Gratitude & the #LHX2017

Last week was one of those weeks. You know the one I’m talking about, work seems to get the best of you and when Friday rolls around you realize your personal to-do list was not touched. Now you feel like your Saturday will be eaten up playing catch up.

By Saturday night I was ready to get out in the woods and hike a trail and leave behind the to-do list.

It was early Sunday morning and it was still dark when I rolled out of my driveway heading north to hike the Standing Stone Trail (SST). I chose a section I’ve hiked one time before, the Rocky Ridge Natural Area.

I had a few things on my mind going into this hike and I was hoping the time on the trail would clear my head. Once I hit the trailhead and descended down a short slope to a stream bed my eyes caught a large boulder covered in bright green moss, and it was then I knew it was going to be a great hike.

The Rocky Ridge Natural Area is known for its large rock formations at the ridge top. Many of them tower well above your head and are the size of a small house. Once I reached what is known as the “3 Sisters” located at the power lines I set up my Jetboil and brewed a pot of fresh cowboy coffee. There’s something about coffee on the trail. It seems to taste better.

20160918_094424With a hot cup of coffee in my hands and the view of the valley and mountains in front of me my mind shifted to #LHX2017. I thought about the team who has chosen to thru-hike the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail with me in April 2017. Each of them bringing not only their experience and skill of the outdoors, but also their desire and heart to give back to their communities and the next generation of adventurers.

I thought about the brands who are sponsoring #LHX2017. Munk Pack, Sawyer Products, Purinize, and Teton Sports helping to give back to the next generation of adventurers as well as supporting the team during our upcoming thru-hike of the LHHT.

I thought about my friends at Teton Sports and their support, encouragement and friendship. Their passion is to get you outside, explore nature, and seek adventure as well as provide quality gear.

I thought about Gear Forward and our partnership with this awesome organization and their heart to equip those in need so they too can experience the outdoors.

I thought about those who have already donated and the organizations who have received gear.

And as I sat there finishing up my cowboy mountain top brew with these thoughts and a beautiful morning setting on the SST the theme to this adventure was easily summed up in one word…gratitude.

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