Home At Last
SYLACAUGA, Ala. (WBRC) - When we last visited Sonny Eberhart, he told us his plans for 2021. He was once again going to hike The Appalachian Trail from his home on Flagg Mountain to trail’s end in Massachusetts. Today, 2,606-miles later, he’s back, and at 83 now holds the record as the oldest person to ever accomplish this incredible journey.
Home at last, the man they call Nimblewill Nomad shares his story. “I owe the success of this journey to so many incredible different factors, many of which were just way beyond what I could do physically,” he reflects.
“It was just the epitome of the kind of goodness that we look for and hope for, and it was there. I’d hiked the Appalachian Trail two other times, Fred. So, I’m thinking. Can you do this again, Old Man? And then I got encouragement.”
The idea of accomplishing such a feat coupled with the well wishes he receives from so many brings him to tears. “I’m an old man and I blubber, and I cry and now you got me sitting here with tears running down my face. Dang you!”
And the man whose record he broke, Dale Sanders, known by the trail name “Grey Beard” was there to meet Nimblewill at journey’s end. “He was delighted that I was able to go out and hike this thing and be successful.”
Now the hiker is home for good in more ways than one. “The Alabama Forestry Commission wanted me back. My hiking friends wanted me back, and above all the beautiful locals wanted me back. So, Flagg Mountain is my home.”
But what have his travels taught Nimblewill?
“Patience. When you get to be my age, you get there by being patient about getting old.”
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