Sunday, December 16, 2012


AT Overlooking Kent, CT.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Yup, 53 more days until I take my first steps on the Long Trail.  For the next 3 months the 2 to 4 of you that follow me here can visit HERE to follow what I'm up to.

This is for Passionflower and Roboticus, who I had the good fortune to spend a few hours with on the AT:


Wednesday, June 27, 2012


It's finally time for me to redirect anyone who reads this site to my Long Trail thru hike blog.  Until my trip is completed in mid October, I'll be putting up post on The Dusty Camel website but I'll always post a link here.  If you want to read about some amazing adventures, read through the blog entries for Ian and Andy's thru hikes of the Pacific Crest and Appalachian Trails.  Awesome stuff.

Everyday is Christmas at my house recently.  Here are some of my new goodies:

Here we go:

Todd On The Long Trail

Saturday, June 2, 2012


I'm not sure when the seeds were planted.  Maybe it was hiking the Presidents in New Hampshire last August.  It may have been the hikes that S. and I went on every weekend last summer.  It may have been my loving relationship with the Appalachian Trail.  Or it could have been an aligning of the stars that are my obsession.  Whatever it was it removed the yoke of anger and self hatred I've been burdened with for decades.  Somewhere the violence I committed against myself finally fell beyond my reach.  In the past I've alluded to a difficult childhood.  I never talked openly about it because I was always afraid that if I opened the floodgate with no safety net waiting for me on the other side, it would have ended terribly.  There had to be light to balance against the darkness.  

So... I was sexually abused as a kid.   In the last year I've learned how it has effected every breath I've taken since the day it first happened.  That is the darkness.  As a dividing line between that life and this, I've decided to give myself the gift of hiking all 275 miles of the Long Trail in Vermont, from the VT/Mass border to Canada.  That is the light.  For me it's a pilgrimage, a way to take back what had been taken from me.  It is also my cause.   I'll be raising money for the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN).  Finally, and maybe most importantly, it's a chance for me to walk the spine of the Green Mountains, to fuck around and have fun in one of the most beautiful places on earth for 30 days!

So how did this come about?  In the clusterfuck that is my head, I pulled the pin on the idea and in a matter of 2 weeks was granted a month off from work, gained the support of a remarkable organization (, was blessed with free or unbelievably discounted gear, bought a shitload of books, and maps, and planned the first 10 days of my trek.  It's forced me  to let go, as best I can for now, the cynicism and anger that has poisoned me for most of my life.  How the fuck can you be bitter when you have a small army of supporters; friends, family, relative strangers, all standing guard behind you?  I can't.  In the coming weeks I'll be rerouting this blog (for the 3 or 4 people that read it!) to the site that Ian of  The Dusty Camel is setting up for me.  I'll be taking part in their Treks For Charity program.  Know in advance that I'm going to completely fuck up when it comes to thanking all the people that have helped me. I've started a list.   I apologize in advance. 

Onward and upward.  FUCK YEAH!!!  

For 30 days in September this will be my home:


Sunday, May 27, 2012


The musicians I've always loved are the ones that create a sound not of this earth.  They're so unique, so visionary, that there are no reference points for what they create, no past that they seem to draw from.  Hendrix is the most well known and most obvious example of this other-worldly sound. Listen to "Castles Made Of Sand" and tell me he wasn't dropped from the sky.  Jazz Fusion guitarist Alan Holdsworth also seemed to have been transported from an alternate universe.  With his enormous hands he created chord structures that only he could have played and created a sound like that of a smooth yet dissonant horn.  Listen to his astonishing solo in "Devil Takes The Hindmost".

The genre of music that I played for over two decades, a chaotic sort of metal, was blessed by another of these visionaries.  Steeve Hurdle was a monster of a man, a dude whose jagged rhythms and oddly melodic dissonance informed every note I played from the day I first heard him in 1998 until the last day I ever picked up a guitar.   Steeve was able to create the soundtrack to the decades long car accident in my head and, while he  struggled with his own demons, he strangled those fucking things  every time he picked up a guitar.  Steeve died from post surgical complications this past week.  He'll be missed.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I had the good fortune to once meet the dude.  He was absolutely nuts in the best sense of the word.  A good portion of my childhood is best forgotten, but reading "Where The Wild Things Are" is something I hope to never forget.

"A little boy... sent me a charming card with a little drawing. I loved it. I answer all my children's letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, "Dear Jim: I loved your card." Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, "Jim loved your card so much he ate it." That to me was one of the highest compliments I've ever received. He didn't care that it was an original drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it."  Maurice Sendak

This is the ornery motherfucker in all his glory:

Saturday, May 5, 2012


pilgrimage |ˈpilgrəmij|
a pilgrim's journey.
• a journey to a place associated with someone or something well known or respected

I'm not sure where the dividing line is between determination and obsession.  It's been the story of my life up to this point.  I can't quiet the unsettling shriek that's pushing me toward burning to the ground the entire life I've built in the last 5 years to attempt a 6 month walk that I pray will offer some degree of redemption and absolution.  It has been a life of relative stability that I'll be abandoning, at least in contrast to the chaos and self destruction of the previous decades, but I can't shake the feeling that at this moment I am just 'not dying'.

“Life is occupied in both perpetuating itself and in surpassing itself; if all it does is    maintain itself, then living is only not dying” Simone de Beauvoir

I'm also not sure where the dividing line between selfishness and salvation lies.  Why would I be willing to trade the comfort and safety of the life I've assembled here in NY/CT for something far less certain?  The answer lies, at least in part, in the question.  Comfortable and safe leave me numb.  There can be no change, at least in my life, without seismic shift; no transcendence without a good deal of mental and physical suffering.  It feels like there is nothing left to learn here.

Maybe at the end of my journey to find someone well known or respected I'll be able to find some version of myself that can prove to me that my life hasn't been one of wasted potential and enormous regret.  It sounds so fucking trite and just typing it out makes me feel like I'm writing some fucking self help book, but thats what I'm hoping to find. Whether I find it hiking from Springer to Katahdin or some other as yet undiscovered pilgrimage remains to be seen, but the trap has been set.


Green Tunnel from Kevin Gallagher on Vimeo.