Now, as a nation, we don’t promise equal outcomes, by we were founded on the idea everybody should have an equal opportunity to succeed. No matter who you are, what you look like, where you come from, you can make it. That’s an essential promise of America. Where you start should not determine where you end up.
-Former President Barack Obama
“Listen, I don’t mean this in a racist way, but…” Katie began her sentence in a way that is almost always followed by something racist. This was a month ago and Katie was the until-now pleasant section hiker from Asheville, NC, who offered to drive a few of us the 90 minutes from Damascus, VA back to Erwin, TN, to continue our hike north. We had met her in Damascus for Trail Days, which as I described in Part 3, is the Mardi Gras of the Appalachian Trail, parade and all.