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Hiking My Way to a Novel

Updated on September 8, 2015
Near the halfway point of the trail, in Pennsylvania
Near the halfway point of the trail, in Pennsylvania | Source

Walking A Trail Frees My Mind To Wander

On September 25th, 2000, I completed a six-month journey from one end of the Appalachian Trail to the other, a 2,169-mile walk from Georgia to Maine otherwise known as a thru-hike.

Along the way, I embarked on another type of journey, a creative adventure which led to my first published novel, called I. Joseph Kellerman; although, the story has nothing to do with backpacking or the trail I was on when I wrote the first draft.

Usually writing at night while lying in my tent, I'd hold my flashlight in my mouth (shoulda had a headlamp ... duh!) so I could scribble with one hand and prop my head up with the other. I had to put down on paper all the creative thoughts and silent dialogue I'd conjured up while hiking each day. One of the most valuable and lightest-weight things I brought with me on my thru-hike was my imagination.

Deb "Ramkitten" Lauman, a hiking writer

My Creative Outlet

My Creative Outlet
My Creative Outlet
That's me, feeling happy on the Appalachian Trail
That's me, feeling happy on the Appalachian Trail

The Hiking

Six months on the Appalachian Trail

From April 1st to September 25th, my backpack was my house away from home. In my house, I packed my bedroom (a 2-man tent), my bedding and mattress (a Z-rest pad), my stove, cookware and dishes (which were one and the same pot), utensils (a spoon, that is) and my pantry. I also packed my wardrobe, my toiletries and medicine cabinet, and various other items, such as lighting, a wallet (also known as a Zip-loc baggie), and a guidebook.

I carried my house on my back for five months and three weeks. At its heaviest, when the weather in the mountains was cold and I had seven days of food in the pantry, my house weighed as much as 45 pounds. At its lightest, during the summer months when I was heading into town with my pantry nearly empty, my house weighed as little as 24 pounds.

During those 178 days, as I walked through the long, green tunnel and up and over more than 400 named peaks, my legs were the vehicles that transported me and my house all those miles. Along the way, I went through two sets of tires; I bought new hiking boots in Vermont when the first pair blew out and the treads were gone after 1,600 miles.

You might say my gaiters were my mud flaps, helping to keep dirt, pebbles and, to some extent, rainwater from going down into my boots. My trekking poles were like seat belts, air bags, and shock absorbers all rolled into one. They prevented me from crashing as I walked on jumbled rocks and roots, crossed rivers and slippery logs, and often tripped over my own feet. A bandanna was one of the most versatile items I carried, serving as a hanky, a sweat rag, a towel and face cloth, a head covering, and even a fly-swatter.

Essentially, I carried everything I needed and left the rest at home, which, at that time, was a small town in southwestern Pennsylvania. And, for nearly six months, my home away from home was the Appalachian Trail, commonly referred to as the A.T.

The Book that Came From My Long Walk

I. Joseph Kellerman
I. Joseph Kellerman

A story of self-discovery and redemption


The Path To My Imagination

The Path To My Imagination
The Path To My Imagination

My Journal From The Appalachian Trail - A Daily Log

Each day on the trail, in addition to scribbling some fiction for my growing novel, I also kept a journal about my hike. That journal was transcribed and posted online by a volunteer, who somehow deciphered my chicken scratchings as she received envelopes full of entries every week or so.


I. Joseph Kellerman, a novel
I. Joseph Kellerman, a novel | Source

The Writing

The story behind the story of "I. Joseph Kellerman"

On June 22nd, 2000, I was 82 days and 935 miles into my thru-hike. I was walking near the northern end of Shenandoah National Park, talking with my friend, Kit, otherwise known by her trail name, Split P.

Our conversation that morning touched upon many topics and eventually turned to writing and real people who would make great models for fictional characters. And that's when Split P began telling me a little about a psychotherapist a friend of hers had known, until the man passed away in the early '90s. I was fascinated.

As the day went along and more miles passed beneath my feet, the man Split P had described morphed into a character I would soon name, I. Joseph Kellerman. Purely figments of my own imagination, Constance Fairhart, Orla Heffel, Bernie Babbish, Lucille McBride and Maggie Carlisle also began to come alive before I fell asleep in the Jim & Molly Denton Shelter that night.

Throughout the next three months on the trail, I spent countless hours walking and camping with Kellerman and company, and came to know them very well. I'd jot down bits of dialogue, scene settings, pages of plot and a myriad of disjointed text during lunches and rest breaks and often at night in my tent while other hikers were asleep. At each town stop, I'd package the crinkled, stained and water-damaged pages, most of which had writing crammed in the margins, and mail them to my husband, who set them aside in empty shoe boxes.

When I returned home in early October after completing my hike, I sifted through, sorted, cut and taped all those snippets and pieces of text in some semblance of order, then sat down at my computer and typed the first draft of I. Joseph Kellerman. That process took six weeks.

The story and characters went through a number of transformations since then, culminating in the book that bears the name of the character who now scarcely resembles the real man who'd inspired the idea.

Two Journeys in One

Two Journeys in One
Two Journeys in One

More About the Book

I'm not self-published, but the small press that picked up I. Joseph Kellerman died. Literally. The founder and president of Gardenia Press really did die unexpectedly, and her widow shut down the company.

At the time, the first print run of my novel (a couple thousand copies) was underway. But once they were printed, the pre-sold books were shipped to customers ... and the rest ended up on my doorstep. So now I'm left to blatantly plug and promote this book on my own, until or unless I find a new publisher.

I. Joseph Kellerman is a both a dark and quirky story. On the one hand, Dr. Kellerman is a man tormented by a horrific past, watched over by his long-time secretary and enabler, Constance Fairhart, who spies on her boss through a hole in the wall, hidden by a bizarre painting behind her front office desk. (Paintings play an important role in the story as well.)

At the same time, many of Dr. Kellerman's patients, who still come and go, day after day, month after month and some still year after year despite how withdrawn the doctor has become, are downright Woody Allen-ish. Charicatures in some ways.

The real man this book is based upon was a controversial character who practiced his own brand of psychotherapy in Brooklyn until his death in the early 90s. I actually knew relatively little about him when I wrote the story, but a letter from one of his former patients really amazed me, because she said I nailed some of the details, like the smell of Dr. Kellerman's rowhouse among other things. Eerie.

She wrote:

"He was in terrible health -- an insomniac and workaholic who saw a ridiculous number of patients and had very poor boundaries with them. (There was this one seriously mentally ill woman who he'd managed to keep out of hospitals for years because he let her call him anytime, and his phone often rang during sessions and he'd answer it, which is an awful thing to do to your clients! And, as an aside, this woman committed suicide not long after his death.) He smoked a pipe and had a diet that consisted of crap like hot dog buns eaten plain, and had a huge, unhealthy looking gut. His apartment, furnished in ugly Goodwill stuff and extremely cluttered (in the livingroom, 2 broken tv sets stacked on top of each other), smelled like cat piss because of all the strays he took in. The entrance hallway was like a tunnel because it was stacked floor to ceiling with cans of catfood, dogfood, and Wonder bread for the ducks in the park. He actually didn't like people very much, much preferred quadrupeds. He did often fall asleep in sessions, which he claimed was due to his heart medication. He did in fact set up clients on blind dates, and was having an affair with my best friend (a client of about 10 years) which was disastrous for her. Basically, he had this loyal following mainly because of his eccentricities."

When I read this, I was amazed at how much certain details I'd made up turned out to be so accurate. If you do read the book, pay attention to things like the entry hall, the smells, Dr. Kellerman's nightly habits, his cats, and his diet. All of that came from my own head but was actually very close to reality.

If you'd like to have a signed paperback copy of I. Joseph Kellerman (scribbled in by yours truly), please visit my website at

Thanks for reading my plug!



An Author Interview

You can read an Interview I did about I. Joseph Kellerman and my writing in general, answering questions about what unusual places, situations or people have inspired my novels, how I come up with my characters, whether I prefer indie or traditional publishing, and more.

Writer Wednesday Interview with Debra Lauman (<--my maiden name, by the way) on the blog "This Page Intentionally Blank"

Want More Information on the Appalachian Trail.... - and other long-distance hikes?

These are a few websites I really like:

More than 2,000 Miles in Less Than Five Minutes - I remember many of these "footsteps" well.

This video was made from more than 4,000 images -- 24 per day -- taken by 2005 thru-hiker, Kevin Gallagher.

Appalachian Trail Reading & Guidebooks - I recommend these books....

I've used and/or read the following guides and books about the Appalachian Trail and have included updated versions if you'd like to take a look:

The A.T. Data Book

This invaluable hiker's guide offers at-a-glance information about the trail, road crossings, campsites and lean-tos, water sources, and more.

Carry it (or pages of it at a time) somewhere you can easily get to it while you're hiking.

I referred to my own Data Book multiple times each day.

Walking the Appalachian Trail

This book is about all things A.T., with each chapter about a different topic or notable trail personality.

It's a fun and interesting read.

The A.T. Guide

This guidebook includes information on towns on and near the trail in addition to a lot of good info on the trail itself, including notable mileposts, historical points, and shelters. A really important and well organized resource for all thru-hikers and section-hikers.

Recommended Reading on Writing - My favorite....

This is my favorite book on the craft of writing. A fun read, too! This is the book that made me realize that it's okay to write sh*tty first drafts.

© 2008 Deb Kingsbury

Talk to Me About Hiking, Writing, Or Anything Else That Comes To Mind

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    • Michelllle profile image


      6 years ago

      I Loved this.

    • annemiekeee profile image


      6 years ago

      This is really inspiring and nothing like I've seen before! A really interesting lens, thank you for sharing your amazing experience! Well done! :)

    • knitstricken profile image


      7 years ago

      You are my 900th Like! Hooray! :o)

    • Digory LM profile image

      Digory LM 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for the lens and best of luck with your book. I've just published an e-book so maybe some day I'll do the thru-hike too! Happy New Year.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Most of my hiking has been day hiking, I have done Katahdin many times as well as a lot of the Whites. I do not know if I will ever get to do a lot of the AT but I really enjpoy reading about the adventures people have on The Trail.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing to adventure, I like adventure!Great lens!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your adventure! This seems so awesome and appealing to me, you inspired me!

    • agoofyidea profile image


      7 years ago

      Congratulations on your book. I hope to thru-hike the appalachian trail someday. Ironically, I plan to do it after my book is done (this year, hooray!) and I have the time and money to hike that far. You are an inspiration.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      great lens.......

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      People complain that they don't have the time or energy to write a book. Hah! If you could write a book without even electricity to light the paper as you wrote, it shows who the real writer is.

    • Elle-Dee-Esse profile image

      Lynne Schroeder 

      8 years ago from Blue Mountains Australia

      What an amazing adventure. Good luck with your book

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I admired your story about Screamer, so bought this book on Kindle. I'm sorry that doesn't help with your hard copies. I love your path to imagination. Very pretty.

    • BlueTrane profile image


      8 years ago

      I've not hiked extensively...i wish I had. Great Lens!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love it!!! Great lens. I must get me some of these.


      pantry cabinet

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This lens was so cool. Your pictures are absolutely stunning and I love the video. That's such a great accomplishment and you should be proud. I would appreciate it if you could possibly take a look at my lens about a fantasy novel? If not I completely understand. Have a great New Year!

    • JohannDog profile image

      Johann The Dog 

      8 years ago from Northeast Georgia

      Love, love, love all your hiking adventure stories. Loved the AT vid too :)

    • WildFacesGallery profile image


      8 years ago from Iowa

      What an amazing story all the way around.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      must have been a great accomplishment. wish i could have the will to do the same

    • SaintFrantic profile image


      8 years ago

      Amazing accomplishment.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image


      8 years ago

      That is quite a hiking accomplishment. I cannot imagine such a walk - camping trip - discovery adventure all in one go. I would have to rest for a year or two afterwards. Great description of you adventure.

    • Paul Ward profile image


      8 years ago from Liverpool, England

      Two great adventures combined: Angel Blessed

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      8 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      What a great lens! I remember reading about your hiking the Appalachian Trail, now I'm amazed to read about your novel. Blessed by an angel on the Memorial Day bus trip!

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 

      8 years ago

      Loved this lens and was very impressed with everything, including the book and how you wrote it. I doff my hat to you.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wish I could do all that and having all the time to travel!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Really such a creative mind, writing novel while travelling. But its quite natural as you are surrounded by such a nice wonderful surroundings and what with your friend tellling you all this about Josepth, its such an exciting life! Wish I could do all that! Interesting.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Lots of people write a journal as they hike a trail, but this is much more striking--inventing a world and people in it as you go. I like this idea a lot. It must have made the miles pass better.

    • makingamark profile image

      Katherine Tyrrell 

      8 years ago from London

      What a really interesting lens - loved the bit where you found out you were rather good at making up details and the green tunnel video


    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      8 years ago from Colorado

      Your photos of the trail really drew me in. Like you, I find inspiration when moving... walking. It is my most creative time. I think it is quite wonderful that you published a book that was conceived during your thru-hike. Congrats!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Another nice lens.

    • jackieb99 profile image


      9 years ago

      Good stuff! Yeah for the AT!

    • Joy Neasley profile image

      Joy Neasley 

      9 years ago from Nashville, TN

      I journal also by drawing and of course with my camera. There is just something about nature that brings the beauty of God's creations to realization.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      such a good idea. i wanted to do this but i am not active enough...some day

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Glad to read your story, and applaud you for all that you do with the rescue organization! I am amazed by people who make the trail to the end, and will someday make it my own!

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 

      9 years ago from US/TN

      All I can say is WOW! What an adventure that must have been -- I can't imagine spending 5 months living on the trial. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • HealthfulMD profile image

      Kirsti A. Dyer 

      9 years ago from Northern California

      What a great idea to combine hiking with writing. Congratulations on getting your novel published.

    • newbizmau profile image

      Maurice Glaude 

      9 years ago from Mobile, AL

      I really enjoyed this lens.

    • KokoTravel profile image


      9 years ago

      Wonderful that you wrote this book... I am hoping that you can find someone to help promote... the book sounds fascinating! Hiking the trail in the glory of nature certainly made your brain come alive. FABULOUS!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      9 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Hi Deb. I've been 'vaguely' aware of your book, I. Joseph Kellerman, from reading some of your other Squidoo stories, but didn't realize you 'wrote' the book in your head while hiking the Appalachian Trail, before scribbling down notes of your thoughts at night in your tent! How terrific you were able to combine your love of hiking with your writing talent. And now you are combining writing with your ability and training in the field of Search &amp; Rescue to write a book about the Himalaya Rescue Dog Squad in Nepal. What a truly multi-talented individual you are, which makes your Squidoo lenses fascinating to read! Well done. ~~Blessed by a SquidAngel~~

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Fantasic way to see new places and meet new people, we all love hiking and trekking here in Peru as it has endless possibilities. Learn more on one of our Peru vacations or by visiting our site at

    • KarenTBTEN profile image


      9 years ago

      A novel can be every bit as much of a journey as a hike along the Appalachian (or cross-country). Very nice!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Loved your adventure! For more books on writing, I hope you will suggest visitors come to my new lens or the book club

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Visually stunning and a wonderful story. Blessed :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This is a great story. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Airinka profile image


      9 years ago


    • vernessataylor lm profile image

      vernessataylor lm 

      9 years ago

      You're a brave gal, hiking and writing! I live in the Appalachian Mountains but hiking is not something I take pleasure in :) You've made me want to read your book. I'm sure to enjoy it. Thanks for sharing both the photos and your thought journey.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Hey Ramkitten. This is an awesome lens. I can't wait to read your others listed here. The pictures almost make me drunk when I read about the A.T. Keep up the excellent writing!

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image


      10 years ago

      I've written four novels, published one. Whenever the inspiration strikes, sit down and write. It will all come together in the end.

      Thanks for sharing


    • BudgetBathInc1 profile image


      10 years ago

      Awesome! i want to hike the appalachian train extremely bad! and i like the books on writing, five stars!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      10 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Very nice lens and that must have been a fascinating trip down the Appalachian Trail. 5*****, hope you get the funding you need for your trip to Nepal.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      interesting lens &amp; inspiring... i wants to write my feelings... &amp; i think it will be not only lens!

      it may be a open link towards blank paper!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      @GonnaFly: Really fantastic &amp; fascinating ! i also agree the words you planning... but none of them

      ended up on paper... really !

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Very interesting lens, I'm curious about reading your books, and I feel inspired to hike and write more aign! :)

    • heidishome profile image


      10 years ago

      I have always wanted to hike the Appalacian trail! I cannot wait to read more or your lenses!

    • SpikeandLola profile image


      10 years ago

      That is so cool! What an amazing journey.

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      10 years ago from Templeton, CA

      You've succeeded in making me want to read the book. What I haven't' figured out yet is when I will find time to read anything except lenses again. I really do enjoy reading yours.

    • bicycle envy profile image

      bicycle envy 

      10 years ago

      that's awesome, it's amazing what comes to you on the road (or in this case on the trail!) I've always wanted to hike the AT, maybe one of these days...

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 

      10 years ago

      Congrats on your novel - maybe I should do more hiking and I'd be more inspired in my writing!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      it's a new feelings.. &amp; i am enjoying.. &amp; wants to enjoy more with all writings.. thanks God i found it today to feel a lot of new.. thank you too.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      10 years ago from Canada

      Just stopped by to say hi and a very merry holiday season to you.

    • ZenandChic profile image


      10 years ago

      Blessed by an angel!

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 

      10 years ago

      One with the nature. I always believed that there's magic when we become one with the nature. We are relieved. Stresses are removed from our mind and body enabling us to think freely. Your writings are just evidences of what I've said.

      Thanks for sharing your experiences and your novel. Hope you could visit my lenses as well.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Wow man, you are really should be thankful for all these beautiful things in your life and I feel so blessed for you with so many adventures and those lovely people or animal in your life wowee, you are lucky!! Anyhow and you both worked in farms thats the most beautiful job in the world (of course I know its hard work but its in nature!!). Am really happy to see your beautiful life, wish mine is as exciting and adventurous - climbing the mountain with all these beautiful sceneries above!! You are the envy of many..

    • GonnaFly profile image


      10 years ago from Australia

      What a fascinating lens! When you go on bushwalks (Aussie for "hikes"), there is plenty of time for thinking and planning. I remember composing novels in my head when I was younger, but none of them ended up on paper....

    • drifter0658 lm profile image

      drifter0658 lm 

      10 years ago

      Some of your lenses have several sets of footprints that belong to me. Some of those tell tale signs of my visits are faded into ghosts and some I tread heavy in the same path. Every footprint comes at the price of absorbing every word, Which is a price I'm always happy to go broke paying.

      Smell the smoke of a burn-out blessing?

    • ZenandChic profile image


      10 years ago

      Congrats! I have my poetry published in books and on amazon and kindle as well. It is very exciting.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      HI Deb, thanks for visiting my sedona rocks lens, I featured you there. I really like your writing style and sense of humor -:). All the best to you, Darcie

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      10 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I really want to read your novel, "I. Joseph Kellerman". It sounds wonderful. I popped back in here to give you a well deserved blessing on this lens.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Wow- what an inspirational lens, thank-you! Love to do a hike with you sometime and write about it-:) LOve Darcie

    • Kiwisoutback profile image


      10 years ago from Massachusetts

      The book sounds interesting! Congratulations on being a published author, not many people can say that about themselves --though I'm not too surprised granted the amazing lenses you've written! I visited your personal website and gave it a stumble on SU, looks great. Blessed.

    • roamingrosie profile image


      10 years ago

      What a fascinating experience! I can't even imagine being able to spend six months on the Appalachian Trail, but you describe it beautifully and in a way that makes me wish I'd found time to fit it in! I guess it's never too late, right? :)

    • HenryE LM profile image

      HenryE LM 

      10 years ago

      What an interesting experience! Very interesting lens to read, too. I've often thought of writing a book and I found this lens inspirational. Best of luck to you!

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 

      10 years ago

      You are amazing. I just purchased your book from your website. Squidoo is packed with amazing people. Off to read more of your lenses.

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 

      10 years ago from Idaho

      I want to read your novel when you are through, for now I just work my way through one beauiful lens at a time! Another great one Deb!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      An amazing adventure!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Great lens! You share some wonderful stories and photos here. I'd love for you to visit my lens and say hello when you get the chance.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Excellent work here. And your lens also gave me some food for thought about laying out a lens. Very well done. I often thought about hiking the Appalachian Trail, but just never took the time to do so. Best wishes to you and your career.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I agree completely! Thank you!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I find your writing process really interesting. I do a lot of my writing while camping and kayaking (and washing dishes - it's true). The book sounds very intriguing. Just might have to order myself a copy. Best of luck with all your endeavors!

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 

      10 years ago from Washington KS

      Thank you for visiting my writing lens and leaving a comment. Best of luck with your own writing progress. 5 and fave

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Very cool lens. Wonderful way to promote your writing skills. Best wishes for your success. I love to hike too. Hope you will visit my new lens about emotional healing. I found this lens on Squidom. Sincerely: Gary Eby, author and therapist.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Fantastic lens, what a hike of a lifetime. Will follow you on Twitter. Thanks.


    • kimberlynapper profile image

      Kimberly Napper 

      10 years ago from U.S.

      Fascinating lens. That is amazing, how similar the character was to the man who inspired him. Gorgeous photos.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Deb, another outstanding lens. You're an amazingly talented writer! What a gift. :)

    • stephenteacher profile image

      Stephen Carr 

      10 years ago from Corona, CA

      WOW, that's all I can say! Great lens. I wish you success!

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image


      10 years ago


      My name is Elizabeth Jean Allen and I am the new group leader for the Nature and the Outdoors Group.


    • cappuccino136 profile image


      10 years ago

      Wow, what an adventure and an inspirational lens for writers. I'm new to fiction writing, but have written non-fiction for as long as I can remember. Congratulations on completing the novel and getting published. I hope you are successful in marketing and selling the books.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      What a great lens. I started hiking 2 years ago and just do the day trips for fun. I can really appreciate the pics and your input, it is so freeing. Keep it up!

    • JoeTedesco profile image


      10 years ago

      Outstanding, what an amazing thing to do... and oh by the way, you wrote a book too!

    • BFunivcom profile image

      Allan R. Wallace 

      10 years ago from Wherever Human Rights Reign

      I've e-mailed this to two of my kids who are thinking of through hiking the Pacific Crest trail. If they are able to go, I'm sure this will encourage them to suffer the extra wright of writing materials.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Very inspiring! Such an adventurous way to write.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Kingsbury 

      10 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      [in reply to dustytoes] Hi there and thanks for your comment. Actually, I hiked alone in an overall sense, but I did meet lots of nice people along the way, so I never ended up camping alone or going into towns alone. But I didn't have a specific partner or group I'd planned to hike the trail with. That's kind of difficult to do--or, at least, to stick to--because not only do paces differ, but how far in a day two people prefer to hike, how long or how many days to stay in a town differs, styles differ, etc. So it's tough to pre-arrange a hiking buddy and end up staying together for so many months and so many miles. Anyhow, just thought I'd reply to that. Thanks again!

    • dustytoes profile image


      10 years ago

      Quite eerie how the character you made up turned out to be very similar to the real guy. I was wondering if you hiked with a group or alone and it sounds like a group. Your book sounds interesting.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      My name is Bonnie and I’m a Giant Squid Community Organizer here on Squidoo. I think you’ve got a quality lens on your hands and should check out the Giant Squid Program! Giant Squids are the best-of-the-best on Squidoo and get some amazing perks.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I read you plug : a very cool contribution...I enjoyed it a lot

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      great lense, and great book idea. i've read walk in the woods, which was fun, but he never completed the whole trail.

      gave you five stars!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      What an adventurous trip. Reading your work makes me feel present, as if I am right there. Love your writing style.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      A brilliant lens with content that is very close to my heart!! I'm an avid hiker myself!! The feeling of freedom is second to none and this lens conveys that feeling perfectly!!

      Well done!! I'm very impressed!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Thanks for the critique on my lens. Yours is excellent! Way to go!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Welcome to the Memoirs Group!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Wow! A thru-hike AND a novel? You truly are my hero:)


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