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Trail days has come and gone

I have heard of post-trail depression - heck - I suffered from it. But is there such a thing as post-Trail Days Festival depression? This past weekend was Trail Days in Damascus, Virginia. It is the largest Appalachian Trail festival in the world. It's one giant tramily (trail family) reunion. And despite the rain this year, it was a fantastic time. I hated to leave, in fact, I had to hold back tears as we were loading the last of our things into the truck.


Bruce and I were speaking with a neighbor this week about our trip and she said, "Wow, I can tell your heart is filled with love!" And that is exactly what the Appalachian Trail and Trail Days Festival does, it fills you with love. Outsiders think it is just a walk in the woods followed by a drunken fest, but it is so much more. Last week's blog brought you up to date on our pre-Trail Days adventures. This week I will spread some love from the actual event.


I have so much to share, but will curb the urge to throw it all at you in a single post - unlike what I did to you last week. In a nutshell though, Trail Days 2024 was amazing. It rained Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Sunday was the only nice day. But that didn't bother the hikers, we are used to it and it didn't seem to keep the visitors away either.


Hikers and visitors alike were interested in my stories. I am so thankful for all of you who stopped by our tent to listen to me carry on about my adventures. Sorry about the technical dilemma with the screening of Walking Home. We will have that corrected for next year. I am humbled by your kindness and words of affirmation. You say my story changed your life, well, it's you that keeps me going. Thank you.


This was our third year in a row attending Trail Days in Damascus, Virginia. In the past upon returning home I dedicated several posts to reviewing and sharing fellow authors' and artisans' work. I would like to repeat that this year. I love to support and promote others. I have several to report about, so look forward to that in my upcoming blog posts.


Leading off will be a print I bought from a fellow hiker from the class of 2015 and 2017, both years I hiked, and thanks to her reminding me, we meet in both years when we hiked the Appalachian Trail. Her name is Alina Drufovka and you can find more about her at her website Abstracthikes.com.


Last year when I saw her work, I fell in love with it. I tend to be more of a pastel and botanical type of gal. But her art has a vibe that draws you in with its vibrant colors and energy. She is able to capture the emotion of the trail and the human connectivity to earth. It's simple amazing. In 2023 I only bought a small sticker. This year I had to have a print. I would love an original one day.


Alina calls this piece Grow with the flow. It is so fitting for me. I have a photograph titled Grow where you are planted. Both pretty much sum up the same advice. Grow in whatever situation you are in. That is what the A.T. has taught me. I used to be so uptight and unforgiving - you know - the hard-headed type. It isn't much fun to live life that way. I would like to think that personality trait has left the building but it does resurface once in a while.


Now, when I am missing the trail and or I am missing my Trail Days tramily, I can glance at this print by Alina @Abstract.Hikes to stiffle any post-Trail Days Festival depression that may start to fester. When you have some free time, or need to destress, jump on over to her website, abstracthikes.com to check out her work. You will be so glad you did.


Happy Hiking.


Emily




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