Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"A Clown" Challenges Met and Conquered

Hi Everyone, this is Pinky the clown. She is our sister in clowning or what is known in the trade "A Fellow Joey". She has been active with our clown alley since we graduated from clown school. She is one of the people that gives of herself to help make our clown alley a success.

She and her friend Donna recently returned from their backpacking adventure in hiking the 1,200 mile Florida National Scenic Trail.

Pushing their limits to the fullest is an outstanding accomplishment. Enclosed is a synopsis of their story on the trail.

Hi Silly Willy and Fluffy,
I have returned from my backpacking hike of the Florida National Scenic Trail. My partner, Donna Stowe, and I hiked approximately 1,200 miles from December 31, 2007 to April 5, 2008. The trail starts in the Everglades and ends at Fort Pickens on the Gulf Islands National Seashore on the very western end of the Florida Panhandle. The trail passes through most of the national and state forests, parks, and wildlife management areas. It also goes along the dikes on Lake Okeechobee, and the Kissimmee River. It follows many roads in between these areas.

It was a trek of adventure, never knowing what was up ahead, around the corner, or who or what we would meet. We camped along roadsides, under power lines, in peoples’ yards, in the deep isolated forests, in back of fire departments, in citrus groves, and along the rivers. We hiked through way too many swamps and saw way too many snakes in these areas. The most interesting night on the trail was spent on the forest trail that goes through Eglin Air Force Base. We had just settled into our tents when the “war games” started. That’s what I call them. It started with helicopters going right over us at tree line. They were very dark with just a small red light in back and small one in front. The noise was deafening. These helicopters went back and forth. At the same time there were simulated bombs going off and it sounded like some machine guns with them. It all lasted an hour and then was totally quiet in the forest again.

One of the pleasures we had along the way was the passing out of red clown noses to folks we met and to those that helped us (trail angels). We passed them to a couple Boy Scout troops we met in the forests. I would tell them all a joke when I passed them out. The jokes were very corny, but they always got a laugh. Bringing smiles, love, and laughter to someone is a clown’s mission. Here are the corny jokes: What do you do when your nose goes on strike? You Picket !
Why did the bear tip-toe through the campground? He didn’t want to wake the sleeping bags!!

Thank you for letting me share this adventure on your blog.
Lolly “Pinky”, “Mountain Laurel” Tharpe

Thank you Pinky for sharing your adventure with all who read this blog but mostly for your courage and demonstrating the true meaning of clowning by bringing love, laughter and happiness to everyone you meet. Hugs and "Bump a Nose"!

Our thanks to Dave, Pinky's husband, for his support and assistance in getting this story to our blog.

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