Over the years, my mom and I have done some pretty cool things together. We’ve explored New York City, competed together at a national competition for archery, attended numerous film festivals, partied at concerts, and road tripped all over. If I wanted to tell you about each and every incredible adventure we’ve been on, you’d better wish you have a nice, padded seat and a hot cup of tea, because you’d be reading for a while. So today, I’ll restrict myself to telling you about some of the coolest hiking adventures we’ve been on. From local hidden treasures to distant, otherworldly summits, we’ve conquered a lot of trails and peaks, and we can’t wait to do more.
Canyon Climbers Club Challenge
Last summer, my mom and I set out to climb into Georgia’s 4 canyons: Tallulah Gorge, Amicalola Falls, Providence Canyon, and Cloudland Canyon (read more about our adventures here!). We ended up completing the challenge in just over 48 hours. It’s one of my favorite memories from 2015 because of all the beautiful spots we got to explore – some of which we never even knew existed. Looking back, it’s one of my favorite memories from 2015, and an accomplishment I’m definitely proud of!
Bear Butte, South Dakota
This hike was so special in so many ways: not only were we revisiting one of the hikes we used to take when I was a kid, but we also got to take my nephew on his very first proper hike! The highlight of this hike was getting to accomplish it as a family, and hopefully we sparked a sense of adventure in my nephew that he’ll get to pursue later in life after he’s done being the cutest baby in the world.
Appalachian Approach Trail
Man oh man, was this hike an adventure. To get a recap all of the craziness that went down, check out this post. Despite various threats of murderous hobos, bloodthirsty bears, and possible hypothermia, this trip was fun from beginning to end. As my first overnight camping trip, this was certainly an experience I’ll never forget (although not one I’d like to repeat). After getting a few more serious hikes under my belt, I can see some of the mistakes we made on this trip (like going camping last-minute in November, for instance), but I’m so thankful I got to share this experience with my family. At the end of the day, it really cemented my desire to continue hiking and camping, and it made me proud to see how determined and positive my mom is in the even the most unpleasant situations.
My mom is one of the coolest, funniest, toughest, most determined, and kick-butt people I know. She has never let her circumstances or setbacks define who she is or what she is capable of, and she has always pushed me to become the best person I can be. Today, I thank her for all the moments we’ve shared together: all the weekend trips, the donut and coffee dates, the hours spent stuck in traffic, the college tours, the movie viewings, the late-night kitchen conversations, the half-asleep Catfish watchings, and the out-of-breath trail talks. Thank you, mom, for being my biggest supporter, my friend, my confidante, my role model, my source of wisdom, and my best friend. You really do have Grit. I love you!