As a guide, I am an incessant cheerleader in terms of moving people past their fears of being outside. It’s probably my favorite thing about the job; being a midwife of empowerment is pretty heady stuff, and after all of the fear I had to swallow in my own outdoor journey, I am MORE than happy to help others.

Also, I love the Appalachian Trail. Like other long distance hikers, it became the place where I was freed from the unnecessary trappings of conforming to society and gave me a glimpse of what I was really capable of. I’ve been guiding on and telling stories of hiking the AT for 6 years now; and in that time I have been pleasantly surprised that I would be actually MAKING other hikers in the process.

This particular trip was a rough trip, actually…I had someone that needed to bail out immediately, a huge miscommunication with the group caused me to backtrack hiking for a number of miles, it was unseasonably hot, and we also had another hiker bail due to injury. As I have to think on my feet all of the time, those details weren’t so much of what made the trip rough (it’s why I get paid), just the idea that all of that drama was possibly making the trip harder or less enjoyable for the other folks in the group was more of my worry. You guys should be having FUN out there, that’s the name of the game! As any other long distance athlete will tell you, that’s a huge building block for success in any endeavor. I think of that Ben and Jerry’s bumper sticker that says ‘If it isn’t fun, then why do it?’; the same applies here…the last thing I wanted was sad people not enjoying my favorite activity. That makes my job way more difficult.

So needless to say I was overjoyed when I started up a relationship some of the ladies I had been hiking with on that particular trip, giving tips, gear recs, book titles, and the occasional trail talk detailing uphills and downhills and shelter conditions. What I wasn’t prepared for was that folks actually took my advice and got right to it.

I just got an email that three of the ladies on that trip completed the GA section, my injured hiker completed a section in VA (I was most excited about that one), and one of the three is planning on getting MA under her belt in July. Just from that one trip! What a GIFT it is to bring appreciation of hiking and backpacking, the Appalachian Trail, and the empowerment of being on your own in the woods!  And to think, two of the ladies had zero backpacking experience before hiking with me, and now they are completing STATES….! I am just glowing like a proud mama over here.

Our fearless section hikers on Springer Mountain! 

So here’s this to consider: if you are feeling like you are unsure of your footing in the woods, or want to escalate your outdoor adventures to the next level and are feeling fearful (and be real, who wouldn’t if you never did it before), then PLEASE give us a call. I promise you we are the real deal; we love to do this, we want you to succeed, and we want this for you as much as YOU do, so you aren’t just paying a fee for a guide and some security, but some cheerleading too. We WANT to add you to our fabulous community of lovers of big trails, big mountains, and all things natural. 

So just think of us as BRHC….creating section and (possible) thru hikers, one trip at a time.

If you have taken a trip with us, let us know your adventures! We love to travel vicariously!