06 September 2010

"Hiking Maryland and Delaware"

Mom was an avid hiker and backpacker.  The energy, time, enthusiasm, and love that I put into theater, she put into being on trails, maintaining trails, and promoting enjoying the outdoors.  I've been saying for a while of our two obsessive hobbies, hers was the smarter because it meant that she spent beautiful days outdoors, while I spend them shut up in windowless rooms.

So I was very touched to run across this letter in Mom's first edition of Hiking Maryland and Virginia by David Lillard and Chris Reiter:
August 24, 2000

Ms. Ann Hall

Dear Ann,

Thank you so much for allowing Ed and me to use your library of trail resources in the research for "Hiking Maryland and Delaware." The books were a tremendous help to us. We were able to include in the book a combination of many hikes that had not before appeared in a single source.

I want you to know also how much I appreciate your dedication and service to the hiking community over these many years. I understand that you are not able these days to put in the kind of "sweat equity" that you once offered. I hope you will be heartened to know your kind assistance on this book is itself a wonderful service to hikers. It will help thousands of novice hikers discover the outdoors that you have so lovingly stewarded.

Enclosed is a copy of Hiking Maryland and Delaware, a small token of my appreciation for your help.

With sincere thanks,

/s/ David
David Lillard
AHS President 1994 - 2000

The first edition was dedicated to all of the people who have done trail maintenance and all of the other volunteering that keeps the trails available for anyone who wants to walk them.

It was the dedication in the second edition (2006) that made me cry. I don't cry very often, but this made me get the kind of teary where you can't talk for a couple of minutes, which was inconvenient because I was reading the dedication out loud to Mom, just so that she could hear it again.
For Ann Hall. When her legs failed her, she did her volunteer trail work from her bottom, sitting in the trail to cut brush, clear water bars, and tend the path. How she got herself so far into the woods no one can imagine. That's love.

And it's inscribed: Dear Ann, You have inspired more than you know. With appreciation, David

And David* and I used the second edition today planning our hike at Little Bennett Park.

Need a good book on hiking in Maryland and Delaware? I have one that I can recommend.

*my David, not Lillard

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