Years ago, when Atticus and I were hiking several times a week, I gave some thought to hiking the Appalachian Trail with him. I was excited by the endurance challenge of through-hiking the entire 2,100-plus miles in one attempt. I've always been fascinated by the A.T., even before we started hiking.
Reality set in, though, and I decided against it. Atticus could hike in the snow, but he didn't like hiking in the rain. Because it rains so often on the A.T. during the months we'd be hiking, I decided it would not be fair to him.
Although I've not regretted the decision, through-hiking the A.T. is something that still holds an abundance of romance for me.
This spring, however, there will be an Atticus on the trail, and the thought has me smiling while considering it.
The following email came in this weekend, and I'm sharing it with permission. Here's wishing Jerry Wheeler success during his attempt.
I met you at the Will's Red Coat event at Hub City Bookstore and Press. Thank you again for coming to South Carolina. As I told you I am hiking the Appalachian Trail beginning on April 30 due in a great part to your vivid descriptions of the White Mountains and the adventures you and Atticus shared.
Your books have changed my life in a positive and uplifting manner, and I want to honor you and Atticus.
Because your books and one little dog inspired me to do my "soul work" as Atticus did after his eye surgery, I have taken the trail name "Atticus." With your permission, of course.