The prelude to this post can be found here
There is a special lingo amongst hikers and it is tradition that every thru hiker is given a trail-name. It’s a name that is made up of the tendencies, behaviors and character traits for each said individual. At other times it is simply appearance that can do you in, and the process can get quite creative. It’s not always an easy feat when it comes to the choosing, or the introduction of your trail-name, and how you got it.
My friend Kyle’s trail-name for instance is “Mayor” or “The Mayor” because of the care for his friends and people. Setting up campfires on trail, soon to be joined by other hikers, he provides and takes care of his people after a long day on the trail, hopefully much like any mayor would do. In his private life, he inspires and motivates people to just “Go for it”, and to pursue anything that sets their soul on fire. He demonstrates a great example for any aspiring dreamer who is looking to change their stars, by giving them the know how that it can be done, if only they find the courage to take the leap. Making a difference has become a full time job these days. So it is no wonder that his name fits like a glove, with Kyle bestowing great honor onto it, on and off the trail.
Katana, his loyal Shiba Inu trail-mate’s has a hiking name as well. The famous Catfox she is, named after her Fox like appearance. It’s funny to think that some people actually believed that she is a real fox. There is a story or two about it in his book “Lost on the Appalachian Trail” where it was believed that the little Catfox was actually a Russian fox. Good times for sure, and one of my favorite parts and laugh out loud moment.
The time was shortly after Kyle had finished the Appalachian Trail, that he faced a tough time readjusting to conventional life and civilization. It was easy to miss the adventures of the trail, the scenic beauty, the camaraderie and the simplicity of life. Less was more and the trail had always provided, while being the perfect teacher putting into perspective how little we truly need to be happy.
I was motivated more then ever to somehow find a way to hit the trail and to make my own memories, but there were still quite a few logistics to be worked out such as financing it and the question about my health. In my dreams I was chasing a feeling, a lifestyle of slowing down and truly living. I knew too well about the feelings of grounding with Mother Nature, to hear her heartbeat and to sigh in amazement of all wonders big and small. One day like so many others, I was wondering what my trail-name might be. Who would name me, how would and could they name me, based on what. What if I never made it due to my health to hit the trail in a long distance thru hike, and why was it so important for me to have a trail- name, I pondered. The thought of how it would come to pass was quite entertaining, and then the lightbulb moment came. The crazy idea to ask for Kyle’s input was born. I valued his perception and perhaps thinking of a name for me could distract him from the real life blues. It was almost like an impossible request, since we had never met in person, and still I asked him. It was a inquiry for a trail-name prior to even attempting a thru hike, was a bit like jumping the gun, but it held great significance for me. All there was, were snippets on Facebook, Instagram and the blog that entailed glimpses of my life. What a way to get to know someone. Still he agreed, being the person he is, a person unable to say no to a fellow dreamer.
Weeks went by and Kyle was very thorough. He analyzed from the little he knew and was dedicated to find something that would be fitting. We lost touch during those weeks, but I was hoping that my crazy task/request somehow managed to distract him from the reality check of life. My hope was that it would free his mind, ease what he was dealing with, and put him back in touch with what he loved. The trail…
Please don’t forget to support him on Amazon, Facebook or at Boundlessroamad.com. Kyle has written three books so far and each one is simply astonishing.
Thank you very much and stay tuned for the reveal of a very special trail-name. My very own…♥️