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AT2019-Hiking the Appalachian Trail & bringing awareness to orphans & UNAFAA International! (www.unafaa.org) JMT16

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Here we go! So excited!! #at2019 #appalachiantrail
On the way to begin! Is this the Hiwassee River overflowing? Whatever it was, it was intriguing. Later, we rounded a corner and the super moon was out in a sky filled with violet and periwinkle blue. So gorgeous and vast. #at2019 #hiwassee #neelsgap #appalachiantrail #whiteblaze
Lasting impressions of my sweet family and Florida. My mom is so cute. :) So thankful my son was able to join us and hang out before my hike; he gave a flower to me (by the turquoise door). My mom gave him one of my dad’s shirts which meant a lot to him. ❤️ #keylimepie #at2019 #appalachiantrail
Remember the movie, “The Birds”? I had that experience yesterday with a flock of terns, skimmers, and gulls. I freaked out and didn’t  have time to video as they zoomed past me with their sharp beaks. *Ironically there was a boat that went past just at the right time to catch the sun. #marcoisland #southwestflorida #blackskimmer #royaltern #at2019
1. Conch, Whelk, Olive 2. Australian Pine cones  3. Roots of the Australian Pine 4. Australian Pines were nearly destroyed along the Sanibel Island causeway by Hurricane Charley in 2004. It was one of my favorite things to see these “soft” trees as they welcomed visitors to the island & I was very sad to see them vastly ruined. However little did I know that they’re invasive for the native plants and animals, illegal to sell, plant or transport, & caused millions of dollars in damage to non coastal structures during the hurricane. Their seed pods grow easily in the sand but Florida isn’t fond of them and will remove these beautiful trees if necessary. #sanibelisland #australianpine #at2019
Oh my gosh I love the beach so much, how am I going to leave it for cold brown trails soon to come?! :) The Gulf of Mexico, Inkberry beach plant, Various shells of broad-ribbed carditas, transverse arks, kitten’s paws, calico clam, duck clams, etc #sanibelisland #at2019 #appalachiantrail
So many amazing birds and creatures in Florida...like the raccoon for instance. :) For being such a common animal, we were strangely excited to see one in a swamp.  Although cool and interesting, with benefits to its habitat, Strangler Fig plants attach onto trees, eventually killing their hosts.  Black Eastern Narrow Mouthed Toad (?) Shelf Fungi The sanctuary contains about 2.5 mi of boardwalk. (Not sure of the name of the wading bird. Ibis family?) #corkscrewswampsanctuary #stranglerfig #racoon #floridaswamp #at2019 #appalachiantrail #audobonsociety
Soaking in as much calm before my storm. #southflorida #at2019 #appalachiantrail #appalachiantrail2019
♥️ Here are three of the most inspiring women in my life, my daughters and my mom. My girls are probably opposites and that’s what I love about them; they challenge me to be a better mom, love unconditionally &  persevere. Mom always is “perfect” and I will never ever be able to clean as well as her but she inspires me to be kind and generous. I love them so much and if I could “drag” them down the trail with me, I’d do it in a heartbeat. #at2019 #appalachiantrail #at2019thruhike #womenwhohike #georgiatomaine #whiteblazes #womeninspiringwomen #inspiringwomen #captivaisland
This is a really good book that I’m reading right now. It’s about living life and not just watching it pass by. The author has a rather funny life and he’s so positive that it makes you want to go out and try new things. I guess that’s one reason why I want to hike the AT. I may crash, burn, and fail, but I want to try and try new things. A few years ago I went skydiving and that was one of the most awesome things I’ve ever done. Having children has been a ride, and walking the Narrows and climbing Angels Landing, Half Dome, & walking the Great Wall have been great memories too. Life is short so let’s help lift each other up, and bring peace & stop over complicating life. We were made for more. #bobgoff #lovedoes #at2019 #appalachiantrail #thruhike #georgiatomaine #womenwhohike
Spending some precious time with my daughters and mom before I start my hike. I’m guessing that missing family will be my hardest obstacle to overcome. #sanibelisland #at2019
Pennsylvania Piedmont (Appalachian foothills) I was excited knowing I’d flown over the AT somewhere, although the clouds were in the way. This flight isn’t to Amicalola  but my journey begins soon! #at2019 #appalachiantrail2019 #pennsylvaniapiedmont #piedmont #appalachiantrail #earthfromabove #foothills
My ”One Sketch A Day” entry from March 20, 2018.  #at2019 #appalachiantrail #appalachiantrail2019
Everything plus the kitchen sink! Wow it’s a lot but I need to see everything to understand what or why I “need” these items. I don’t do well in the cold (probably my biggest fear) so my beefier winter items will need to be shipped home and replaced. I’m starting with Altra Lone Peak boots and have 2 pairs of Altra Lone Peaks for later. Altogether (with only one pair of shoes) with cold weather, warm weather, and rain gear, it weights 4:48.6 lbs. 😳  From top, right to left: Doggers camp shoes (an old pair from Walgreens) 2 pr Altra Lone Peak 3.5 1 pr Altra Lone Peak RSM 4 Enlightened Equipment booties (for sleeping) Ball cap Columbia Omniwick Tshirt Nike Dri Fit shorts The North Face summit series 800 down coat Tek Gear Dry Tek tights Columbia Omni heat long sleeve Reebok bra 1 pr Underwear  Buff Dirty Girl gaiters OR winter gloves  Black Diamond polartec gloves Columbia winter hat Seirus neck gaiter 2 pr Darn Tough socks 1 pr Wigwam camp socks 1pr Ininji socks (I have bunions and use separators on the outside of these.) Eddie Bauer Polartec First Ascent  fleece Patagonia base layer shirt and pants for sleeping OR rain pants REI goretex rain jacket  Not pictured is an Enlightened Equipment rain skirt and waterproof gloves that I’m debating about. I also may get mittens with hand warmer holders to replace the winter gloves. If you see me lying on the side of the trail, just throw everything out of my pack and help me up. Please. Haha. #at2019 #appalachiantrail #altrarunning #enlightenedequipment #womenwhohike #rei #backpacking
My buddy, Pilot. (Named after the dog in Jane Eyre.) I’m not sure how I’m going to be away from him, he’s my therapy, he’s the sweetest creature, he’s goofy and fun and totally huggable. If you’re bringing a dog on the AT, I’ll try to not smother it with hugs. :) #greyhound #rescuegreyhound #at2019 #womansbestfriend
Stocked up and ready to package and turn into mail drops. I’d like to propose a drone mail drop service to the trial. :) (Actually I have a love/hate relationship with drones.) #backpackerfood #at2019 #womenwhohike #appalachiantrail #whiteblaze
Beautiful and precious, these are some of the wonderful children and young people who you can help, with needed supplies and prayers. Crocs are a popular item for backpackers as camp shoes. These same durable shoes are needed for Unafaa’s summer’s trip to Kenya.  Please consider donating and please keep these children in your prayers. Thank you!  Total for all supplies, water, food, and orphanage staff banquet are $8,500 which is my goal to help raise for Unafaa. Please follow @unafaainternational and donate, (and while on the donation page, write “crocs, supplies, etc and #hike4thefatherless” so we can keep track). Thank you!!! *Photos used by permission by Unafaa International. Also pictured is my dear son, who traveled to Gilgil, Kenya last summer.  #at2019 #womenhikers #appalachiantrail #appalachiantrail2019 #baxterstatepark #amicalolafalls #smokeymountains #backpacking #hiking #crocs #enjoyoutdoors #whiteblaze #naturetherapy #orphancare #georgiatomaine #longdistancehiking #womenwhohike #hikelikeawoman #childreninneed