker. 

The happy couple, Erik and Whitney, pose for a picture During the party people would ask me "Why? Why go? Its such a long time and distance." My answer was to try and explain to them that besides the need for adventure and wanting to live life by the seat of my pants, how I would become the center of a community that develops around a person trying a thru-hike, and that I have an opportunity to share something of "life's big picture" with those who hear my story. Looking around the room, I realized that the journey had already begun.


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