October 18 – Clover to South Boston

Day 21. 500 mile journey to Salem. Clover, VA to South Boston, VA. 18.3 miles. 54,000 steps. Gorgeous fall day. Mild hills. High 71. About 120 miles left! Tomorrow morning we cross into NC and will next sleep in Roxboro! Another fast paced walk today through more gorgeous scenery. This VA land speaks to you through a profoundly meaningful voice. You can hear and feel the history – the people who have lived and worked here, the crops and livestock they have raised here, the special place this land has held (and still does) in our country’s collective journey. We all feel deeply honored to have walked here, to have felt the wind and rain, to have witnessed the beauty, and to have experienced the kindness of her people. Thank you, VA, for allowing us to share, on this very personal level, your beauty in all of its components. Though a relatively quiet day, we were startled late this morning to see 3 sheriff’s cars, lights flashing, converge on Yvonne, and then Marcia and me! Someone had called them concerned for our safety that, “a van was following us!” We assured them that not only true, but vital!! Though really funny in one way, was also good to know they cared! But, worried about Lisa???!!! We walked right through lunch again today, opting for ice cream instead, or in my case also a chili dog!!! I was personally in a state of complete bliss!! Dinner together in our own room at Darby’s Tavern at the Berry Hill Resort. The tavern was extremely reminiscent of Old Salem! A great dinner and lots of laughter later (hear giggling and belly laughter), and we headed for the hotel for bed. A shout out today to our production crew, Alex and Jennida, who are working tirelessly to document this journey and capture footage for a documentary and numerous other potential Salem pieces. Thank you!!! Good night, all! We’ll be waving at you as we cross into NC in the morning!!! mysalemjourney. #journey2salem

Lucy Rose C’76

Day 21 and about 19 miles! Clover, VA to South Boston, VA. Another cold start to the day, so I dressed in four layers to manage.

Today we finished our last full day in Virginia! We have been in Virginia for 13 days! Contrast to our first 8 days which were Pennsylvania and Maryland. So Virginia is really where we have bonded as a team, established our routines, and learned how to pound hot pavement each day. Even our most experienced team hikers and runners have said how hard our terrain, temperatures, and traffic have been on these country roads. Looking forward to more sidewalks once we are in densely populated North Carolina. Although that might still be a few days in until we see that.

Excitement of the day was when two Sheriff vehicles sped down the road past me. (I was walking alone at this point, far ahead of our main group trying to warm myself up with early morning speed.) It was odd to see them with lights on in a hurry since I’d not seen any action except barking dogs, soybeans, barns, horses and one stop sign. What emergency could possibly require them? Later I discovered that someone called the police to report that our group was being “followed by a van” and they were concerned for the walkers safety! You know you have a great support van when it is misconstrued as a stalker!

Welcome to the Dan River! We crossed it twice! Once outside of town and once after arriving in South Boston. We also saw our first sign for North Carolina which is only about 10 miles away.

We celebrated the end of our last full day in Virginia with lunch at a roadside soda shop. I had a fried bologna sandwich with chocolate ice cream.

Thank you, Virginia, for the Mountain Views, ridge lines, county roads, farms, many river crossings and friendly drivers who courteously drove slowly around us when there was no shoulder. I’ll miss this country. #mysalemjourney

– Frances Cronlund C’98

Wow! This was our last full day in VA. Tomorrow we cross into NC. Gorgeous weather and beautiful country roads made for another great day! We were greeted by so many sweet doggies along the way. Some more curious than others, but all adorable. Excitement is growing as we near our next state line. Can’t believe that it is one week from tomorrow when we enter Salem Square. We have 121 miles officially remaining. My Strava app shows that I have walked 408.90 so far. Crossing into 400 territory is exciting for this girl!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉🏃‍♀️💜💛 (Thank you, Frances, for sharing your Strava map with me today. Mine malfunctioned, sadly.) #mysalemjourney #journey2salem

– Debbie Faires A’82

Strava Map – Day 21

October 17 – Keysville to Randolph

Day 20!! 500 mile Journey to Salem. Keysville, VA to Randolph, VA. 18.6 miles. 54,000 steps. High temperature 67. Bright blue sky. Rolling hills. Great rural roads for walking. Stunning farm scenery. Only 138 miles to go!! Fast pace today. The team walked like a well-oiled machine, due, at least in part, to the gorgeous weather, scenery, and truly ideal road conditions. We walked straight through (with a couple of stretch breaks), determining to have lunch after we completed the walk. We passed a family decorating their yard to celebrate their Dad’s 35th birthday. We told the children to tell their dad happy birthday from us (he wasn’t outside when we passed). In just a couple of minutes we heard him shouting after us, “Thank You!” It was a really delightful encounter. We watched a carnival pass by on trucks during our stretch break at the Drake’s Branch Dollar General, and met an elderly gentleman land owner who wanted our drone (not really ours, one of his own!) to monitor hunting on his property. We loved his curiosity! Several of us discussed, while walking, the power of breaking seemingly impossible tasks or dreams into manageable pieces – how the impossible becomes the possible. How do you walk from Pennsylvania to North Carolina? Not by thinking about the 500 miles, but by thinking one day at a time. Anything is possible if imagined through the “best” lens. Lunch was in a very rural general store, prepared with love by the owner on a flat top grill, our food customized to order. She called her “regulars” by name, took care of their food needs, and uplifted all with her wonderful attitude. She fills a critical niche, connecting communities in our rural landscape, as do thousands like her across the country. It was an honor to participate in her normal day. We arrived at our hotel earlier than normal and have taken full advantage of a little extra rest while also catching up on laundry. Numerous sore feet, some persistent blisters, some painful ankles, but all in all a strong day. Hope everyone had a great weekend! Good night and sleep well. We really look forward to seeing many of you at Salem really soon now! #mysalemjourney. #journey2salem

– Lucy Rose C’76

Day 20 Journey to Salem! Today, we walked like a well oiled machine! The cool temps made it seem so easy! And, starting tonight, we have 2 nights in the same hotel, which makes this stop feel restful already. Loved walking on the back country roads again today. Weather was perfect. 🌞🏃‍♀️💜💛💙 #mysalemjourney #journey2salem

– Debbie Faires A’82

Strava Map – Day 20

October 16 – Farmville to Keysville

Day 19. 500 mile Journey to Salem. Farmville, VA to Keysville, VA. About 19 miles. 54,000 steps. High 81. Sunshine AM to pouring rain to light steady rain PM. The day stared out simply gorgeous!! Wonderful walk out of Farmville with Liz and Kevin joining us (and Elizabeth was with us a second day!!) hugely anticipating the High Bridge crossing!! After a gorgeous 4 mile walk on the trail, the bridge did not disappoint!! Unreal!! Such rich train, transportation, and civil war history, while today providing the ultimate in hiking experience. Breathtaking! Our videographers/documentarians were there to capture all of it, so you will see much more of this one day!! The morning walk was spectacular. We adopted a rather leisurely pace to fully enjoy it. We walked about 13 miles before lunch, so we’re ready for our GREAT picnic when we stopped. As always, Lisa chose a perfect spot and provided a super picnic!! Shortly after we got back on the trail, the wind picked up and the clouds turned dark. Then, the heavens opened and it poured rain, the first really heavy rain of our journey. Lisa extracted us from the road, concerned about lightning. However, as the rain turned from a downpour to soaking one, and the lightening fear passed, we quickly headed back out to finish our walk. We spent much of that last 3 miles singing – or at least having fun trying!! The sunset tonight was nothing short of spectacular, the buffet dinner off the charts. Really, fried chicken just does not get any better – and all of the vegetables!!! Even the 18 miles did not work off the calories I ate tonight!! Reflecting tonight on a woman, Tayda, who works at our tonight’s motel – the epitome of professionalism, grace, and hard work. She did everything from checking us in, to running the restaurant, to serving in the restaurant, to answering our many questions, and so much more. And she did ALL of that with patience, kindness, and positivity. Sometimes, “thank you” just seems so inadequate… Hope all of you had a wonderful Saturday and wish you a fabulous Sunday! You know where to find us!! We’ll be on the road to Randolph, VA!! #mysalemjourney. #journey2salem

Lucy Rose C’76

Day 19 Journey to Salem. Just past 370 miles!!! A little rain this afternoon didn’t slow us down. In fact, it was refreshing after the morning sun. The High Bridge was AMAZING!!! Beautiful sunrise from the window of my hotel in FarmVille, VA this morning, and a gorgeous sunset from outside my motel room in Keysville, VA. #mysalemjourney #journey2salem

– Debbie Faires A’82

October 15 – Buckingham to Farmville

Day 18 and 20 miles Walking from Buckingham VA to Farmville VA. We only have 160 miles left on our 500 mile journey!

Today’s course was full of cows and views of the George Washington National Forest and a bit of the Shenandoah Mountains still to our West. We are in the middle of nowhere in the middle of Virginia. Another day with no stores, gas stations but plenty of homes with barking dogs! In every county, cows seem most curious of our presence staring at us as we walk. This is where magic happens on a long distance hikes. Few cars, few distractions, even fewer decisions—just moving forward and enjoying the fresh air.

At mile 10 we were in Prospect, VA where we entered the High Bridge Trail and followed it all the way to downtown Farmville, VA. While on the trail in Prospect we were startled by several rounds of shotguns shooting near us! Thank goodness my very loud whistle was on my pack and I used it so the shooters knew we were nearby! Lucy Rose used her whistle too! Although we think they could see us because we could almost see them. So glad I had my whistle with me- first time in 9 years as a trail walker/runner that I’ve actually had to use it. It reminded me of the portion of the 1766 journal when the relief wagon was looking for them, far away, and the walkers cracked their whips to signal their location.

Farmville is a friendly downtown and representatives from Longwood University gave us a big welcome hot off the trail! They are the oldest public university in Virginia and found our journey to be worth a meet and greet! That was so encouraging!

Like many towns right now, there are staffing shortages. We were sad that it affected our very nice hotel in Farmville; their restaurant and bar were closed for the night!

Frances Cronlund C’98

Day 18. 500 mile Journey to Salem. Buckingham, VA to Farmville, VA. About 20 miles. 59,000 steps. Sunny, but shady where we walked. 83 degree high. Rolling hill start, relatively flat second half. Gorgeous sunrise to greet the morning. Simply stunning! That was an especially welcome sight after a challenging logistical evening – very few bathrooms, the steepest and longest of stairs, and my having to do a high jump to get into bed were just a few examples! But all in good fun and perspective! Thanks to Elizabeth Gulley for a great journal reading this morning and for her incredible positive force all day!! The days continue to provide some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in the world, today being no exception. In contrast, our peaceful walk was broken today by two gun shots about 5 minutes apart, the second one closer than the first. Needless to say, more than scary, especially as we were in a park with no hunting and had no idea about the source. We put on bright vests and blew whistles to ensure the shooters knew we were humans!! All ok, clearly and thankfully!! Our walk on the High Bridge Trail was nothing short of spectacular – quiet, fallen leaves crunching underfoot, the peace only occasionally broken by a passing bicyclist. We so look forward to continuing on it tomorrow and seeing the historical bridge! We loved walking into Farmville and LOVED our greeting from new friends from Longwood University!!! How how very special!! This is another wonderful VA Main Street town. Our hotel is lovely, Longwood is a beautiful school with an incredible history of educating women, and the people here have been wonderful!! For many of us, the day ended with a wonderful Mexican dinner, where we were joined by Elizabeth Denton Baird and Kevin, who are walking with us tomorrow!! We are thrilled to welcome them back to the trail!! Each day brings us closer to home. We are loving every minute of this, but also so excited to see you soon!! Have a terrific weekend!! #mysalemjourney. #journey2salem

Lucy Rose C’76

Day 18 Journey to Salem
Another gorgeous (hot) Fall day!
Met more friendly dogs along the way. Loved the shade on the High Bridge Trail that took us into the cute town of Farmville. I have to add that the elevation map on Strava surprised me. My perception was that it looked like we were going UP hill on the High Bridge Trail. Clearly, we were not. 🤣🏃‍♀️ #mysalemjourney #journey2salem

Debbie Faires A’82

Strava Map – October 15

October 14 – Scottsville to Buckingham

Day 17 and 22 miles from the James River in Scottsville, VA to Buckingham, VA. We are over 320 miles into our journey with only 180 miles remaining.

Today’s weather started with fog so dense we considered delaying our start time. So glad we started at 7:30am as planned — those first few hours were the coolest part of the day! By noon the sun heated up and afternoon temperatures in mid 80s. We pressed through until 4pm when we arrived at our country Inn. We were hot and oh so tired.

For the first time, google maps re-routed us incorrectly. Our esteemed managers, Holt and Lisa, noticed we were on the wrong road and swept in and picked us up! Felt like we were on a reconnaissance mission when the van pulled up beside us country road walkers and said, “Quick, get in!” After a few miles re-routing us (plus lunch) we were back on the right road. Not sure why google maps changed what we had programmed in, but glad we had watchful eyes looking out for us.

Virginia’s natural history is bountiful and the Shenandoah Mountains to the west captivated us all day. We are loving every day lately because of the still woods, rolling hills, occasional barking dog or the two that decided to join us! We did see a few ambulances today for reasons we never discovered.

The country Inn where we are staying has, not lying, 10 different staircases. That doesn’t include the front porch steps. Strange and very inconvenient for hauling luggage after a 22 mile walk! But so thankful that @presidentsummermcgee surprised us with a hearty gift basket full of chocolate, fruit, cheese, crackers— thanks to her generosity, we made an impromptu cocktail hour in the Inn’s kitchen and it lifted our spirits greatly.

We are starting to count down the days and miles now. The middle of Virginia reminds me of middle Tennessee where I grew up and I have been soaking up these days of picnics and watered many, many trees. No main streets, no strip malls or even country stores! Occasionally we see stop signs. We are going to miss this part of our journey for its peace and simplicity.

– Frances Cronlund C’98

Day 17. 500 mile Journey to Salem. Scottsville, VA to Buckingham, VA. About 22 miles. 62,800 steps. Very foggy start. Overcast to strong sun later. High 81 degrees. Welcome back, Yvonne!!! Really foggy start. Delayed leaving for 15 minutes or so. Then decided to walk out to the main road, hoping more clear as we left the river. We all wore safety vests and were prepared to ride to a clearer spot if necessary. But, all determined good to go, though still very foggy, after reaching the main road. Roads kindly quiet this morning, allowing us to feel safe AND hear the sound of condensation dripping off the leaves in the forest. Sounded just like rain. Entrancing. And, the spider webs – everywhere. All over the ground, in the trees, on the fencing. A cornucopia of nature for the senses! Really quiet walk today, save the dogs that followed us early. They loved us and wanted to join our team, we think. In doing so, though, they put themselves in danger on the road, prompting Holt to call their owners to “rescue” them! They were great companions while they shared our road. We talk while we walk, sing songs, dance, and ideate. Sometimes we are totally quiet, lost in thought, or digging deep for strength to complete. Sometimes we walk alone, sometimes all together, sometimes 2×2, sometimes, other configurations. We’ve solved problems, created business plans, pondered leadership, discussed global cultures, discussed our favorite spices and herbs and foods, discussed childhoods and families, learned a whole lot about each other, and talked a lot about Salem – a whole lot about Salem – both the Academy and the College. We share a common love and appreciation of all that she gave us… Lunch was a delightful picnic at a Baptist church – probably the only picnic spot within a 10 mile radius AND Lisa found it!! The day really heated up after lunch, making those last 9 miles especially challenging. But the roads and scenery, breathtaking- again! We are all rather exhausted tonight. Staying at a B&B in Buckingham (original courthouse designed by Thomas Jefferson!) tonight – Maysville Manor. We were joined late this afternoon by Elizabeth Gulley, C’87! Hooray! We had an incredible gift basket waiting for us here from our Salem President, Dr. Summer McGee. It was wonderful and truly perfect timing!! Dinner at a local Italian restaurant in Dillwyn (Pino), followed by immediate quiet and sleep – again, not a sound in the house. Another long day tomorrow, but we are getting closer and closer. Now only about 170 miles away!! Sleep well all.

– Lucy Rose C’76

Strava Map Oct 14

October 13 – Zion Crossroads to Scottsville

Day 16. 500 mile Journey to Salem. Zion Crossroads, VA to Scottsville, VA. About 13.5 miles. 42,000 steps. Overcast to sunny. High 81. Mildly hilly. We slept in an extra hour and a half today, as the walk was shorter. Was a real treat after the 22 mile walk yesterday! Kendall did a theatrical reading of the journal today, supported by strong acting from her dad! So fun!! We were delighted Jane and Kendall walked with us again today! We learned that the original girls/women crossed the James TODAY in 1766, just as we did – though not in the same manner. We felt that historical connection all day, quite strongly, actually, referring to it often. The walk went quite quickly today, as we were again surrounded by the beauty of rural Virginia and walked on simply perfect byways. We continue to be amazed, even overwhelmed, by the kindness and generosity of those whom we meet. As often happens, Lisa was kind enough to set us up with a great picnic lunch – today with fried chicken!- in a church parking lot, today Antioch Baptist Church. Only this day, staff was there. So Lisa asked permission for us to be there. The administrative assistant, Amanda, came outside to greet us and provided two gift bags. The minister, David, blessed us with a beautiful prayer. AND, they allowed us to use their lovely facilities!! David even asked to buy us all dinner, which was simply incredible – though we politely refused. Their interest in our journey and genuine kindness will stick with us forever. While walking very shortly thereafter, a VA highway patrolman approached us with his lights flashing! After a brief moment of FEAR, we realized all was fine. Through a smile, he asked where we were going and shared with us that he was from Pennsylvania, near Bethlehem. A fist bump and a few supportive words later, and he was on his way, leaving a great sigh of relief behind. Lots of loudly barking dogs, cows watching our every move, and rolling hills later, and we were in Scottsville. After checking out the town’s history (was here when the original walk came through!) and floods in a great local park, we ended our walk at James River Brewery, ordered Chinese take out, and headed to the James River Inn, our home for the evening. The view was spectacular, our Chinese food great, and the company exquisite! Yvonne rejoined us tonight and treated us to s’mores for dessert! Hooray for both!! My husband, Mac, and our daughter, Kate joined us for dinner. What a TREAT!! And, each of us had a personalized gift in our rooms sent by Kate, our walking buddy for the first 11 or 12 days, via Yvonne. That was simply overwhelming. Really. Everyone of us had tears in our eyes and thank her so much. There are not adequate words. As I write this, the inn is silent. We are the only ones here tonight and everyone else is asleep. Before I join them, I want to again say thanks to everyone. Deep thanks. For your support, of us, but more importantly, for Salem, and all of the girls and women she has, and will impact. We are all one, every Salem alum, bonded with super glue. And together, we can all do anything, just as Salem taught us. Salem PROUD. Night all. Tomorrow comes early.

– Lucy Rose C’76

Passed the 300 mile mark!!!😍

– Elizabeth Wade C’88

Welcome to the James River! Day 16, About 14 miles from Zion Crossroads, VA to Scottsville, VA

Just like yesterday, our country roads were quiet with no restrooms, restaurants, or any store. We had a picnic lunch at Antioch Baptist Church where Pastor David was very generous with their facilities and was interested in all the details of our journey and provided lots of inspiration and encouragement to us. We finished our day at the James River Brewery and James River Inn- breathtaking views that put me in awe of Virginia’s natural history. #mysalemjourney

– Frances Cronlund

Strava Map – Day 16

October 12 – Gordonsville to Zion Crossroads

Day 15. 500 mile journey to Salem. Gordonsville, VA To Zion Crossroads, VA. About 21 miles. 64,000 steps. Mildly hilly. Very rural (not even a general store in sight!). High temp 69. Overcast. We sadly said goodbye this morning to our college class of ‘80 friends, our Salem team (Katherine and Shari) and Desiree! We so loved having all of you join us and missed you on our walk today. We also said goodbye to Betsy Brantley and Susan Garrett, our hosts extraordinaire for the last several days, and Academy ‘73 grads. We will miss you so much and are so grateful for your many kindnesses!!! And, we were delighted to welcome Jane and Kendall, mother and daughter – Jane and Holt are life long friends! We walked out of Wolftrap Farm today lead by a parade of Flow Audi cars driven by members of C’80! Our video team worked their magic and put together a short video to celebrate Flow Audi’s sponsorship of our journey! Our walk today was totally rural, save walking through Gordonsville – not even a general store in sight until we reached Zion Crossing! We met some interesting people along the way – in passing cars who slowed down and from front porches- who loved our story. One lady even stopped us from her car to warn us about a black bear sighting in the area! Am reflecting tonight on this journey and the elite athletes I have the honor of teaming with. These women trained hard, are focused, disciplined, work through excruciating pain, take care of each other, and walk close to a marathon every single day – a rather Herculean feat. Make no mistake, though the photos always show everyone smiling and having a great time (and we are!) there are very hard hours and days as well. One of our team had an enormous blister today that engulfed her entire toe, for instance, and still completed the entire 22 mile walk. I am profoundly proud to be a part of this team, who also love to be with those who join us along the way, give selflessly of themselves to promote Salem and her impact on developing women as leaders for 250 years (and all of those to come!) have opened their lives and hearts to our video team to enable documenting this event for history, and who are all simply wonderful humans. And, the same is true for our team leaders, Holt and Lisa, without whom NONE of this would be possible!! Thanks to all of you for joining us along the way, walking virtually with us, and following our journey! Salem Proud!!
#mysalemjourney. #journey2salem

– Lucy Rose C’76

Day 15, 22 miles from Gordonsville, VA to Zion Crossroads, VA.

Started our day with a walk through downtown #gordonsvilleva to meet my fiends, Garrick and Anais Gupton for coffee. This helped with homesickness to see familiar faces, hugs, and make plans for a future meetup.

Onward through thick countryside – our fourth day of its kind with nary a bathroom or country store all day. We sure find quiet, scenic routes! Many locals throw up a friendly wave as they drive by or from front porches. Barking dogs in many front yards look on us curiously as we walk nearby. When folks inquire about our journey, we have a QR code we share.

Our day ended at a hotel that offered both a hot tub and pool!  I positioned myself between the two, swinging my legs from hot to cold for an hour while hydrating.

– Frances Cronlund C’98

Day 15 Journey to Salem
Departed Wolftrap Farm this morning, saying goodbye to our fabulous alumnae support. And we walked. It’s what we do. Loved visiting with our new walkers today, Jane and her daughter Kendall. They added a lot of great energy!! 🏃‍♀️🤣💜💛 #mysalemjourney #journey2salem

– Debbie Faires A’82

October 11 – Orange to Gordonsville

Day 14.  500 Mile Journey to Salem. Orange, VA to Gordonsville, VA. About 10 miles. 36,000 steps. Overcast skies. Hilly. High 71. We had about 15 walkers today, our largest number since Bethlehem! AND, we had a GREAT time!! As this was a shorter mile day, we started the day touring the grounds of Montpelier, the home of James Madison.  Absolutely gorgeous and well preserved, I strongly suggest adding this incredible piece of history to your tour of this area. Numerous photos in this post. We then walked several stunning and serene miles to our picnic spot on the land of one of Betsy’s friends. Lunch was a catered box lunch feast, again executed by Betsy (can you tell we LOVE Betsy???!! – with help from her Academy classmate – Susan Garrett) – as you can tell, we loved the picnic format AND the food!! After another amazing afternoon walk, we arrived at Wolftrap Farm, our home for the night! We were greeted by horses and cows as we walked into the property – the perfect welcoming committee!! Some of our group enjoyed the hot tub, some toured the property by golf cart, and some simply sat and soaked in the scenery.  We had a wonderful lecture on James Madison by Hillary, followed by an INCREDIBLE BBQ dinner (also by Betsy), complete with slaw, cornbread, broccoli salad, collard greens and even miniature pumpkin muffins! DELICIOUS!! All in all, just about a perfect day! This Journey team of volunteers and supporters is astounding in every way. It was especially rewarding to host Katherine Knapp Watts today (and her classmates, friends, brother), Salem’s leader of all things 250. What a wonderful job she has done creating the magic…  thanks to her, and to everyone involved, for making this happen. And, once again, thanks to Holt Long Morris, our orchestra conductor, for her expert use of the magic wand!
#mysalemjourney. #journey2salem

– Lucy Rose C’76

Day 14 Journey to Salem. Fun short day today! 2 weeks complete🎉 🏃‍♀️🎉🌞💜💛
Started by touring the beautiful gardens of James Madison’s house, Montpelier. Loved having some more Salem folks join us for the day!! Delicious picnic lunch provided by our fabulous VA hostess, Betsy Brantley. #mysalemjourney #journey2salem

Debbie Faires A’82

Day 14 and 10 miles… a rest day. We walked from Montpelier (James Madison home) to WolfTrap Farm.

The Montpelier trails were steep, colorful, and very quiet. We enjoyed a picnic on the pasture of a Montpelier neighbor. Many single day walkers joined us which made the day far more full and interesting. Salem Alums always seem to make fast friends with anyone and especially each other.

Our embedded PBS Documentary team now has a camera drone which has become the talk of the trail. We are still getting used to them being around us all the time. When I had to “water a tree” on the trail this morning I asked that they stop rolling. Of course they have been wonderful professionals. I’m enjoying learning more about all their equipment!

The #wolftrapfarm accommodations are probably my favorite so far! The quiet setting is set far off the main road with friendly quarter horses, cows, geese, and dogs. We have a golf cart to get around!

My thoughts are with my home and family more than ever on this long holiday weekend. I have missed my daughter’s Fall break @salemacademy, my son’s soccer tournament, my Aunt’s 70th birthday, and decorating for Halloween with my husband. I was looking forward to a once and a lifetime chance to “go back to college” for a month long “Jan term” like immersive experience— which apparently includes homesickness. Just like college I am learning a lot, stretching my boundaries, meeting new people and forging lifelong friendships. To gain all this, it’s been tough to let go of my familiar life.  #mysalemjourney #arewethereyet #hiking #virginiaisforlovers

– Frances Cronlund C’98

Strava Map – Day 14