What makes this challenge manageable is trail friends going through the same thing. Some of those connections are casual and short, others lasting. I have a friend. We see each other as “wing men,” meaning that we both like to hike alone but remain conscious of each other in case one of us gets in trouble. It felt great to see him saving a tent site for me when I finally got in tonight. Around the campfire we all like to share stories of our day. I don’t feel alone anymore. We are going to help each other make it. There seems to always be some who can help. Our group has an MD, a physical therapist and a shrink. We hiked 50 miles in 5 days. What fun!