Posted by: pjbarr | March 19, 2010

Well, I’m Going Away For a While…

“I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.” -John Burroughs, American naturalist and essayist


Well, I’m going away for a while. This is a peculiar concept with which to come to terms. Saturday morning we depart for Georgia.

To say that I am excited would be a gross understatement. But I must declare that I am also alarmingly overwhelmed. So many final preparations, so many projects to finish up, so many people to contact. Imagine that every meaningful task, relationship, project, or event with which you would otherwise have an obligation or engagement in the next five months. Then try to either: 1) complete all of these in advance, or 2) arrange for their well-being prior to your departure. Then bring all of this frenzy to closure within only one or two week’s time. And if you don’t finish, well – you’ll just have to get to it later. Much later. I am very fortunate to have so much on the homefront that needs my attention. But I anticipate that starting the Trail will be an abrupt transition to my perpetual preoccupied mind.

Based on the most recent weather forecast, I’ll head off from Springer Mountain on Monday, March 22. My first journal entries will not likely appear until Allison gets the first couple of days worth in the mail that I send out from Neels Gap. The first entry will likely appear on March 29. It is particularly exciting that so many people have told me how my hike and the anticipation of reading my journal has brought them their own great excitement. And the outpouring of help already offered to me along the way – just about in every state believe it or not! – has been especially encouraging. While you all are awaiting my entries, you can keep track of my realtime progress on the Twitter sidebar over on the right side of the website. This will be dependent upon my cell phone reception, but I hope to send out an update or two per day indicating my location. I will begin these updates on Saturday.

I’ll post once more from Georgia prior to my departure. Those who know me won’t be surprised to know I already have some side trips planned down there even before I set foot on the Appalachian Trail. Those who will get to know me will quickly discover it is hard for me to pass up anything or any place of interest in the vicinity of wherever I go. I’ll do my best to put up a few pictures before I set out on my long walk.

Whippersnap (GA->ME 2010)


  1. Good luck and happy hiking!

  2. Go, Peter, Go! I look foward to following you here and wish you traveling mercies.

  3. Whippersnap,
    We are so happy for you and hope you enjoy your AT hike. Jean and I will take our three grandaugthers hiking in July. They have hiked 40 miles of the trail so far. We started them hiking when they were 2 & 3 years old. We plan to be in Damascus for trail days, staying at the Lazy Fox B&B. We will tell everyone that you are on the trail and will keep up with your where-abouts.
    Comer & Jean

  4. Farewell my friend. See you somewhere in the Smokies 🙂

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