Before I refuse to take any questions I’ve got an opening statement ……

What’s up with this blogging thing? 

Thanks to Todd Snider and the Hard-Working Americans for the intro – but I am open to questions and please keep them coming. As to the opening statement, I’d like to address two questions before I go any further: why am I blogging and how this blogging thing will work. 

Why Blog?

First, and most importantly for me, it’s about paying it back and paying it forward. As I have been prepping for this hike, one of my best sources of information has been the many AT bloggers on the Trek and other platforms. These bloggers gave me such important and needed insight – what daily life is like on the trail, gear strategies, challenges, novel solutions, trail info, towns to hit (and avoid), and so much more. One reason to read so many bloggers is that each has their own perspective and focus areas in their reporting. Combined, they have given me what I hope will be a great lens into what I am about to experience. So, thank you to everyone who has shared their AT stories – their highs and lows and everything in between! And, I hope my blog will pay forward to future hikers by adding another voice and perspective to the mix. 

My second why is more personal. I plan to blog my hike to share the story with family, friends, and anyone else who may be interested. An additional reason is to have a record of my adventures. As I wrote previously, when we lived on the road in a camper van about a decade ago, my wife and I (mostly her) had a blog. We found it a great way to share, capture, and process our experiences. Hopefully the same will be true ten years later. 

How Blog? 

Let me set the stage. It’s the end of the day on the AT, many mountains climbed, many miles completed, then you get to where you’re camping for the night. It’s time to set up the tent, get water, cook, clean up, etc. Bedtime is ‘hiker midnight’ which usually means when it gets dark. Who feels like blogging after all this – not me. And, this is echoed by many bloggers – it’s not a ‘preferred activity’ while on the trail. Add on top of this that I suck at typing and even worse at texting. I need another plan!

So, here’s the plan. While on the trail, I will use my phone to record thoughts, experiences, and other things during the hike. I will share these notes when I have signal with my wife, Laura, at home. She will then turn the notes and pictures I send into, hopefully, coherent and entertaining blog entries. Laura is excited to do this, at least for now, and I am thrilled for the assist. As a bonus, Laura also plans to insert her thoughts and ideas into the blogs as well – you have been warned. This plan builds upon some of the ideas from the book Hiking from Home, by Juliana Chauncey, also of the Trek and Backpacker Radio. In the book, the author talks about the ways that family and friends can support their thru-hikers while they’re on the trail. So, thanks Laura in advance for the help! That’s the plan, at least for now. 

Up next, my gear list. 

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