Welcome to my world and my blog. My new novel, THRU: An Appalachian Trail Love Story, is published by the Appalachian Trail Museum in Pine Grove Furnace State Park, PA. When I thru-hiked the AT SOBO in 1973, I pondered the possibility of bringing some sense of the thru-hike experience to life. I started writing a book the next year and finished about half of the project. But it finally stalled out after a few fits and starts. I still have the half-finished manuscript.
A few years ago, I decided to approach the dream again, this time as a novel told through the trail journals, shelter log entries, emails and letters of a diverse group of hikers who meet at Springer and head NOBO for Katahdin. This effort clicked. Now, thanks to my friends at the AT Museum (the sole beneficiary of all proceeds of THRU), the novel is up and ready to go. I hope many of you will read it and tell others about it.
Since I hiked the AT, I have gotten married, pursued a career as a reporter and corporate PR practitioner, fathered two kids, worked as ED of an environmental group, served in many volunteer capacities as a community volunteer, and continued to pursue outdoor adventure on five continents. It has been a great ride! I am especially proud that my two kids have also thru-hiked. Laura (Steady) did it SOBO in 2004, and my son Dan (Optimus Prime) did the same in 2000. My wife Patsy (Mommy Hugs) wisely vows never to follow in our footsteps.
I urge everyone readying this blog to come visit the Len Foote Hike Inn, a backcountry lodge in the North Georgia mountains, just 4.5 miles from Springer. Check us out at http://www.hike-inn.com. I serve as board president of the small nonprofit overseeing the Hike Inn which is dedicated to a mission of “protecting Georgia’s natural resources through education and recreation.” I spend lots of time there and frequently (no surprise) give after-dinner presentations about thru-hiking. Come see us.