After spending the holiday weekend in bed with a raging migraine, triggered by an inner ear infection (yea apparently adults still get those). I decided that I could not deal with one more day trapped in the house. I mean the cabin fever was hitting me hard, so I took my chances with a short hike to Preachers Rock in the Blood Mountain Wilderness.
All National Parks had a free entry today. I’ve sometimes had mixed feelings when hiking the AT in my area because I recognize it’s troubled history. From a history of pushing Native Americans off of their sacred tribal lands so that white men could hike, hunt, and fish in these places at their own leisure, to a noted relationship in it’s earliest years with Madison Grant, a racist who literally wrote the book on 20th-century white supremacy—and who helped launch the national parks movement. Thankfully recently the NPS has recognized (and better yet admitted) it struggles with diversity and inclusion and is looking for solutions to solve this problem. Just recently they announced upgrading Dr. King’s birth home from a national site to a National Historic Park. 🙌🏿🙌🏽 But that's not all. Under the Obama administration, The NPS has been working to recognize those who have been exploited in the past. Some of our most beautiful parks have been dedicated to historically oppressed groups like African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and the LGBTQ community.
I’m constantly preaching about diversity in the outdoors, there is no better day for me to head out to the trail and to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. and what better place to visit than Preachers Rock. To take a hike on such an important day and recognize The NPS's efforts to change helps make small changes for the next generation.