The ladies of the Twentieth Century Club of Garrettsville held their January 5, 2017 meeting at the home of Mary Furillo, with Jan Chalker serving as co-hostess. It was cool!…literally and figuratively. The temperature outside was in the single digits, while inside, a fascinating tale of traveling the Appalachian Trail held everyone’s interest.
The meeting began by answering the roll call with tales of experiences in National (and other)Parks. These included general impressions, transportation issues, historical settings, gorgeous scenery and adventures of all kinds. Members were reminded of the approaching Guest Night on January 19, to be held in the Garrettsville United Methodist Church. The secretary also accepted contributions to the club’s sponsorship of the NGCC Snack Pack program in effect at the James A. Garfield Elementary School; the contributions were originally to be taken at the Christmas meeting but that had been cancelled due to weather considerations.
The program was presented by Don Havner (and his lovely wife, Kathy), a Crestwood H.S. graduate, Kenston H.S. teacher and coach, hardware store operator and born-again Christian. He described the origin of his determination to hike the Appalachian Trail, the preparation for the excursion—fitness and mind-set, his experiences on the trail itself and the spiritual satisfaction that it brought. It was fun too.
To shape and illustrate his narrative, he slowly unpacked his backpack, illustrating how it went from an unloaded three pounds to a full-up thirty-five pounds or so. The source of the weight ? Multipurpose clothing, great socks, a barebones kitchen, an Ursak for holding food and keeping bears away, a water source, trekking poles, a tent, an air mattress and, of course, duct tape.
Not in the backpack, but integral to the journey, were the Trail Angels who helped along the way, the Debris Ladies (a mother-daughter trio) who were briefly encountered, his trail blog with the title, “Naked on the Mountain” (Don’t ask), the Trail Name of “Enoch”, sourced from the Bible, various health issues—shin splints, disappearing toenails, etc, the –mostly—favorable weather jazzed up with a thunderstorm, the connection to a Parkinson’s Disease fund-raising cause,… the prospect of doing it again.
It was interesting, it was inspiring,…it was cool.