Yesterday I took the very first steps of the Trail of Hope. Around the granite obelisk, forever marking the memory of The Great Elm Tree in Penn Treaty Park, I was privileged to be surrounded by my friends and family. I was honored by the introduction and support from my good friend, John Connors and was deeply moved by the blessings and prayers said on my behalf by Father Doyle and Pastor Norwood.
From the bottom of my heart I’d like to thank everyone who came to the park to give their time and express their support as I began my journey. It was a very honest showing of support. I could feel the energy from everyone present and it is that energy that I will carry with me and will keep me going each day.
As soon as I began to walk, it started to rain. I felt fine and was happy to finally be on the Trail. As I walked the 11 miles to Haverford, I realized that Mother Nature was cleansing the Trail all the way to Oklahoma and blessing me with Her rain. I felt a sense of safety and content that everything would be all right throughout this pilgrimage.
For the start of the Trail, I had several roses that I left throughout Philadelphia. The first, I placed by the obelisk of the Great Elm Tree. After leaving Penn Treaty Park, I set off to the Front and Market Street loop and placed a rose at the statue of Chief Tamanend. I then left a rose in honor of William Penn at City Hall. The final rose traveled with me outside of Philadelphia to Haverford College, the home of the oldest and closest living descendent of The Great Elm Tree.
When I arrived to Haverford I was greeted by the arbor preservation department. They had a tent set up under the Elm where I rested and had lunch. I was given a small piece of wood, broken from the Haverford Elm, to accompany me on the Trail. After lunch, I thanked everyone for their support and continued along my way. I had about 20 more miles to cover before I reached my place of rest for the night.
30+ miles into my journey and 1,970 miles left to go, I checked into a hotel in Frazer, Pennsylvania to rest for the night. My spirit is high and full of energy and I look forward to what each new day will bring.