Posted by: pjbarr | March 17, 2010



Welcome to my 2010 Appalachian Trail thru-hike journal. I will be departing for the AT on March 22, having moved back my start date on account of several projects to finish up on the homefront as well as the unwelcomed accumulation of snow in the southern Appalachians.

I hope that those who visit this journal will be entertained following my hike. Over the last six years, I have lived vicariously through following the journals of other AT thru-hikers and daydreaming of their great adventures. I hope that I can bring this same enjoyment to many of those who choose to follow me on the trail.

I’ve tried to put together this journal to keep people interested and entertained; all too many trail journals are boring or run out of steam. Many are updated only a few times throughout a thru-hike; others post handfuls of entries all at once followed by a drought of weeks. I’m hoping that the system that I have put into place will enable this journal to generally have one of my entries posted per day once I begin my hike. I do not journal by cell phone, rather I write on paper the old fashioned way. About once a week, I will mail these entries and camera memory cards to my wife at home, who will transcribe them on the computer and post one entry along with several photos each day. The entries will be on a delay of about a week’s time; I will be using Twitter, visible on the sidebar, as a way to keep up with me in real time. This schedule may not always be able to function on a precise basis; my hiking schedule, post office availability, or the opportunity for my wife to transcribe may vary. However, the goal will be to allow readers to check back for new content almost every day. I encourage everyone to bookmark this website and check back frequently.

It is also my goal to make my entries entertaining for readers. Many journalers seem to simply describe what time they awoke, what they ate, and when they went to sleep. These accounts of what is supposed to be a great adventure result in astonishing boredom. I will do my best to avoid such mundane accounts of my time on the trail. I have a great passion for history; I hope this will be reflected in my writing as I pass through many significant locations. I also have a habit of taking an extreme amount of side trips; I collect mountain peaks, lookout towers, waterfalls, and other interesting destinations. I’ll talk about all of these, as well about the locations I reach on the trail itself. I have found journals to be much more entertaining when they speak as much about the places they go as the things that they do. I’ll also do my best to recognize the many people who I will meet and help me along the trail. I will use my journal to reflect my emotions throughout my hike, too. I hope that this journal will allow those who haven’t met me to get to know me well; I also hope it will allow friends and family to get to know me even better.

If you enjoy following my adventure, I hope that you will help me accomplish a goal of mine that I have set during my hike. I am trying to raise $2,178 for the restoration of the Shuckstack lookout tower in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is one dollar for every mile that I hike. I ask that people who enjoy my journal, appreciate the work that I have put into it, and wish to help me on my hike will support this project by contributing one penny for each mile I walk – only $21.78. You can read more about Shuckstack here and make an online contribution by clicking here.

See you on the trail soon,

Peter (Whippersnap) GA->ME 2010


  1. Peter,
    Here’s wishing you great fun, lots of adventure and fine fellowship on your trek. We’ll be following you and you make your way.
    Alan and Susie

  2. Hi Peter,
    It’s good to see that you’re on your way to com-
    plete your dream. Best wishes and good hiking!

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