Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Journal Entry #2

"Work as if it all depends on you but pray as if it all depends on God."  Anonymous
Time is marching on and we’re less than a month from takeoff.
This past Sunday Jane gave me a great sendoff party with lots of friends and family.  Much encouragement was given as well as a physiological observation…”you are out of your mind”.  Lots of wonderful trial food was supplied, so if nothing else, I won’t starve out there.

My Daughter Beth has asked me to put down a few thoughts as to why I’m doing this.   The truthful answer is just because it’s something I’ve always dreamed and thought about since we lived in the Roanoke area near the AT in the mid 80’s.  The dreams were likely a bit stronger when I was working and flying around the world on a crazy schedule and the thoughts of spending a quiet day in the woods sounded so good, but that feeling has not changed much since we’ve retired.
Food has been assembled and gear has been paired down to what I think is a good place to start.  Likely still too much stuff, but the trail will tell me that in a hurry.
I think I’ve read most everything there is to read and talked to everyone I know that has any experience along these lines, so now it’s time to do some final tweaks to get ready and just take the next few weeks to continue to get in shape for the walk. 
I’ve been hiking with a full pack here in Richmond, although the terrain is not too challenging and good restaurants and other creature comforts are around every corner.
The real challenge will begin as I attack that first hill and then the next and then the next…..and the story of my hike truly begins to unfold and I can add a bit to the long history and story of the Appalachian Trail.
Thanks so much for all your thoughts and prayers
Roger (Trail name TBD)


  1. What exact date do you leave, and will you have a computer in your pack and be blogging along the way? How will we communicate with you? What kind of food do you eat on the trail? -Love Debbie.

  2. ...and what do you carry in your pack? I imagine the faces change on the journey, but are there people with you all along the way? Are there guides?

  3. Hi Roger!
    It turns out that both you and Henry David Thoreau have something in common. He left for the woods in the end of March too! Here he is in Walden: "Near the end of March 1845, I borrowed an axe and went down to the woods by Walden Pond, nearest to where I intended to build my house, and began to cut down some tall arrowy white pines, still in their youth, for timber. It is difficult to begin without borrowing, but perhaps it is the most generous course thus to permit your fellow-men to have an interest in your enterprise.... They were pleasant spring days, in which the winter of man's discontent was thawing as well as the earth, and the life that had lain torpid began to stretch itself." --- Wishing you as much fun in the woods as Thoreau! Looking forward to walking with you! Love, Eileen

  4. Tomorrow is the BIG DAY!!! The day you start to realize a dream. We are so proud of you, Uncle Rog, and you are an inspiration to all of us. We love you and send our best wishes for a safe and fulfilling journey! Love Debbie & Ken.