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Monday, November 15, 2010

Lessons on Life, Love and Marriage from the Appalachian Trail

From the very beginning I had to have a good laugh. Being the anal retentive planner that I am too I really appreciated the thought and planning that went into the initiation process of the hike of this married couple, Randy "Windstalker" Motz and Georgia "Mom" Harris. Laugh, because when I started on my Appalachian Trail trip I planned not one iota and discovered myself on the trail as if by accident; this pair planned for years, something I normally would have done. It felt good to know that I was not be the only one that would have approached the hike in this fashion.

My hike was as a newly single man escaping the harness of marriage but this couple happily embraced their already strong union and actually considered if this six-month sojourn would be good for their relationship before fully embracing the journey. They are to people of great faith, educated and given over to a strong set purpose in their life. They knew each others strengths and weaknesses and learned how best to support each other while having no-one but each other to depend on. They learned along the way to accept the familiarity of others, the giving nature of the AT, the "trail-magic" that resounds from this phenomenal place known as the Appalachian Trail and, for a pair of self-proclaimed introverts, quickly adapted to the large 'family' of thru-hikers that inhabit it.

This book is truly inspirational, part hiking journal, part crash-course in marriage counseling, Motz and Harris imbibe in all that read their magnificent journey a desire to have the type of relationship that kept them together through thick and thin, 'for better or for worse', not only hiking but in their every day life too.

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