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Thursday, March 11, 2010

"Trekking The North Country Trail" by Nimblewill Nomad

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submitted by Todd McMahon (TMan)- an interview with "Eb" Eberhard, Nimblewill Nomad.

TMAN: Hi Eb, From looking at your website I understand that you will be having a new book coming out soon "Trekking The North Country Trail" by M. J. Eberhart. I have some questions for you, which I’ll pass on to Joan Young at the North Country Trail News. I am about half way into [reading] "Ten Million Steps" your previous book. Is "Trekking" in the same format, where you write a day to day journal?
NIMBLEWILL NOMAD: Yes, daily journal entries with supportive day-ending quotes.

TMAN: What is your process for writing? Do you primarily use the Sony Microcassette recorder to take notes for writing, or do you use other means?
NIMBLEWILL NOMAD: I try to write my thoughts for the day, at the end of each day. It's sure not easy, especially after a 25- or 30-miler, but I try. I tell friends that hiking is hard and writing is hard--and hiking and writing is very hard! I do carry my little recorder with me at times, to keep thoughts, remember people's names, etc. But primarily, I try getting my feelings and thoughts into words on a daily basis using my little PocketMail Composer. When I don't have support, I carry the Composer with me in my pack. It's part of my six to seven pounds of basic pack gear-- sure a luxury.

TMAN: What were the biggest surprises that you encountered on the Trail? Either pleasant surprises or not so pleasant ones?
NIMBLEWILL NOMAD: I was dealt some really bad weather right from the very beginning of the journey. The lingering winter in North Dakota and Minnesota, having to deal with it every day, was brutal. And it was day-to-day. The fact I had support to begin with was a blessing. I could not have endured otherwise. I knew, to succeed, I'd have to deal with the long-mile days one at a time. But I had no idea how daunting a challenge it would ultimately become. All hikers do high mile days, time-to-time, but back-to-back 25s, for days, weeks, months--a totally different ordeal. I did deal with it though, the very long, seemingly unending days of rain and cold.
Reaching that goal, the goal of trekking the NCT as a thru-hike, 4,500 miles of it, I believe (especially at age 70), has turned to be one of my most proud accomplishments. The good Lord sure was by my side on this one! To have been granted the strength and determination, the will to see it through, it has certainly proved humbling.

TMAN: What are your future plans? I know from a previous email that you want to hike all 11 national scenic trails. You have 4 left to do, is that still your plan?
NIMBLEWILL NOMAD: Yes, I'll depart the first week in May for Arizona . Odyssey 2010 will encompass treks o'er the AZT [Arizona Trail] and the PNT [Pacific Northwest Trail], good Lord willin'. That'll leave the IAT [Ice Age Trail] and the NET [New England Trail] for 2011-- for all 11.

TMAN: Give us an update on the Book. When will it be published, by whom and where will it be available at?
NIMBLEWILL NOMAD: TTNCT will be published by Thirsty Turtle Press (a self publish). It will be available at my website, perhaps Amazon. I'm not much at marketing. But, if like previous books, it'll sell a fair number. Watch my site for release date-- coming soon.

TMAN: If you have anything else you'd like to write, please do so.
NIMBLEWILL NOMAD: You'll read critical comments about the NCT, but they're all meant to be constructive. Overall, my feelings about the NCT, my thru-hike, are very positive. As thru-hikes go, it wasn't perfect. That's the nature of a thru. But it was a truly remarkable adventure. Even with the hardship, the pain, the toil, I'd do it again in a heartbeat; the NCT is one of America's greatest-- a very special trail!

TMAN: Eb, Thanks for all your inspiration and your good website that has helped many people who are hiking the NCT.
NIMBLEWILL NOMAD: I hope that folks reading about my adventure on the NCT will be encouraged to get out and try it. My books about the ECT [Eastern Continental Trail] have brought attention to the amalgam of trails that comprise that long trail. That I've played some part in bringing those trails to light, especially the FT [Florida Trail] and the SIA/IAT [International Appalachian Trail], again, has been a humbling experience.

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