Clinching my lips, the blood finds a place on my already dirty shirt. Tying a worn out shoe lace, I take a look around to see which way the wind blows. Seeing a sign on a tree with a skull and crossbones with the warning “Danger Ahead.” Walking past an ancient waterfall and tossing an artifact from my past into the drink. I can hear the stranger screaming at me obscenity-laden threats from the trailhead. Looking west I squint to see the Appalachians. They are thousands of miles away. I have heart, a couple dollars, some old gear, a map, compass, and a vision. It was July of 2019 and I had just taken my first steps onto The American Perimeter Trail. It was July of 2019 and the cries of equality for People of Color were but whispers. It was July of 2019 and a looming pandemic and incivility were but a ripple in time space. It was July of 2019. The time before.