“He had a martial arts studio, a dojo if you will, and he was super accommodating. When he met us at the trail head it was just starting to spit rain. Long story short, we wound up staying for a week at this guy’s dojo for free. The hurricane hit and the snow started falling at night. When you’re doing this long distance hiking, you pack just enough stuff to get by. In the military you pack everything you might possibly need for any wild contingency plan you might have. Bottom line is, we were not ready for this snow.”
After a week of temperatures in the 50s, the group felt like the terrain might be to the point where could travel again. But when they started getting into the ridge lines near 4,000 feet, the snow drifts had them constantly walking in knee deep snow where they couldn’t even see the paint blazes along trees that helped define the trail.
Now home, Day has had a chance to reflect, still in awe about all of the support he got from back home during his time away.
“It’s easy to get jaded because all you hear in the media is about the conflict in the Middle East, and politics, and people thieving from churches, and child molesters and stuff like that,” he said. “And it’s easy to get jaded and think there’s not a whole lot of good left in the world. But I’ll tell you what, people in my community, the ones who supported the fundraiser, it just reinvigorated my hope that there are a lot of good people still out there.
“I was humbled and flattered by how much people have stepped up and it’s all the driving force behind this whole thing, my committee who’d meet,” he said of the American Legion, Sons of the American Legion, Post 331 in Brownsburg, the American Legion Riders, and others. “They’re the ones that kept this whole thing together while I was gone.”