Friday, May 4, 2012

e-mail from the Good Badger

A while back I posted a letter on my blog which I had e-mailed to Zach Davis, 2011 thru-hiker and author of the book, Appalachian Trials: A Psychological and Emotional Guide To Thru-Hike the Appalachian Trail (Volume 1).
My request asked him to include my blog in his list of thru-hiker blogs - an unlikely request, I considered, since I'm not a thru hiker just the mom of one, Loner.   And he did indeed include my blog on his list which has garnered a number of readers - hopefully other family members too (I've heard from a number of mothers of AT hikers since starting this blog even from outside the United States.  In addition, in my email to Zach, I whined a bit about my worries - that was early in Loner's trip and I was a panicky mom, knowing Zach's mother had worried too and he'd dealt with it. 
On the same day I sent my email, shortly afterwards Zach wrote me back. I didn't want to publish his letter on my blog until after I had his permission, which he was gracious to give.

"Hi Gail:
Thank you so much for the thoughtful and poetically crafted e-mail.  It's safe to say that yours is the e-mail of the month. 

First off, don't stress your son being on the trail right now.  I understand how it can be terrifying, but I promise you, your son is safer and happier than he would be in the daily rigors of what is often referred to as the grind. 

In addition to adding your blog to the 2012 thru-hikers list (which I will be doing as soon as I hit the "send" button), would you have any interest in writing a review of the book from the perspective of a parent on the Good Badger?  Appalachian Trials was written largely with you, the parent, in mind, but me saying that is less effective than it coming from the perspective of an actual parent.  Assuming you enjoy and find value out of the book, I would be honored for your review on my website, which of course would include a link back to yours.  I guarantee that will drive a lot more interest than a link buried in a lengthy list of others. 

If not, no problem, I just wanted to gauge your interest.
I apologize, I'm at a geek conference in San Francisco right now (my new home), for the remainder of the weekend, so won't be able to respond to your e-mail in the depth that I would like to right now.  I'm currently getting yelled at by geeks :\

Happy hiking,

Now, I've read Appalachian Trials twice and have started the review, not quite finished which I'll send to him soon, as well as post it here, on Amazon, on Goodreads, etc.  
Just once again, I'm discovering what a tight-knit, helpful, friendly and encouraging community revolves around the AT.  I've already seen in my son's videos how surprised he is at the diversity and authenticity of the thru-hikers he's shared the trail with, and now we learn it extends years, miles and further out people wise - even the family members of AT hikers feel like part of the AT family. One of the lessons to take from this whole experience is a renewed faith in humanity which can sometimes be lost in our day to day shuffle.

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