Thursday, March 20, 2008

Of will, of nimbleness.

I don't know him, but it might be a good thing if I did.

I think I first heard of Nimblewill Nomad (the trail name of M. J. Eberhart), by stumbling over information on his packable wood burning stove, the "Little Dandy".

Whether he'd be glad to know me is a question not worth bothering about. I would be glad to know him. Anyone and everyone could learn from him, and that's the important part.

I've found that my local library has a copy of one of his books, "Ten Million Steps: The Nimblewill Nomad's epic 10-month trek from the Florida Keys to Quebec". I plan to read it soon. Maybe that's where I heard of him first, in some publication or other, mentioning this trip. The guy who made the 4400 mile hike from the Florida keys to Cape Gaspe, Quebec, along what is now known as the Eastern Continental Trail.

Hey. He's for real. As are most if not all long-distance hikers.

What's a boy do after spending 30 years as an optometrist? Make up for it. By, for example, hiking the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, the width of the United States from Cape Hatteras to San Diego, the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail (from St. Louis to Cape Disappointment, Washington, and later, back again). And this year he's planning to hike the Pacific Crest Trail to wrap things up.

This 2008 hike will get him recognized as a triple-crowner, one who has completed the Appalachian, Continental Divide and Pacific Crest trails, but he hardly deserves any special recognition for that because he's already far exceeded what even most triple-crowners achieve.

One day, in another lifetime, maybe I can do some of this too.

Nimblewill Nomad web site
Little Dandy Stove
Little Dandy Stove
Ten Million Steps