Sunday, October 3, 2010

And the WINNER is...

I've realized that I will never refer to a day out hiking as anything other than awesome!

I made my way back to Camel's Hump to officially finish Peaks For Parkinson's. As I walked through the parking lot toward the trail head I noticed three very handsome men preparing for their hike. One says to me, "Hey, we see you everywhere!" Focusing better on them, I see that they are two guys from an old hiking group I used to be involved with...Carol and Roger as well as their friend, Tom. I was happy to have the lively and familiar company up to the summit and knew straight away that they would be the perfect people to draw the winner of the quilt. All wonderful men. All avid and knowledgeable hikers. All still hiking!

It was not an ideal day for a reward in the form of a view on top of the mountain, but, as much else to absorb and inhale. Invigorating, energizing, life-affirming...

Carol, Roger and Tom did the honours...and the winner is.... :-)

Following a perfect hike, reflecting on Peaks For Parkinson's and closing the mountain chapter...a stop at the Alchemist in Waterbury with the guys (and, Linda...Roger's lovely wife) for a couple of Pappy's Porters...a fall foliage barn dance in Maple Corner, Calais...dancing the last dance of the evening, a WALTZ with Chris Miller (a Long Trail 3 TIME end-to-ender!) and the end of all ends...a dramatic dip...leg in air...laughing...and the night was over. For me, the end of Peaks For Parkinson's 2010.

It all started with a shattered heart and ended with a Waltz. Not bad.

From Left to Right ~ Carol, Tom and Roger ~ Drawing the name of the winner.

Can you see the name?!....Take a closer look...

CONGRATULATIONS....Samantha DesChamps!!!
I hope you love the quilt as much as I do. I guarantee there is a ton of love in every stitch.

For those of you who have asked me if I thought Peaks For Parkinson's was successful ~ You tell me! ;-)

Below is an endless list of amazing, thoughtful, heartfelt comments I received from people after I got off the trail. I told my friend Deb my ego was enormous right now. She replied that it was not enormous...some holes were just being filled in.

It is a wonderful thing you are doing Zuni Bear. Your father would be very proud of you and I love you dearly.

This is such a beautiful thing and so many are with you on the trail and in spirit. Thank you for every step. So many others are inspired and will take a step in one form or another. ~Barbara

Zuni Bear,
This trip was such an important journey for me as I learn to live with PD. It was a rugged 22 miles and took a lot out of me, but taught me so much. I would not have started on the trek if you had not organized Peaks for Parkinson’s. After hiking with you for three days, I have a better appreciation of the many obstacles you had to overcome to make it happen. Thank you so much for staying with it... ~Jim

So amazed and impressed by your vision, your courage, your strength, and your follow-through. Wish I could be there with you tomorrow for that exciting moment. Will be thinking of you with tears in my eyes and joy in my heart!
Thank you for the sacrifice you made for all of us. ~Patti

Jocelyn, it was so (beyond words) wonderful to experience Peaks for Parkinsons with you, to reconnect with you, to laugh and cry, to have the chance to backpack with my first hiking partner (my father) again after all these years, to experience Dick Curran's strength and courage, to see his family hiking together, to scamper through Devil's Gulch with you, to feel the power of the wind on top of Jay Peak... to read all these comments from people whose lives have been brightened by knowing you and experiencing this amazing idea that you brought to life. I'm so thankful that you asked me to join you and so, so glad that I was able to do it. It was a powerful and special week! I miss you already and I love you dearly! xoxox jean (Border Patrol)

I've had you in my thoughts for the past couple of weeks. I'm honored to have met you Zuni Bear! You're an inspiration to fight for what you believe in! One lesson I've learned in my hiking adventures is that the people you meet on the trail are some of the most inspirational and real people around. The positive energy created while walking in the woods is uncommon in everyday life. The positive energy I felt from you had a very calming effect on me. I enjoyed my time with you and miss you terribly! Timmy G.

I will never forget meeting you. It was awesome to have such a connection so quickly since we both have a passion for being on the LT and in the outdoors.
It was my extreme pleasure to be able to tell your mom how impressed I am with you. I know we had only met the day before but it was my privilege for you to let me know your soul and passion so quickly…..I really want to contribute and honor the person you are as well as the great cause you are fighting for. ~TJ

I’m currently reading Michael J. Fox’s 2nd book about his life with Parkinson’s. He has such a positive attitude and like everyone who is or has struggled with this disease knows how hard that can be at times. With his foundation, and others, it does sound like they are striving toward better drugs, etc. so that those living as a “Parkie” (he calls it) will someday soon find relief from their daily struggles!
What you are doing is just as important as any foundation or celebrity can do! You truly should be proud of what you have accomplished in the name of your father. I’ll never look at Camel’s Hump again without thinking of “Uncle Pete”! ~Karen A.

I admire your LT adventure, and loved your sharing how the experience resonated with you. I know the adventure seemed natural to you, but not many people would have thought about such an experience, let alone pursued it. Please let me know how I can contribute to your efforts so that I can express my support and admiration. ~Dave

There are certain people that do remarkable, unselfish deeds and that do so quietly, that make this planet a very nice place to live. I am happy to have crossed paths with Jocelyn and her family and her friends. ~Dick

I'm sure you don't remember me but I was a section hiker who talked with you for a very brief time at Minerva Hinchey Shelter on the AT/LT while you were hiking north and I was hiking south. You told me about your dad and the purpose of your hike. I wanted to, at the least, send you an email to tell you how much I appreciate your efforts to raise the public's awareness about Parkinson's Disease. In my non-hiking life I am the Chief of Urology at the Maine Medical Center in Portland. You can google my name to see what I do and how passionate I am about volunteer medical work and living my life as an example for others. I have always felt that we never truly know how or to what extent our efforts (sometimes done in isolation and without much of a context) will affect others; the ripple effects often go out from our lives without knowing who we have touched or how we have changed others. Over the years I have had many patients with this devastating disease and seen how it has changed vigorous healthy people in so many ways. I have also seen the toll this disease has taken on spouses and family. I applaud you for taking a very public stand on this disease and trying to make a difference in your very special way and on your terms. I am truly sorry for the loss of your father. He must have been a special person.I enjoyed reading your Peaks for Parkinsons facebook page and website. Thank you again for your efforts and passion. I trust you completed the trip with good weather and in the company of good friends who share your love of hiking. ~Sam

Finally, the trail was rugged physically, as you know so well, but walking with you lightened my load. As I said, almost all of my hiking has been with long time friends and family. You have a gift for establishing an open, easy rapport with complete strangers that made me able to talk with you about anything and everything. I encourage you to find a way to use that gift in your career - it is rare and precious! ~Jim

First of all, HUGE CONGRATS on finishing (not that it was ever in doubt). I was so psyched to see you standing on the border monument on your trail blog (we've been following your progress via the high-tech route). While it's not about the destination, but rather much more about the journey, it was still so great to see that picture...While I didn't get a chance to tell you this on the trail, I was really honored to play even a very small part in your adventure...such an admirable cause with such an admirable ambassador. ~Thomas G.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you to Jean Baker of the American Parkinson Disease Association (Vermont)for sharing this bloglink with other APDA coordinators around the country. Joycelyn, your efforts are an inspiration to all of us. My dad also had PD and died last year. If you ever come to Tucson, look me up. We have some beautiful trails in Arizona and I'd love to join you on a hike in memory of our dads.
    -- Cynthia Holmes