The Trail

Each year Lovie is good enough to let me abandon my family and hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail for several days. Some of her friends give me grief about my annual sojourn. They seem to consider it nothing more than a thinly veiled excuse to have a three-day bender in the woods with my buddies. If they only knew.

Hours and hours are spent consulting our trusty maps as well as several guidebooks to carefully analyze topography, mileage, water sources, weather patterns, shelters, and campsites before we even decide upon our itinerary. It takes almost as long to organize our backpacks. The last thing you can afford on the trail is too much weight, which means many of the things I might have wanted to take get left behind. That’s okay, though. You get by better with only the things you need.

My friends and I temporarily trade our complicated but comfortable lives for simple, arduous ones. We hike up and down 5,000-foot inclines, covering up to 20 miles a day, armed with nothing more than 40 pounds of essentials, the clothes we’re wearing, and a desire to lead more meaningful lives.

I can’t speak for my companions, but while I’m in the woods, I feel the entire gamut of emotions—from exhilaration after cresting a two-mile incline, to wonder while witnessing the divine beauty at the top, to relief at beginning a much-needed descent, to despair when staring at yet another uphill stretch, to exaltation when I finally see the campsite I’ve dedicated the previous 11 hours to reach. It’s there I’ll rest and replenish all so I can experience another collage of emotions the very next day.

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Waiting for the Click

I could invent the cure for cancer, balance the budget, or circum-navigate the globe on a kick-ass tricycle that doubled as a dingy, but to most of you, I’d still be known as “that guy with triplets.” Accordingly, you might be surprised to learn what I looked like just a few short years ago. The picture then was drastically different than the picture now.

So what changed? Tough to say. But whatever it was, it began on a safari in South Africa. I suppose you could call it my “click” moment. That’s certainly what my close friend Leslee Horner would call it.

Today, I’m proud to be a small part of Leslee’s blog, Waiting for the Click. Before I drop the link, there are two things about Leslee you need to know. First–of all the wonderful people I’ve met since I started blogging back in November, none have made an impression on me like she has. Second–in a blogoshpere filled with countless people doing their best Dooce impersonations, Leslee has the beauty, talent, and guts to do her own thing. Her blog is unique, and, like her, it gives thought to thinking. Simply put, it’s excellent, and I highly recommend it.

Click here for my click story. It will tell you how I purposefully set out to change the way I look. Then click on some of Leslee’s other posts and you’ll quickly see why I’m such a fan.

Thanks, Leslee!

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