Friday, July 30, 2004

Sheltowee Hikes

Yesterday, Dan picked up a couple of copies of the August edition of Adventure in the Smokies. They’d done a nice article on him and his walk across the U.S. It was quite inspiring, as it always is when you read about someone quitting a corporate desk job to discover this wonderful country on foot. It’s something I always wanted to do, before I ever knew what a corporate desk job was. And now that I have (another) one, I’m ready to go walking.

Here’s how the article describes my husband: “Rogers, a burly, gentle bear of a man with a soft but authoritative voice, a kind face, and a shock of unruly red/brown hair …” It’s all correct, except for the red/brown hair section. His hair is blond, and gets really blond when he’s in the sun all day. I joked that his head is red, ‘cause he has a sweet little bald spot that is always sunburned.

Here’s more from the article:

“Following a four-year stint in the Navy, he took an executive position in 1988 with Colgate-Palmolive, where he spent his days focusing on the finer points of dish soap and deodorant. Then some life changes caused him to re-evaluate his path.

“’I was married, then got divorced, with no kids,’ he says, wistfully. ‘After the divorce, I decided to hike the Appalachian Trail. Prior to that, I had just been a weekend backpacker. I needed to clear my head.’

“So he asked his boss for, and received, a six-month leave and a promotion (which took him to [a] Morristown, New Jersey [factory], upon his return). He was on the trail for almost six months, covering 2,200 miles in all.

“’The greatest thing that I learned was how little we need to be happy,’ he philosophizes. “I realized how little I needed television and how great it is just to laugh.’”

That’s the best thing about my husband. He laughs all the time. We laugh all the time. We are silly willies.

The article goes on to tell about his walk from eastern Ohio south to Natchez, Mississippi, and then west to San Diego and the Pacific Ocean.

The writer of the article, Alissa Wolf, wrote elsewhere, “Rogers, who walked away from a fat-cat corporate position in order to pursue his dream of hiking across America, is someone who thoroughly believes in being true to oneself and one’s dreams. To his way of thinking, then and only then can we truly be free—in our hearts, minds, and spirits.

“One of the reasons why many people refrain from pursuing their dreams, according to Rogers, is because of fear, fear of financial insecurity, fear of being ostracized by society, fear of the unknown, fear of failure (or, conversely, fear of success—a curious paradox).”

And: “During the interview, Rogers pointed out, ‘It takes a lot of guts to cash in a Fortune 500 job and live your life.’ Among the many lessons he took away with him following his long months on the trail was, ‘[You] set your own limits. Never let anyone set your limits for you.’”

Many thanks to Alissa for a nice article!

For anyone who is interested, you can read about Dan’s hike on his Sheltowee Hikes website, or you can help us save money for our next hike by ordering his book, America, One Step at a Time.

By the way, Sheltowee is his "trail name." It is the name that the Shawnee Indians gave to Daniel Boone, and it means "Big Turtle."

He’s the sweetest, silliest, most happy-making husband in the whole wide world. Not that I’m biased or anything.

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