leahmanth.typepad.com > Jodi Hikes Across America for NF


Before the hike, they sent me a wonderful care package, including colorful pictures of me on my hike. Over the eight months, I also received e-mails periodically from the entire family. John would write a paragraph, followed by Linda. Then Erin, Chris, and Leah would follow with questions and stories of their own. Linda told me that she would actually read parts of my trail journal to the kids before putting them to bed each night. I also was able to help Leah with her Flat Stanley school project. Flat Stanley accompanied me through parts of OH, IN, and KY. It was very special for me to share my hike with them all along the way. Knowing that I was a distant part of loving families, like the Manth family, kept me hiking on the difficult days.

My hike finished on November 8th. I headed home for ten days to take care post-hike business and then I found myself back on the road again. I visited my hiking partner, Josh, in Gettysburg, PA over Thanksgiving. I had heard about Leah's upcoming surgery shortly after I finished hiking and I couldn't stop thinking about her. I knew she was an awesome little girl and I wanted to meet her!