It's a job! Oh I still write.... don't get me wrong. That's in my blood. But sometimes life calls one to other roads. You see, this summer until Labor Day, I am a ridgerunner along a forty mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail.
What is a ridgerunner? (I get asked that A LOT!)
Wikipedia sums it up pretty good.
"A Ridgerunner hikes sections of the Appalachian Trail,
meets and greets hikers, provides Trail brochures and literature to
inform visitors about the A.T. and its intended primitive experience,
its location, regulations, and traditions. They take steps to encourage
the best behavior on the part of hikers, to facilitate a positive Trail
experience (particularly for those who are poorly prepared), and to
elicit the support of Trail neighbors and those who live nearby, but who
may not understand or use the Trail properly. Ridgerunners, by their
presence, discourage and mitigate misuse of the Appalachian Trail and
its environs by performing educational and public relations functions."
I work closely with Greenbrier State Park and its terrific staff of rangers. They are in constant contact with me as well as providing me rides to trailheads to begin my stretch of hiking. As one ranger told me, Hey, what a great avenue for new story ideas! - after I told him about my work as an author.
To see what my "first day" as a caretaker was like - check out my blog on Blissful Hiking. If you read it, you'll see what I mean. The ranger is right. Story ideas are bound to happen at a job like this.
So stay tuned.