Make A Wish
By Alison Rauch
Lexington County native
We did it!
The Make-A-Wish Trailblaze Challenge hikes are in the books!
Nearly 100 hikers raised $233,000 for children and their wish experiences.
It’s hard to put into words what this journey means to me, but I found myself appreciating nature and my health in more ways than one.
The 28.3-mile hike started at the gorgeous Devils Fork State Park at 3:30 AM. After a brisk boat ride over Lake Jocassee, our group began the trek in the wee hours of the morning. It was amazingly peaceful just listening to nature and passing sleeping campers along the way. This hike is an assisted hike meaning we have aide stations with food, water, trail snacks and even hamburgers to keep us energized.
Several aide stations were filled with Wish children and their families. It was a “full circle” kind of moment to interact with these families and be grateful for my health and ability to do the hike. I hiked with friends, made some new ones and finished the last 10 miles over Sassafras Mountain, South Carolina’s tallest mountain, to Table Rock State Park in the drizzling rain. I had never hiked a significant distance in the rain before so I will suggest purchasing a good rain suit if you’re looking to get into hiking!
I’m sad knowing my hiking journey with the Trailblaze Challenge is coming to an end but if you think about it, the fight never stops for sick children.I cannot say enough about this program and if anyone reading this has the slightest interest in participating, I would suggest going to an interest meeting in the first part of 2020. The hikes are held every spring and fall so there are plenty of opportunities to get involved. Hikers range in age from their teens all the way to their 70s and you don’t have to be an ultra-athlete or marathon runner.
If you have a desire to help others, see amazing trails and do something you never thought possible – this would be a great opportunity.