Why this blog exists

     In many ways I feel like I’ve already left. I’m writing this as I sit behind a teacher’s desk while my students study for their final exam tomorrow. But I am not really here. I am communicating with all of you, future readers of this blog. What should I tell you? Will you actually read this? Is anybody even going to care? So why am I writing a blog? This is fun. Why haven’t I ever done this before? To be honest, I didn’t think of starting this until someone I work with (Hockdiesel!!) convinced me that it could be fun, maybe even interesting or important. So thank you, Hockdiesel. 🙂

     Anyway, here’s the story: I’m going to set out to hike the Appalachian Trail (AT) starting on July 1st, 2010. It is approximately 2,175 miles long and it takes between five and seven months. Most people (about 1500 every March) start out in the south (Georgia) and walk north, ending in Maine around September. This way it is never too cold and one can start out on the more level terrain, break their boots in, get in shape, etc. Others go from north to south, which is less pragmatic; unless, like me, you are already up north and you can’t start until July anyway (which is when the black flys are said to go away and the mud from the thawing spring ice dries up). Fewer than 500 people have reported completion of the AT southbound. (Statistics never were my thing, anyway.) The topography in the north is much more steep and there are larger gaps between resupply stations. I hear there is something called a 100-mile wilderness! Yikes! But I can do it. 🙂

     So this new blog is about this journey on the Appalachian Trail. I’ll be logging entries every few days as I go into towns to resupply. The process will help me to journal my experiences and understand exactly why it is I am doing this. I’ve titled the blog “Appalachian Braille”, mainly because it rhymes with “trail” (haha, clever me!:), but also because you and I are reading and writing to each other about the natural world, the things we can touch with our hands, the simple things. In a way too, the mountains rise off the land like Braille on a page, and we read the land and hope that it will tell us, teach us something. Without experiencing a relationship with the land we are lost, blind to ourselves. I hope you get something out of it too. I’m sure you will. Please feel free to comment whenever the mood strikes you. Although I am leaving the busy city and the people and the comforts, it’s nice to know that there is a way to connect to civilization. So, you readers are my connection. Please don’t be strangers. 🙂

  1. #1 by lee Kitts on June 8, 2010 - 3:33 pm

    Terrific idea. I just met a young woman who was celebrating her 30th birthday next month by traveling all over by car for 3 or 4 months. She’s kept up with family and friends this way and has enjoyed it! So good on ya, sweetums.

  2. #2 by liat on June 8, 2010 - 3:40 pm

    good on ya! sounds like a terrific time, enjoy!!

  3. #3 by partymound on June 8, 2010 - 4:27 pm

    I can’t wait for more!

  4. #4 by Jessi on June 8, 2010 - 4:57 pm

    regular reflection in writing will help as you know:) yay! are you documenting your travels in any other way??

  5. #5 by Hallie Zmroczek on June 8, 2010 - 6:21 pm

    This sounds so amazing and totally perfect for you!I think it is wonderful that you are taking on such an ambitious journey. Good luck and I can’t wait to read about your adventures!! Love you still!!!

  6. #6 by fred whtie on June 8, 2010 - 10:06 pm

    Awesome Awesome Awesome…so you’re a philosopher?? cant wait to hear about this 100 mile wilderness. happy for you!! un abrazo grande hermanita!!

  7. #7 by Duggan on June 9, 2010 - 4:53 am

    I have a ton of birding/wilderness guides if you need. (Trust me, you need!). I’ll also check on a pair of binoculars. Remember blackflies love high things,so put a hat on a stick and attach it to your bag. Good luck. Don’t eat mushrooms! Duggan.

    • #8 by Hope on June 10, 2010 - 4:44 pm


      Thank you for your advice! I will try the pole. As for books, I don’t think I’m going to be able to carry any more weight. My bag is pretty heavy. :/

      Stay in touch!


    • #9 by andromedakitts on July 28, 2010 - 1:30 pm

      Luckily, I missed the black flies! Well, I got the tail end of them. Where are you gonna be next year?

  8. #10 by Noah Frere on June 9, 2010 - 7:09 am

    awesome! you can do it! and don’t forget to visit us in the Smokies.

  9. #11 by Jeevan on June 11, 2010 - 1:16 am

    I am looking forward to your stories.

  10. #13 by BK on June 12, 2010 - 1:05 pm

    Go for it Hopie! You’re a oner.

    • #14 by andromedakitts on July 28, 2010 - 1:29 pm

      Miss you, b! We gotta talk about psychic dreaming. More on that later. xx!

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