Comment from Bob: Are there any trail groups or hiking clubs specifically designated for people over 50?
Pauley: Bob here’s an idea. Start a hiking club at http://www.aarp.org/online_community. It’s as easy as going to the site and initiating it. It will grow from there, wait and see.
Liles: Bob, I would suggest that you also use http://www.whiteblaze.com to seek advice and possibly form a group of your own. Use the power of the web to search out hiking clubs in your area.
Potteiger: Many A.T. clubs have groups that hike on a weekly or monthly basis that are targeted to older hikers. The “mid-week” hiking groups usually attract older hikers. Also, hikes billed for “slower hikers” often have a large percentage of older hikers. (But not all older hikers are slow!) These clubs can be found at http://www.appalachiantrail.org.
Comment from Justin: Joe, I've been surfing your website during this chat and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to hike the A.T. Thank you Joe and Laurie and thank you Jane for having this chat. I loved the segment!
Pauley: Well, it looks like it's already time to wrap things up. What a great chat today!
Liles: First of all, I would like to thank Jane and Laurie for joining me today for this live chat. Secondly, I want to thank all the folks at AARP and the Today Show for making it possible for me to share information about our wonderful Appalachian Trail. And thanks to all of you out there who have taken an interest in my story. It is a story that we all share in common. It is a story about how we can find happiness and fulfillment in life. You don’t have to hike the entire Appalachian Trail to find out how to do this. The answer is really in our own backyards, our neighborhoods, and most importantly, in our attitudes. Our attitude is the only thing each of us have control over. We can’t make it stop raining. We can’t make the traffic lights not turn red. We can’t make certain aggravating things about people and jobs just go away. But we can control our attitudes about these things. I hope you will join me in taking a positive attitude in our search for happiness and fulfillment on the trail that lies ahead. Check out my website at http://joeliles.chunkyboy.com.
Potteiger: Thanks, Jane and all you good folks at AARP for providing this opportunity for folks to learn more about the A.T. and “Braid’s” inspiring journey. It’s been a pleasure! The Appalachian Trail Conservancy works to ensure the A.T. remains a connected, protected footpath where people can continue to find renewal and inspiration.
Pauley: I'll bet Joe had no idea when he was setting up a tent in the driving rain that he'd ever have the opportunity to be an inspiration to so many of us. Thanks, Joe! And thank you, Laurie for taking good care of our national treasure, the Appalachian Trail.
We'll see you again on December 7 on the Today Show where I’ll be bringing you another great story about someone who is hearing their life calling in a new and different way.
Stay tuned to aarp.org/Jane for more resources and inspiring stories on reinvention.