Celebrating Appalachian Trials 100th Amazon Review: FREE SIGNED BOOKS + REI GIFT CARDS!!!

free signed books rei gift card

This past week, Appalachian Trials received it’s 100th review on Amazon.  Let us backtrack a bit to uncover why this is a big deal.

Fall 2010

My life was highly dissatisfying.  More accurately, I was dissatisfied with the life I was leading.

On paper, my circumstance was good – I was self employed, living in San Diego with my best friend, doing all the things that a single guy in his mid 20’s does (read: drink too much PBR + eat raccoon-sized carne asada burritos at 2am) – living the American dream by most’s standards.

However, there was an undeniable void.  A staggering amount of my waking hours were spent on my laptop doing work that lacked purpose. Monday through Friday (and often Saturday, sometimes Sunday) felt as if my soul was being sucked through the screen of my computer.  The brief and inconsistent weekend reprieves were doing less to repair the damage.  I was becoming the 21st century’s version of a corporate drone, something I promised myself would never happen.

One seemingly normal night at the bar, a friend drunkenly asked me to hike some trail that extends from Georgia to Maine.  Although I had never been backpacking in my life, the idea somehow seemed less stupid than continuing down my current path.  Life gave me bait.  I took it.  You know the rest of the story.

Fall 2011

Upon completing my thru-hike, although I was battling a cacophony of disparate emotions, there was one feeling that stood resolute above all else: I did not want a job.  The idea of writing a book not only excited me all the way down to my bone marrow, but even more importantly, I could continue dodging the 9-5 world.

Let me repeat that:  The genesis of Appalachian Trials was born from my desire to delay entering into the real world. 

I knew the idea for the book was good, and I was in a fairly unique position to write it.  That said – I never expected more than a few friends and family to read it.

We’ll get to the signed book giveaway part in a second, I promise, but let us first get to the moral of this story…

My thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail happened as the result of dollop of dissatisfaction and a chance drunk conversation.  My writing Appalachian Trials happened as a result of not wanting to work a real job.  These are my two greatest successes to date, and they happened borderline haphazardly – but they happened for one very good reason: I took a chance.  Despite an ocean of fear, I took a chance.

The Moral: Fear isn’t an excuse for inaction.  Take chances.  Good shit happens.  Even to very ordinary people like me.


The Giveaway (finally)

I will be giving away 10 signed copies of Appalachian Trials.  The signed books can include any bizarre request you’d like.  A poem.  A picture (my artwork is impressively, hilariously bad).  A story from the trail not published online or in the book.  Whatever you want (the within reason disclaimer – no you cannot have my SSN or firstborn).  If you make no request, I will still find something stupid to occupy that space with.  Sorry about it.

I will also be giving away gift cards to REI.  More on that below…

How you can win:

In the spirit of the above rant….

In the comments section of this post, tell me something, if selected, that you’re going to take a chance on.  Something you’ve been putting off because of fear, “the resistance”, procrastination – call it what you will.  It can be as monumental as thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, writing a book, running an Iron Man, climbing Everest, wrestling a dinosaur, etc.  It can be as ordinary as picking up the phone, calling your mom, and telling her that you love her.  The goal is only part of what I’m looking at (a big part), the why you absolutely need to do it is also important.

Pick something that has been living in the back of your mind, that you know you should do, but haven’t because of .  The deadline to enter is Wednesday, November 27th at 9pm EST.  I will announce the winner on the Appalachian Trials Blog the following week.

The third best “take a chance” entry will receive a $25 gift card to REI, $50 for the runner-up, and $100 to my personal favorite.  

To restate:  The top 10 entries will receive a signed book.  The top three will receive REI gift cards in addition to the books.

If you don’t plan on entering, you can show your support for the “take a chance” movement by sharing this post.  Clicking any of the familiar looking buttons below will do the trick.

Much love and happy hiking,


P.S.  THANK YOU to everyone who has read and reviewed the book.  Truly.

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