About My Book

I'm planning on using this site as sort of an adjunct to the book. I want to get around to posting answers to common questions like why I wrote so many words during the hike. Some people think I added a lot afterwards, but I actually had to do a lot of cutting to make the story readable.


One phone call affected the amount of writing I did. The first was a phone call I had with my family when I called home from Hot Springs, North Carolina, the trail town that ended Chapter 3 of my story. Up to that point, my journal was fairly typical for a thru-hiker, maybe a little more detailed. My family kept asking me for more information on events I wrote about in the first two chapters of the journal, which I had mailed home from Fontana Village. I couldn't remember most of the events they asked about, even though they were all fairly recent, given that my entire hike was only three weeks old at that point. That made me realize that the AT experience was so overwhelming that by the time I finished I would forget almost everything I didn't write down. That made me want to write about everything I could.


I had been raised by my grandmother, who was a very cool person who had been born about 40 years or so too early to live the kind of life she probably would have most enjoyed. She told me on that call that the journal made her feel like she was on the trail with me, seeing all those places. That made me want to write in more detail and write better, especially when I found out later in the hike that she had cancer. I spent many nights writing for an hour or so after dinner when all I wanted to do was relax for both these reasons. This was also responsible for me often losing the early morning hours for hiking.


It often felt like a sacrifice at the time, but now even after all this time, when I read a section of my story, I can remember many details about those events that I didn't write down, while I can remember almost nothing about people and events I didn't write about in detail. The one thing I regret is that when I spent some time with people I met that I liked I always considered it a vacation from all the writing everything down in detail and so can barely remember those people and times even though I remember having a great time with them.