A correspondent from a small-town paper in Tennessee shares reflections of family members who spent five days on the Appalachian Trial in Maryland.

It’s 6:30 and I am wrapping another layer of duct tape around my feet to keep my blisters and broken skin from rubbing against my boots. By lunchtime, I’ve already gotten another hot spot, and I have to put more duct tape on my feet. My right hip hurts because of tendinitis and my left knee is stiff because I pulled a tendon the day before. I’m miserable and wondering how on earth I got myself into this mess. But then I’m walking in a piece of forest and see a deer in the path, or I stop by a stream with my dad for awhile to enjoy its beauty, and I can’t help but think, “God, I really am having the best time. Everything is so beautiful.”

Their granddad, trail name Model T, was in the White Mountains on the AT at last report.