At the Trailhead: About My Blog
A summer rain storm –
My journal’s sodden pages
Scatter with the gulls.
JOY, KICKS, DARKNESS
Welcome to TGTW!
I started this blog in early 2011 after returning from a big year of adventuring in the U.S. and Switzerland. I wanted a place to record my little stories from over the years, plus more recent, everyday stuff, and some of the photographs that are taking an increasingly important part in my adventures. But the common thread running though most of the content on TGTW, and through my own life, is walking.
I love walking, be it a stroll to the shops, a 2,000-plus-mile epic, or anything in between.
Walking takes you places, and not all of them are on the map. There’s nature, there’s freedom; there’s exertion and solitude and camaraderie. But what really intrigues me is the internal landscape with all its peaks and valleys and dark and twisted paths.
I like words like ramble, tramp and wander. I’m intrigued by journeys, about nature and environment, and we humans’ place in it. Walking overlaps with everything that interests me, and my walking philosophy has been influenced as much by permaculture, Robert Johnson, Basho, Bob Dylan, Ed Abbey and punk rock as by Ryan Jordan, Ray Jardine or that guy who’s run the whole P.C.T. in a few weeks.
You won’t find many gear reviews, statistics, mileages, directions to the trailhead or compass bearings in TGTW. It’s place that turns me on: the history (human and natural), geography, geology, and the stories that result when humans travel through it.
I walk every day, wherever I’m living (Brisbane at the moment), and do Big Trips whenever I can: so far my two-footed follies have taken me from Australia to the American desert and the High Sierra; from the Deep South through the Long Green Tunnel to the White Mountains and the lonesome lakes of Maine; on journeys through Swiss villages and medieval town centres and among snowy peaks; and on many, many excursions in the wilds of backwoods and inner-city Japan.
It’s about time I jotted some of these rambling reminiscences down, maybe shared a few pictures — I need a hobby, readers, and maybe this is it.
GOAT, Brisbane, Australia
I am just going outside and may be some time ~ Captain Lawrence Oates, Scott’s Antarctic Expedition, 1912