• Book,  Hiking,  Story

    Kein Witz Auf Mich

    (No Joke On Me) “Burrrp!”  “You know, we don’t do that where I’m from,” says Halfway, with a fixed expression.  Although there are four other hikers at the shelter picnic table, she addresses her statement to me. “Oh, okay, but that wasn’t me,” I say slightly defensive. “But, why? Everyone burps,” I add. “We don’t do that. It’s not right, it’s rude,” she says. I can tell that the belch has wound her up fairly tight. Still, since she’s rarely in such a mood, I find it quite amusing. So, of course I prod on. Some may say that I’m aggravating the situation, but I prefer to think of it…

  • Blog,  Book,  Hiking,  Story

    Smokey the Driver

    I do not smoke cigarettes and I always try to keep my distance from those who are smoking. Yet, for some unexplained reason, no matter where I position myself, smoke always seems to work its way to my face, at which point I unwillingly inhale it into my lungs, which then causes me to feel a distinctly unpleasant pressure on my chest.  Now I realize that New York City doesn’t corner the market on fresh air, but it’s all I have. So, when I’m walking down the street and I find myself behind a smoker, it triggers a response in which I scurry past the poisonous clouds of offending smoke.…

  • Blog,  Book,  Hiking,  Story

    A Race Against Time

    It’s Sunday, 2 o’clock in the afternoon and I’m on an Amtrak train to Georgia. The arrival time to the Gainesville station is 7 o’clock tomorrow morning. It’s a 17-hour train ride that I ordinarily wouldn’t consider taking. A flight would have been faster, but not as convenient, due to carry-on restrictions against some of the gear I have; like my poles, a utility knife and alcohol fuel… which is definitely suspicious. Nonetheless, I’m on a train… and so my journey begins. Though, I did have quite a time this morning getting ready.  I set my alarm for 9 a.m., in hopes that this would give me enough time to ready my…

  • Blog,  Book,  Hiking,  Story

    A Brotherly Text

    My brother Carlos lives in Harlem, and like me, he has never explored the backcountry. He’s clueless about the Appalachian Trail and has exaggerated thoughts of what is needed to prepare for a long-distance hike, or am I being too carefree? Nonetheless, seven years separate the two of us and days before I leave, my kid brother is taking a parental approach at my pursuit for adventure by questioning my better judgment in the following text exchange: Carlos – Dude, when are you leaving again? Me – March 18 Carlos – What kind of survival gear did you get for your trip? Me – Everything; tent, sleeping bag, portable mini…