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The following are some of the more frequently asked questions that we've encountered, and our responses.

Why are you doing such a crazy thing?


  • I enjoy spending time with Jake.
  • I enjoy hiking.
  • I like challenges.
  • I could use a break from work.
  • I enjoy the solitude and meditative aspects of hiking.
  • The trail will give me a fresh vantage point on life in general and my own life in particular.
  • Hiking the trail is a way of honoring the woods, the inhabitants of the woods, and the people who created the trail.
  • I enjoy the company of other hikers.
  • I enjoy the closeness to nature and to the forces larger than nature.


  • Because it's there.

What does your wife think about your being away for six months?

David: She is delighted.

Will you stop at towns along the way?

As often as possible; unfortunately, there aren't that many towns along the way.

Are you going to bring your laptop computer?

Yes, and a printer, wireless modem, portable satellite dish uplink, basic radio communication gear, and a GPS system (just kidding). We are going to have as little gear as possible, and I am going to have to re-learn how to write with a pen instead of a keyboard. We are still discussing whether a beeper with the sound turned off, or a cell phone that we never turn on except in an emergency, is a good idea. (David: Yes, I realize that bringing along such gear is frowned upon, but I am concerned about being inaccessible for a week at a time if there is an emergency at home.)

What will you eat?

Only what we can carry - therefore, very little.

Have you been preparing yourself physically for the hike?


I have been following two pieces of advice. I read in a number of hiking journals that most forms of exercise cannot really prepare your body for the particular form of exertion that hiking requires and therefore if you're in moderately good shape, special exercise is unnecessary. Others have suggested that putting on a few pounds is a good idea because hikers burn more calories than they can carry, and the extra fat will come in handy when food supplies run low. I have been taking both of these recommendations very seriously.



Last modified Sunday June 4, 2000

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