Good day everyone. I am happy to announce that my first book has finally been published and is available on Amazon. I self-published due to the difficulty and ridiculous cost of finding a professional publishing house or agent and just did not have the time to devote to it.

This is a different type of book on hiking and focuses on several primary themes including: Why people hike long-distance trails, the transformation of purpose and self, liminality, rites of passage, re-invention of our identity, the social and essential worlds, hiking as therapy, long-distance hiking as a pilgrimage, and it features the narratives of several diverse hikers who were generous enough to share their stories with me. I also speak about my own AT adventures in '99, solo climbing Aconcagua in 2002 and 2004, hiking the Whites of NH with my daughter and the book is also a tribute to my friend, whom many of you know or wanted to know, Jack Tarlin "Baltimore Jack". I knew him well and there has been much written about him, but I wanted to tell people about the man I knew and how his friendship helped to transform my life, and led me to have the incredible life and family that I have enjoyed since leaving behind my old one. There is also my first-hand account of what transpired at The Doyle in 1999 with the dead body inside that Jack had a most unpleasant encounter with. Thank you very much for looking. I will have author copies in a couple of weeks if anyone would like autographed ones. Have a peacful trek! SuperFlySY AT 1999

Here are a couple of short excerpts:
The transformative nature of the trail is so great that some are drawn to it out of a desperate need to help someone else. When I got the idea to write this book, I reached out to the hiking community for anecdotes and stories about the trail and how it changed people. I didn't expect much, to be honest. The first person to respond to my request for stories came from a man I will call Allen, who has not yet hiked but told me a story about his daughter. In part, it read:
she has had chemo and radiation. Her mastectomy left her with a damaged arm; she has only a small fraction of her former strength as well as sensory deficits. Her hair grew back light brown and wavy as compared to her former blonde/straight hair. But the big change is her personality/attitude. She sees no future for herself. She is cynical. She is bitter. She is done with even thinking about another menial job and lacks any confidence regarding looking for work in accounting. She has not one friend in this world. She was always an introvert, but she has closed the door on all connections with former friends. She abhors any reference to cancer. If a person so much as asks how she is feeling she shuts down. She no longer watches movies/television because the content so often has references to cancer. She hates the color pink, literally and figuratively. If ever the trail needed to change someone, it is ****** and I still hold out hope that it can happen for her.

This father's pain and his words struck me deeply as I also have a daughter that I would give anything to help if she needed it.

Another if you will indulge me:
It was fate that I met Jack on the trail during my thru-hike in 1999. I firmly believe that it was my destiny to encounter this character, as providence was my guide in this journey. I read his journal entries for many weeks following behind him and had heard about this "blue blazer" and wild man of the A.T. The day I met him is a day that I recall precisely. I was hiking alone for much of the day, and it was early in the season, but already blisteringly hot and dry out, the leaves were starting to change, and it was looking like summer was well on the way.
As I began to climb a very steep, long, straight section of trail, I looked up and saw an odd sight. It was a hiker, but not a "normal" looking hiker. This hiker had a stumbling unbalanced gait that contrasted with the intense efficiency that a thru-hiker typically develops over time. He had both knees wrapped with ACE bandages, his boots were unlaced and floppy looking, and his enormous backpack was cocked hard to one side rather than well balanced in the center of his back, and he had on torn black nylon shorts. I had to pause to make sure I was seeing this caricature of a hiker as we were well away from a trailhead where the day jockeys would get on and off the trail. About that same moment, he stumbled and, in defiance of the laws of physics and momentum, did a full-bodied front flip and face planted on the rocks!
A loud voice in my head said, "That's Baltimore Jack!" I rushed up to where he was sitting, tangled up in a heap with his obscenely large and gnarly looking backpack threatening to drag him over the edge of a ravine (His pack size would become nearly as legendary as the man himself). He held his broken glasses in his hand and had blood pouring out of a gash on his forehead. He looked up and said in his distinctive voice, “got any tape?” I said, sure I do, and you have got to be Baltimore Jack. “How did you know?” Just a hunch, I responded. With a huff, he retorted in pure Jack fashion, "Well, sir, it appears as if your intuition proves to be correct, now how about that tape!" This encounter would eventually prove to be the most transformative meeting of my life, up to that point anyway. It became a catalyst for so much life change that I still am in awe over it. Jack would become one of my best friends. He would provide me with a place to call home in Hanover, NH. Introduce me to someone that I am still with more than 20 years later, and would set in motion a cascade of events and life decisions that ultimately, I believe, helped me to discover and fulfill my destiny as a human.