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Rosamond Palmer

Rosamond’s Appalachian adventure

Self-declared pensioner Rosamond Palmer has proven without a doubt that age is no boundary when we really want to do something, even something that is very, very challenging: like a 1,000 mile walk along the Appalachian Trail. An inspirational human being! HOT’s Zelly Restorick talked to Rosamond about her adventure and the creativity the journey catalysed. 

Rosamond Palmer was known in Hastings and St Leonards – and at Hastings Online Times – for her determined and passionate campaigning against the Bexhill Hastings Link Road: both as an independent individual and as part of the group of grandmothers who co-created a number of the peaceful protests. The next time I personally heard of Rosamond, she had visited and walked the Appalachian Trail in the USA.

Rosamond Palmer

ZR: “What was the catalyst for your trip?”

RP: “I think the best decisions I take are when I find myself doing something I didn’t know I was going to do… they come from the heart rather that being cognitive. Information about the Appalachian Trail drifted my way and then one day I realised I intended to walk it.”

Rosamond Palmer

ZR: “How did you cope with the walking?”

RP: “Most of the advice I’d read was to start slow and build up.  For the first few weeks I hiked up to eight miles a day. It doesn’t sound much, but it was plenty! By the end I was covering twenty miles a day.”

ZR: “Did you book all your accommodation up ahead?”

RP: “Accommodation on the A.T. is mainly a tent or a shared open shelter.  Everything the hiker needs they carry. About every sixth day, hikers come off the trail, re-stock, take a rest day and eat a lot! I never booked ahead.”

ZR: “Was the trip what you had expected?

RP: “It far outweighed all my expectations… it was extraordinary being on top of a mountain and seeing forty miles of trees in every direction. It’s an amazing experience to walk in the presence of bears, snakes and deer. I also had the privilege of seeing a bobcat.”

ZR: “Do you feels it’s changed you in any way?”

RP: “Not really, just helped consolidate my convictions.  Also when someone is out there completely alone, different things are important – like not getting injured, finding a source of drinking water or working out how to find the trail if I lost it.”

Rosamond Palmer

ZR: “What was the inspiration for your film accompanied by your poem?”

RP: “The trail has a rhythm. One hiker commented: ‘It’s tiring going up and it’s painful coming down’. Another hiker said: ‘No-one nicks anything on the AT – they’d have to carry it!’. There is a wonderful sense of humour and camaraderie. I wanted to capture the rhythm and the humour. When I got home, my friend Tony Harris said he’d have a go at editing the hours of footage I’d taken. The combination of the poem and Tony’s editing meant we were able to give a sense of the magnitude of a thousand mile hike – in just over twelve minutes.”

ZR: Tell us about your connection with Hastings!
RP: “I was born in Hastings and we moved away when I was four, I didn’t move back until my late forties though I’d always had a yearning to do so. Before retiring, I worked in private practice and at Elphinstone Family Centre as a counsellor. Later I set up a theatre company named KINN, we toured schools in East Sussex promoting healthy lifestyles. My children attended school here.  I’m probably best known for my active opposition to the Bexhill Hastings Link Road.”

Rosamond Palmer

Rosamond Palmer

“Sincere apologies to Rosamond for the delay between offering this article and its actual posting in Hastings Online Times.”

Zelly Restorick

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Posted 23:28 Friday, Jul 23, 2021 In: Hastings People

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