Let me tell you…if these first couple of weeks in January are any indication of how my year is going to be…it will definitely be a wildly exciting, adventurous and successful year for me and all the people with whom I associate…join us!
We had our first 2012 hike on the 5 mile easy to moderate trail at Chicopee Woods which is located in Gainesville, GA behind the Elachee Nature Science Center. The weather was perfect. We had a great group of 25 hikers, including first timers. So, for 2012 we hiked our first collective 125 miles. Afterwards, a few of us went to one of our favorite places just a few miles north from where we were, Jaemor Farms on I-985, for fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables…and freshly made fried pies and ice cream…yeah, yeah, fried pies and ice cream, and now they have these great cake balls for only 99 cents. They were so delicious!!! This was our treat as we stood around eating our treats laughing and talking about the fun we had just experienced on the hike and other fun times! Although some had just met for the first time, it was like a group of old friends reminiscing and enjoying each others company.
Unexpected Meetup Promotion
I ordered new Hartfield’s Hikers promotional cards and a banner. They were received in time for our first hike of the year. In addition to posting the hike in the newsletter, I posted it on my Atlanta African American Adventurers Meetup as well as the Georgia Outdoor Stewards meetup, of which I am a co-organizer. Well, to my pleasant surprise, on Thursday, January 12, 2012, our group photo (with my brand new banner) was featured on the Meetup Homepage! Wow!!! That was really an unexpected bonus! Check this out…there are more than 92,000 local meetup groups, with 90,000 topics in 45,000 cities, holding 280,000 monthly meetings with 9.5 million members, and we were chosen! I was so busy getting ready for my weekend trip to Cumberland Island, I was unable to let people know we were featured, however, we were found by many!
Cumberland Island National Seashore Martin Luther King Jr., Service Weekend
Off to Cumberland Island the following day on Friday the 13th, (a GOOD Friday I must add) leaving the house at 5:15a. At the time, I was not sure how many Hartfield Hikers would be attending, once again, I was pleasantly surprised to see that of the total number of 60 for the weekend, 13 were through Hartfield’s Hikers, including Kristina who is a Special Education teacher and she brought 2 of her deaf students. Accolades to Kristina for giving them such a memorable experience! Some of us, including me, opted to camp out. We stayed at Hunt Camp. It is further north from where we met for meals and the cookouts. It was also quite a ways from where we camped last year, the campsite is located right across from Plum Hollow a Carnegie family member mansion which we were able to tour. All I can say is ‘awesome.’ You can view the Plum Hollow tour photos here. My camera battery needed to be re-charged near the end of the tour, that is why the last photo may seem a little odd.
Saturday morning, February 15th we split up into our service groups. The group to which I was a leader had a pretty good trail route. We cleaned and trimmed the trail that ended at the beach. We took a break there before we headed back for lunch, then over to the Dungeness ruins to cleanup. Check out our photos here. Included in these photos are when some of us went searching for shark’s teeth. I don’t anyone found any, but last year we found some and some other fascinating artifacts, including shells.
WCLK 91.9FM Radio Interview
I was been invited to be a guest on Kiplyn Primus’ radio show ‘The Local Take’ on WCLK 91.9FM, which airs on Saturday mornings, twice a month at 7:30a.m.. Show host Kiplyn Primus went on her first hike with Hartfield’s Hikers in December 2011. She told me as many times that she has hiked around Stone Mountain, she had never been on the Cherokee Trail which goes within the forest of Stone Mountain. When I as at the station for the taping, almost three weeks later, she told me she had been back on the Cherokee trail 3 times since hiking with us. On Friday evening after arriving at Cumberland Island, Stephen called to tell me he was listening to the show. Another pleasant surprise for me. I did not think it was going to air until Saturday morning. Our conversation was short because the reception on the island is not that strong. Then while we were out performing our service work and were near the shore where the reception is clear, I received several more calls from listeners inquiring about Hartfield’s Hikers. I mention this because I think it is amazing that the calls came through as I was at the shore where I could receive them with good reception…this is all a part of the ‘divine order’ of things. If I can get a copy of the interview, I will post it.
‘Just Get Serious’ Online Interview
We also had another interview for this month. Donna Satchell creator of the ‘Just Get Serious’ series and author of Just Get Serious About Success interviewed me for her online newsletter, 2012 New Year’s edition entitled Make This The Year You Find Your Passion! We talk about the fact that I was a girly city girl who had never really experienced the true enjoyment of the great outdoors as I did when I moved to Atlanta, and how my first and second hikes were the catalyst to me discovering a passion a did not know I had. As a result, I started Hartfield’s Hikers and have provided the opportunity for many others to discover their passion and dreams as a result of their eye-opening and mental clarity derived from hiking. The full interview is posted in Donna’s newsletter which can be found on her Just Get Serious web site.
On Track for a Year of Optimum Health and Wellness!
Some of you may know that I owned a small health food store chain when I lived in Detroit. It consisted of 3 stores and a cafe. I sold and/or closed them in 1991. Well, I was given an opportunity to start an online health and wellness store, Hartfield’s Healthy Haven. The products are superior. I know this because I have research the company and the quality of the products are second to none. I am being mentored in this endeavor by health and wellness icon, the legendary Dr. Shirley Carmack. And, I must say, as I am able to help people, which was my primary goal with the brick and mortar store, to help people attain and/or maintain optimal natural health and to be an OPALs role model at age 63, being very active and in optimal health with no chronic diseases and taking no pharmaceuticals nor over-the-counter drugs. Oh yeah, and I am feeling pretty good about taking finals for my first class for endeavor to become a Natural Health and Holistic Nutrition Practitioner.
I must say…no, I must shout I am truly “Living my Life to the Fullest!!!”