For Dawson County resident Kathy Fuller, it was tough getting such heartbreaking phone calls from her daughter.
“I’m hungry ... it’s cold ... I’m lonely.”
Erin Fuller, 28, started hiking the Appalachian Trail six months ago. Some days were good, while others weren’t.
Fuller couldn’t be with her daughter as she trekked north some 2,000 miles through 14 states.
“It was something she knew she had to finish on her own,” her mother said. “I couldn’t be there to help her.”
But that didn’t stop Fuller from hiking the final five miles to share a special moment with her daughter.
Kathy Fuller drove to Maine, where she met her daughter on the trail.
They were a short distance from Katahdin, the northern end of the trail.
Together, they “summited” Sept. 23 on Baxter Peak.
“It was rather amazing,” Kathy Fuller said.
“Probably the biggest thing that came out of it was my daughter’s ability to finish what she started, because that’s always been tough for her,” she said.
“She’s a brilliant young woman, but she sometimes has problems with that.”
“One thing I learned was ‘stick-to-itiveness,’” she said. “This was a chance for me to see that no matter how hard things get, I can stick with something and get through it.”
Kathy Fuller said it was no surprise when she first learned her daughter wanted to hike “the AT.”
“We raised our kids hiking and taught them to love the outdoors,” she said. “Erin fell in love with the idea of [hiking the Appalachian Trail], so she decided, at 28, not being attached to anybody or anything, this was the time to do it.”
The younger Fuller said she does not regret it.
“There were so many days I wanted nothing more than to come home,” she said. “But I knew the only way home was north, and I had to finish it. And I’m glad I did.
“It’s my mantra now, when I encounter something that’s difficult, I just tell myself, ‘I hiked the Appalachian Trail. I can do anything.’”