Hi all! Chelsea here. Lori has asked me to gather letters from her family talking about how they feel about her hike. So here is Installation #1- Daddy.
Papa O says:
If someone were to tell me that the day would come when your pretty bright eyed little girl will one day, on her own choice and determination, be hiking continuously for months on end covering many hundreds of miles and many unknown challenges, well I would have to say they were out of their minds. The mere fact that I have witnessed Lori all her life do things, the kind of things that most people won't do because either they can't or they shouldn't simply because everyone has always told them they would fail, it's so much easier and or funner or simpler to do it differently, smaller, cheaper, safer, so they won't. Not Lori.
Now Lori is on the trail, she has passed the "Half-way-Mark", has surpassed 1000 miles several hundred miles ago!!! It's like being aware of an under-dog in your favorite sports. You follow the sport fairly closely from your own comfort zone, watching the players. You happen to catch a glimpse of a "Long-Shot" player early in the season who appears to be exceeding the expectations of your fellow fans. Then suddenly the long-shot player starts to reach totally unexpected and unplanned victories. That's when you start really paying attention. Every new day brings on that new anticipated yet at first astonished excitement as the unknown, unfamiliar, under-dog long-shot starts to come out every time, every day, on top. Now you find yourselves every moment cheering, hoping, amazed by the new champion who is well on the way to success and victory. It's difficult to even get through an hour without thinking about your new found Hero and you find yourself even praying for their ultimate achievement.
For every one of us our lives and the opportunities that we have within us are like holding two hands full of sand. Much of life's choices seems to pour through our fingers like the spilling sands with little way to contain and keep from loosing the treasures that life can bring our way. We don't mind at all when mixed in with those great opportunities, spills away the all to often disappointments that always come connected with those missed great moments. Still we seem to take on that "coulda-shoulda-woulda" attitude. However there are those special moments in life when all of the distractions, the noise and clutter, the obligations and limitations we all have and pause, if even so very briefly. Those are the moments that really count.
That is when we, like Lori, can travel at perhaps still the all too fast speed of Walk and reflect and repent and restore and rededicate and remember who we are and even really find ourselves, then move on because life holds still for no mere mortal being. The challenge is to discover and make the most of those special moments, tools if you will, and then just keep on walking.
Jerrie, Lori's Dad