We woke up this morning after a night of well rest. We sure needed it from the previous day's Blood Mountain haul, and the the hiker hotel at Neels Gap we stayed at the night before couldn’t have been better. A night of sharing our mission to the fellow hikers led a couple of them to contribute financially to our cause.
As we came outside to eat on oatmeal and cheese grits, we began to be welcomed by what ended up to be 10 Home Depot associates joining us for our 6.5 mile trek from Neels Gap to Hogpen Gap. To give a brief background, Spencer Wyckoff, is a full-time developer on one of Home Depot's IT teams. With the combined effort of both co-worker Dustin Duprel and the team's Director, Marty Edelman, they rallied the troops to come support through a corporate communication channel. Marty, in a group message, remarked on the culture of his team at Home Depot...
Simply, we had begun to not just fight for a cause, but we were creating a movement. A movement that inspired others from all parts of the trail (on & off) to support in any way, shape, or form.
Before setting off on the trail, we picked up a hiker whom we later called “God Drop” (his trail name) … and he sure fit his name. First off, God Drop asked to join because he was on a hike just to get away. When he saw an opportunity to help be part of something bigger than himself, he jumped at the opportunity. Little did we know until later in the trip that God Drop’s wife suffers from a depleting auto-immune disease with up to 20 symptoms a day. Not before long, God Drop was fighting for both his wife and Carden helping in every way he could from carrying Carden to rallying the crew who was struggling from behind.
Another highlight of the day was when Richard Davy joined the team, soon to be known by the trail name, “Tank.” A little background to Richard: He has lost roughly 100 pounds in the past year. From 290 to 190. He has brut strength, and truly carried the load helping over 2.5 of the 6.5 miles for this day. We don’t know if Richard knew how timely his help was as our teams’ legs were pretty shot after the Blood Mountain summit.
Many hikers were in the back starting to think twice about their fitness levels. While Team Carden was fighting for a cause to end FSH Muscular Dystrophy, it also promoted a healthy lifestyle indirectly. As the team was discussing fitness, Clay (the videographer) remarked, “We are getting #CardenFit.”
On the last mile, Marshall and Spencer carried the load bringing Carden to the finish line. The team arrived at camp, settled in, and then began discussing highs and lows around the campfire.
But tonight was unusually different than most … Carden was talking to her mother, and she was in pure excitement and aww of our journey. It was one of those moments where everyone around the campfire had needles tingling down their back.
Marshall later said, “It didn’t really dawn on me the impact we were making until we heard Carden’s mom from home talking about how this story was traveling around the world and how proud she was. It reminded me of my mother (who passed when Marshall was a kid) telling me how proud she was. It was finally the moment for me when I truly felt this was 100% worth the fight.
The day ended on a beautiful note, and Day 6 was ahead. A day with 14 miles, our longest and most brutal hike yet.
You can contribute and help us reach our goal of $10,000 by clicking here.