Prologue

 To paraphrase a classic opening line: Call me Killdeer, for that is the trailname I  gave myself. Normally, backpackers frown upon self bestowed trailnames, but everyone I have met thinks my trailname is cool after I  explain how I came up with it. So what is a trailname you ask ? Think of it as a nickname bestowed on you by your fellow hikers. Usually you get a trailname because of something you did or something about your personality.  I remember hearing a story about a hiker on the Appalachian Trail who decided ( in an effort to keep his packweight low ) to buy nothing but energy bars to eat for the next stretch of trail. It didn't go well and he was known thereafter as " PowerBar ".

So how did I  come by my trailname ? That story begins at about 4 PM on February 19, 2019, when my Mum died. Mum's health had been declining for a month or so, and I knew she didn't have much time left, but it still hurt. To be bluntly honest, within a couple months, I was starting to lose it. Then I read the book and watched the movie " Wild ", the true story of Cheryl Strayed,  who hiked 1000 miles of the PCT in 1995 ( NOTE to Parents: Do NOT let your teenaged daughters watch the first 30 minutes of the movie, it's rated R for a reason. You can thank me later). I figured if a hike worked for her, why not me ( to quote a sign I saw  recently: Hiking is cheaper than therapy ) ?

After doing some research and purchasing my gear, I  started hiking the Appalachian Trail on February 12, 2020. On February 23rd, my group was in town for a 4R ( Rest, Refit, Recharge and Resupply ), when I slipped going down some stairs, breaking a rib and a collarbone on the way down. In March of 2021 I had a "lightbulb moment" after hearing a Killdeer while walking around my neighborhood.  For those if you who are "Ornithologically Challenged" ( Shame on You ! Just kidding ) the Killdeer is a bird that nests on the ground and fakes having a broken wing to lead curious humans and preditors away from it's nest or young.

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