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LONG DISTANCE HIKER/POET/ACTIVIST

JEANMARIE GOSSARD

 
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ABOUT ME

Hi! I'm JeanMarie Gossard, trail name PS (Pooter Scooter).  After a career in social justice campaigns, I fell in love with thru-hiking as a way to recenter, recover from burnout, soul search and pour some creativity out into the world. I now have over 12,000 miles on 11 long distance trails under my belt, and have completed 9 thru-hikes. 

My dream is to walk, write poetry and inspire other women and folks of all genders to discover what they're capable of.  

 

PAST THRU-HIKES

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LONG TRAIL

2015

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APPALACHIAN TRAIL

2017

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PINHOTI TRAIL

2017

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ARIZONA TRAIL

2018

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NEW ENGLAND TRAIL

2018

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ICE AGE TRAIL

2018

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PACIFIC CREST TRAIL

2019

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CONTINENTAL DIVIDE TRAIL (3/4THS)

2019

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FLORIDA TRAIL

2020

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HAYDUKE TRAIL

2020

 
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GREAT WESTERN LOOP 2022

6,875 MILES THROUGH NORTH AMERICA'S WEST

My dream is to become the first woman to thru-hike the GWL

 
 

POETRY

ORIGINAL WORK

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Ancestors


What if our ancestors were in the clouds

ghost walkers circling snowed summits

calling us forward to even higher peaks?


I don’t usually think of you out here, but today, 

after climbing a mountain full of my fear – 

as I scurry down to safety

I miss you - remember

your excited eyes two inches from my photographs, 

your curious traveler’s heart, interested, eager.


Then I look up – another snowcapped mountain - 

I want to see myself the way you do

boundless strength

dream tackler

stronger than we were ever told.

It’s funny how fear pollinates our cells

without our permission 

pouring doubt into crevices 

we only recognize once they explode,

shatter into tiny pieces,

return us to the knowing underneath.



JeanMarie Gossard

Pacific Crest Trail 2019

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Midnight II


I wake to the sound of water falling over rock,

to speckled moonlight on canvas,

unzip my tent to bright white on wet leaves. It is midnight.


I wrote another midnight poem once. A love poem.

Wondering if our guarded dances 

would break open in the direction of each other. 

They never did.


Now my days are filled with mountain dancing 

my nights, soft sleep wrapped in down.

Learning to sing my soul’s song.


Each step I am falling in love again, 

each step I am breaking open.



JeanMarie Gossard

Appalachian Trail 2017

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Sierra – April 25th 2019 (Highest Snow Year On Record)


What if I went into these mountains,

the ones they write books about –

what if I went in, in the quiet cold, when their sleepy eyed

slopes are draped in crystal armor, before they are 

stomped awake by summer’s many footprints.


Now, even the good-natured ferry driver is dozing under fleece blankets

and the pristine blue he ferries across is a white glassed lake,

shipwrecked branches from snow floods blessing its shores.

The white crystals are endless and sometimes blinding.

Every ounce of energy is needed 

to walk over these old sacred mountains,

stand on passes 13,000 feet high.


There are no voices on the wind, 

no people from the world over gathered around fire, 

no children laughing – 

only my thinned breathing and the spitting of snowballs as they break loose, 

slipping and falling, gathering more flakes as they roll 

in a desperate attempt to stick back to the mountain or burst off instead. 


I dig my two-inch spikes into the crusty snow, each muscle, joint, tendon taut, 

each cell alive, knock-kneed against the proximity of its own death.

Nothing to do but crawl on my knees across the altar of my awe. 

Nothing to do but take the next step.




JeanMarie Gossard

Pacific Crest Trail 2019

 

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