Kerry Stewart's Fundraising Page
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Kerry Stewart's Fundraising Page
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I #hikeOctober because fear can be crippling. I was afraid of one thing or another my entire childhood. I was afraid of more than one thing or another most of my adult life. I am scared of crossing the street without a crosswalk, making unprotected left turns while driving, being alone, peanut shells, anything that flies, crowded rooms, physical contact with strangers, heights, clowns, thunder, strange dogs, germs ... The list goes on. I am not completely agoraphobic but I choose to rarely leave my home unless it's to go to work or to the grocery store.

When I was 28, I went to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area for my first camping trip. I went in winter and the usually crowded summit was empty except for myself and a co-worker. Up there on that giant granite batholith in the Texas hill country, I experienced absolute silence. It was devoid of the sounds of the city. There weren't even leaves rustling in the trees or birds chirping, which was fine by me because they fly.

The air was still, and for the first time in my life, so was my mind.

I married that man and I've spent the last eight years since then hiking every chance I get. In 2015, I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and I have never felt braver. I lived outside for six and a half months, and the only way to do it was to be braver than I was scared. I could be both, but all it took was just an ounce more of bravery to tip the scales ... And as every hiker knows, ounces equal pounds. Every day there were things that fly, or strangers to talk to, or roads to cross, or heights to climb, or dogs to approach, or thunder to hear. Thankfully, no clowns. It was all worth it for those occasional moments of absolute silence. Those moments are integral to my mental health. I am still afraid of all of those things, but now I know that they'll never stop me from putting one foot in front of the other. Now, when I'm in the city, when I'm feeling anxious, I think back to the A.T., and I just remember that all I have to do is be braver than I am scared. I feel like if I can do that, I can do anything.

I will be starting back at Enchanted Rock and road tripping for a week to as many Texas State Parks as I can since that's where it all started. Since 2009, I've been to 29/92 but I've been distracted by long trails lately. A road trip seemed like a good way to enjoy these shorter trails. I'm hoping to visit 10-15 more by the end of the month. 

ABOUT hikeOctober

1 in 4 families is affected by mental illness.

I chose to join #hikeOctober to raise awareness of the challenges of mental illness, fund mental health research and conserve wilderness trails with our #hikeOctober campaign.

To learn more about #hikeOctober, click here.

HIKE for Mental Health is a recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded on the vision of a world in which everyone, including those who suffer mental illness, can find the simple joy of living.

Our mission is to alleviate the suffering of those afflicted by mental illness, eliminate the associated stigma, and to foster responsible use of wilderness trails.

As an all-volunteer organization, we distribute 100% of contributions raised by our hikers.

  • 80 cents from every dollar funds programs to alleviate the suffering of mental illness including scientific research to prevent, cure, and treat mental illness
  • 20 cents maintains and preserves wilderness trails

Your donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the IRS. Thank you for your support.

To learn more, visit

Name Date Amount Comments
Yasser Madriz 10/27/2017 $50.00  
Poorav Rohatgi 10/27/2017 $25.00  
Miles Indest 10/26/2017 $50.00  
Michael Mazzone 10/26/2017 $50.00  
Diane Stewart 10/26/2017 $100.00 Happy Hiking!
Anonymous Friend 10/26/2017 $25.00  
Wolf McGavran 10/26/2017 $30.00  
Jim Stewart 10/25/2017 $100.00 Have a great time from Jane and Jim
Mike Stewart 10/24/2017 $100.00 I'm so proud of you. Love you lots!
Mary London Fuller 10/24/2017 $25.00  
Anonymous Friend 10/20/2017 $50.00  
Brittany Sherrill 10/19/2017 $50.00 Have an amazing time! Enchanted Rock = <3
  Total $655.00  
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