Monday, November 19, 2012

The Birth of a Fundraiser

Along the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) I started a fundraiser.  After 5 months of tramping in New Zealand on the Te Araroa trail and another month or two on the PCT, I found myself with a bit of a broken heart.  I made a decision to turn my hurt feelings around and into a positive venture.

PCT hiker Freestyle with one of his HOTT hearts!

I had previously figured out by way of an accident how to draw hearts in the trail as I walked.  Starting with my hiking poles in front of me and then stepping through the poles and closing them behind I created little inverted heart shaped scratches in the trail.  Leaving these short lived hearts was part of my personal healing process; but it attracted lots of attention.

dbBrad inside a Heart on the Trail!

Other hikers told me how they followed the hearts after getting lost, or that they were having a tough time keeping going but the hearts motivated them to push on.  One hippy hiker thanked me for all the love on the trail.  With these kind words from so many hikers, I decided maybe there was more to be had from drawing these hearts in the trail.

dbBrad aka Freestyle demonstrating drawing a heart.

And thus my HOTT (Heart On The Trail) fundraiser was born.  All told I drew a couple thousand of the hearts which are all gone by now.  Given that about 250,000 Americans will die from Heart Attacks this year and about 600,000 people will come to pass because of heart related issues, it seemed like a great way to make the point that hiking can save your life.

One of the more permanent Hearts along a stretch where everyone seemed inclined to rearrange dark rocks on the barren land.  Though this heart is longer lived, rest assured snow and wind will render it unrecognizable by next season.

Support trails and healthy hearts and get your 'HEART ON THE TRAIL'!  All proceeds are split between AHA and PCTA (American Heart Association and the Pacific Crest Trail Association)

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