Forging Ahead: Trails of Possibility
This year's TAPS Expedition program spanned the globe. Survivors of all skill levels packed their gear and climbed Mount Shasta in our own backyard and ventured to the roof of Africa with our Mount Kilimanjaro climb. Our TAPS family even found their way down the mighty American River and trekked the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
Each seemingly insurmountable trail led us on a journey of purpose and understanding as we opened our eyes and hearts to an amazing world of possibility - a realization made easier in peaceful places surrounded by others who truly understand our loss. With each new step we took, we discover once again that we can. We can honor our heroes and share their stories while blazing a trail of our own.
The connections and friendships made on a TAPS Expedition are forged in moments of vulnerability, exhaustion and challenge. Together we find strength for the climb and joy in the sunrise from the top. Some of our survivors have been so inspired after an Expedition that they went on even bigger adventures like hiking the Pacific Crest Trail to honor their fallen loved one.
Here are perspectives from our survivors on the power of our Expedition programs:
"This expedition was extremely spiritual for me on so many levels. I embarked on this trip a few days before the anniversary of my husband's death … I felt that I was able to find peace and tranquility through the environment and through the group of wonderful people I was sharing the experience with."
"My experience with the kayaking adventure was one I will never forget. From the incredible majesty of the Teton mountain range to the moose we got to meet, these are things that I never believed I would do. The trip stretched me in physical ways as well as emotional. I met some wonderful people that I know will be part of my life journey."
"A lot of times I get upset and depressed all over again after these events. But this was different. I never felt pressured so I could share whenever and whatever I needed, not holding back. When I came home, instead of being exhausted and sad, I was invigorated and excited about how far I've come and where I am going."
The 2017 Expeditions are going to be just as exciting. We can't wait to revisit Machu Picchu, hike the Superstition Mountains, trek into one of the deepest regions in the Grand Canyon, explore the breathtaking wilderness of the Green River, and climb one of the tallest mountains in North America. Your TAPS family is ready to explore this amazing world full of awe and possibility - come join us.