Friday, April 13, 2007

NPL Volunteer Writes from along the Trail

Some of the most interesting people I've ever met are NPL volunteers. I"ve met grandmothers, techies, lawyers, doctors, theologians, and veterans, just to name a few. They are truly an outstanding group.

We just received a card from Linda Pierce, book wrapper extraordinaire. Linda was writing from Indian Creek Falls (pictured here) in the Great Smoky Mountains. Linda, a nurse at DHMC, has zoomed in regularly to wrap our books in the protective wrappings that help them to survive being loved by many different readers.

I say has zoomed in because we are Linda-less for the next six months, while Linda hikes the 2173-mile Appalachian Trail, all on her own. Linda is a hardy lass, aglow with fitness and good health, and I have no doubt that she will be successful in her quest. I have fretted about the isolation and safety aspects of the journey, but after the video I just borrowed from NPL's collection, I feel a little better.

The DVD is Walking in Freedom, and it's a film made by a hiker who made the journey. I was glad to see that hikers may set out alone, but in the process of taking on this challenge, they quickly bond with others who may be just the helping hand they will need in a tough spot.

There are people in towns along the trail who welcome hikers to rest a bit, to take the half-gallon challenge (eat a half-gallon of ice cream in a sitting), or to consume platter-sized pancakes, since calories are no object. Hiker-friendly boarding houses and camp shelters bring people together, too.

No one can fail to recognize the daunting challenge that hikers face, but it's good to know that there will be some supportive souls along the way. Check out the DVD and take a peek at Linda's journey.