Final stretch thoughts from friends and family

Photo galleries by Becky Rentz

Mazie Lynn Guertin Causey‎

It has been a wonderful distraction to follow your expedition this summer. The mental toughness you have shown, not to mention the physical, has been incredible. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. You are courageous in so many ways… ways that were made tangible with this hike. Congratulations to you. I am only sorry I could not see your face and hug your neck as you wrapped up this momentous effort today. Hugs from afar to you.

Paula Chambers

"Susan Cashmere Hornbuckle... finished her epic journey. This is her log in the AT trail book when she finished today. Congratulations Cashmere!!"

“Susan Cashmere Hornbuckle… finished her epic journey. This is her log in the AT trail book when she finished today. Congratulations Cashmere!!”

Susan Paraska

Dear Susan “Cashmere” Hornbuckle, saying thank you are too small of words for the joy and wonder that you brought to us through your remarkable journey along the Appalachian Trail. The memory of this summer will be forever. I am especially honored to have been part of the last three days as you made your summit to Springer Mountain with so many of those who care deeply for you and have shared many, many good times with you. Continue to live well and be happy!

Janice Dehaye Anderson

thank you so much for sharing your journey. you did such an amazing job and still had time to share with all of us. congrats on an amazing accomplishment!

Day 112 (Hogpen Gap to Gooch Gap)

I hung my hammock at this site on Wolf Laurel Top on December 30, 2013. It was the first overnight backpacking trip I had taken in over 30 years and the first ever solo backpacking trip. Thirty years ago we used to talk about thru hiking the Appalachian Trail. It was on our bucket list but school, careers, and family came first. That solo trip to Wolf Laurel Top rekindled the fire. However, I almost never started. I only had 95 days off from work. It was a crazy idea! I knew this and others reinforced that it was crazy. Hahaha. But now, here I sit…..only 35 miles from being a legitimate thru hiker. It has been an incredible adventure! — feeling fabulous.

final-stretch

Days 109, 110 and 111 (Winding Stair Gap to the Nantahala Outdoor Center)

This section was completed Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 1-3, 2015.

Winding Stair Gap to the Nantahala Outdoor Center. First BPing for Laura and last shake-down hike for me. Excellent weekend fun!

Yummy breakfast to celebrate the end to our fun weekend. — with Laura Pound and Martha Johnson at Rivers End Restaurant On The Nantahala River.

Yummy breakfast to celebrate the end to our fun weekend. — with Laura Pound and Martha Johnson at Rivers End Restaurant On The Nantahala River.

Special Edition: Friends

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So glad to be celebrating the last couple of miles of my friend’s final journey on the Appalachian Trail. She has put in over 2,175 miles in a little over 100 days. Crazy and quite a feat!!! She rocks! Welcome home Susan Cashmere Hornbuckle! It has been an amazing fun time watching your trip!

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So as the excitement goes up for Susan Cashmere Hornbuckle s finale, I thought it would be fun to tell about the ‘Resuppies.’ Margaret Taylor and I sent 14 boxes to Susan in various ways… mostly Fed Ex to designated spots that Susan had pre-planned. As we mailed them, I just really hoped they would be there waiting for her when she arrived… afterall, it was her food supply 🙂

Some boxes were full of fun gifts and such… people brought me things to send… like Susan Kicak and Laura Spence… great gifts. It was fun to be on the pulse of things and I enjoyed the boxes and bags of food begin to dwindle as they had sort of overtaken Emily Cox’s room… but since she doesn’t actually live here anymore it was fine. We did have to keep the fur people out or that would have just been sad. It was super fun supporting… welcome home!!!

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We’re back after a lovely weekend in the Smokies. We went to help our friend Susan Cashmere Hornbuckle with her through hike of the Appalachian Trial which was great fun. We also took a trail ride, dropped some cash at the casino in Cherokee, NC and enjoyed some amazing views.

My friend Susan Cashmere Hornbuckle is about to complete her hike of the Appalachian Trial, all 2,160 miles of it. We went up to the mountains this weekend to help shuttle her, her sister and their friend to the starting point of their hikes and drive their cars to the end points. It was much fun to play a small role in Susan’s adventure.

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I had the chance to run/hike on Friday with Susan Cashmere Hornbuckle as she is reaching the end of her thru hike of the Appalachian Trail. We went over Clingman’s Dome the highest point on the AT to Newfound Gap – almost 9 miles. Great chance to visit and learn more about her experiences.

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Ready to join you for one day of your AT odyssey through the smokies. Sorry no donuts, but I baked toffee chocolate chip bars. They’re vegan! Can’t promise that the bacon is vegan though…

Ready to join you for one day of your AT odyssey through the smokies. Sorry no donuts, but I baked toffee chocolate chip bars. They're vegan! Can't promise that the bacon is vegan though...

Ready to join you for one day of your AT odyssey through the smokies. Sorry no donuts, but I baked toffee chocolate chip bars. They’re vegan! Can’t promise that the bacon is vegan though…

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Critter count for yesterday: herd of elk and a couple flocks of turkeys on the way to Clingman’s Dome. Two bears, a red eft and a non-poisonous snake (not even worth counting) on the AT. And two marvelous sisters who graciously shared their trail adventures with me. 🙂