Back in college, I met a really cool person who shared the same name as me. I had known others by the name of Heather before, but there was something different about this one, and as we got to know each other better, we became best friends. Little did I know when we first met that we would one day be planning on hiking the Appalachian Trail together.
About five years after college, we met up again. As we were looking for something to do together, we decided on one of our favorite activities – hiking. We ended up hiking an extremely small section of the Appalachian Trail. Literally, it was probably less than 2 miles.
We hiked to a beautiful waterfall. There, we noticed two hikers who were obviously thru hikers. We both began to dream about hiking the entire trail together until reality hit in and we knew we couldn’t leave our jobs for that long. But when we get together, we don’t give up on a crazy idea. We thought about it and decided that we could still hike the entire trail. It’ll just have to be done over the rest of our lives. We later discovered there’s a name for people like us. We are section hikers.
Yes, we are section hikers, but we are not the typical section hikers. We are learning as we go. We’re starting off with small weekend backpacking trips and slowly progressing to longer hikes. We are also doing these hikes once at year, at least for the time being. Maybe eventually we will live closer to each other and be able to hike a few times a year.
Today, one of us lives and works in South Dakota as a teacher. The other one lives in Kentucky and works with the local health department. We are both Christians, and our love for hiking comes from our enjoyment of the beauty of God’s creations.