Sharing the Quest Adventure

After taking up hiking last October and completing my first through-hike of the Rachel Carson Trail, I came across the 100-Mile Quest. Having fallen in love with the Rachel and with hopes of participating in the June Rachel Carson Trail Challenge, I signed up for the Quest.

In the end, I was able to complete 322 miles. Most were racked up training for the full RCT Challenge which I successfully completed in my first attempt. I was also able to find all 40 RCTC Geotrail caches during this time and got a really cool wooden geocoin for my troubles. It felt good to leave my home office and stretch out my legs for an occasionally quick 10 miles.

While the time to exercise, listen to audiobooks, and clear my head was great, the 60+ miles spent with my family were the most valuable. Traversing hills, rocks, and stream crossings with my 7-year-old son showed me his growing independence. While many miles were quiet in awe of the natural world around us, I love the incredible spewing of thoughts of a young boy taking on a big world.

During our alone time, my ever-growing busy daughter gave me an additional window into the challenging life of a 9-year-old girl. I hope she took away some additional confidence in herself navigating the peaks and valleys of Allegheny County to use in her own quest.

My kids and I have also escorted my mother-in-law over half of the trail enjoying scenery, silliness, and snacks. I've also been accompanying my father on the trail, who at my age used to tackle long-distance runs, bikes, and hikes. After four years of health scares, he is back on the mend and the time we spend on the trail together has given me clarity on our relationship and an appreciation of the limited number of miles we all get to hike in life.

Thanks to all the volunteers who keep the trails going! Our community is a better place when we have such amazing treasures right outside our backdoors.


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