Today we broke camp at 830 so  we are  getting  better. I’m  the one last up. Today we climbed  to  Virginia’s  highest peak and surprisingly  no rain. But the damp conditions  did a number on loris feet and the pack, 90 cc did a number to  my psyche.

We got  to see Virginia’s wild ponies  up close  and  personal. Then after  we dropped  down to the corral we met a trail  volunteer  who was headed  back  to  Damascus  so we hitched  a ride to town. He is returning  to  the  trail  tomorrow  and will  take me back  minus my  little  family .

I  miss  them already ,  it’s  going  to  be really  rough .  It was  trying, trying to  meld my  4 weeks on the  trail  with Lori  and  Belle  just starting. Each day  had its moments  which made it painfully  obvious  that I  am  still  growing in the grace department.

I’m  heart broken. It’s the  right  call and  the  only  thing  that  will  get me up tomorrow  is knowing  they will be back.


15 thoughts on “PONIES

  1. Andy, I just re-read my post I sent you earlier tonight (lengthy one) and I have come to the realization now more than ever that wile you are truly inspiring to all of us, it is actually Aaron that has and continues to challenge us mandating that we all HONOR God and live out our lives in the best way to serve him and all others for now and all Eternity… As Aaron has so aptly demonstrated in his life and in his tragic passing on after only a short while with us… Death cannot nor will it ever change this….!!!!!, Let us continue to honor Aaron and be eternally grateful to him by remembering not how he died… But, HOW HE LIVED…! Love Always, your “Bestist” Friend, Tony


    1. Andy, So glad you got to see and be with Lori and Belle…. I know that this was a double edged sword… At the same time that you are overjoyed in their presence (after missing them so much week after week), you are devastated more than ever at there being once again, GONE… And the pending then actual loss in their leaving… Just the worst part of life… Losing… Missing… Such an “Infinite Sadness…!” Just please know how many love you, are thinking of you… And, in return, miss you deeply…! Love Always, Tony


    2. Andy, really enjoy your Blog… All caught up…! I am at MARSOC… With Mike Jones, Rachel Pasmore, Ron Rabinowitz, Terry Soter, Kirk Kennedy, Gary Hazlett, Sarah Green, and two very young Navy Psych’s… Rehearsing now… Wish you were here, but I know you don’t (LOL)!!!! Al Holland was coming but his wife had another stroke (remember winter 2010, she had her first stroke and Scott Middleton had to come up overnite). Very sad… Sarah came to back fill him… We’ll take care and I am looking for your next Installment on your AT BLOG… Love and miss you, Tony


  2. Tony, so funny you should mention Aaron because my first day out on the trail with Andy, my “phantom” husband, I kept thinking, “Aaron would be so proud of us”. I could feel his spirit in the mountains for sure—and then when I got the horrendous blisters, I felt sad like I was letting Aaron down— but as Aaron often continued on with injuries, I hiked all I could hike for for now. And know he’s proud and happy about the hike his dad’s on for sure! Thanks for your encouraging words to Andy–I mean Phantom! Lori–I mean, “blister”


    1. Awesome…. Knowing you were there with Andy (Phantom… LOL) put a smile on my face all day long… And I am still grinning…! Get better, Blister…!!!!! Love Always, Tony


  3. Ouch! when I told Lori it should be easier in VA I forgot about White Top & surrounding mts of that area! 😦 It’s better up into central VA. Meanwhile we get to enjoy ‘ANA’.
    With you in spirit, Phantom! Love, judy


  4. Hey Brotherman,

    I finally checked in on the trail with you last night (your day as you were walking) and you have probably pitched your tent and enjoying another night in the woods as it is 7pm your time and 9am (the next day) in Australia. Last night I was supposed to do a school assignment but flubbed it off to start at the beginning of the trail and sprint through your posts to make it up to VA with you. I am in step now and keeping pace with the Ol’ Christian Wanderer!

    I had to pop on some Pearl Jam “Release Me” as it seems to fit the mood better than anything.

    I am with you on your trail and miss your friendship terribly, you are a wonderful man and a fantastic Psych and I would be a very dark place if it was not for your ears and words and for my darling wife’s enduring patience.

    Alas it is you now who needs a psych more than ever but as I have found in life that there is no fixing or saving just a new norm in which we have to learn how to laugh again, love again, and live again. It is not as sad as it sounds but much like a person with a physical injury where they have to learn how to walk again or a different way eating so do we ….. the emotionally and mentally scarred.

    Keep walking, keep rambling, and for the sake of the experience do as you wish on the trail and if you fall back then fall back and you will find another experience in another thing or another person or an unexpected place.

    You can always take another step and stay true to your own compass not another man’s

    Take care brother, I am with you



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