Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Beauty Beneath the Dirt

Written by: Katherine "Ringleader" Imp

"You know there have already been documentaries made about the Appalachian Trail."

"You carry that camera in your pack? It looks really heavy."

"You didn't go to film school and you're making a film?"

No matter where you are -- on the Appalachian Trail, in a big city, or in a small town, people are going to question your actions. Why? Who knows. Maybe because they are curious, maybe because they want to help, or maybe they just want something to gossip about. The real question is this:

How far are you willing to go to make your dreams come true?

Last week we did marathons over mountains. Everything hurt. The bugs were out. My body was drained. But during those days I saw more than the dirt beneath my feet. I saw farm land, and rivers, and wild ponies. I received trail magic. I met people that made me laugh. I saw the beauty that America has to offer. Do I stop to film these things, knowing that I still have miles to go, knowing that Emily and Brandon will move farther away from me, knowing that I'll likely have to finish the hike in the dark? How far would you go? Is it worth it?

To me, the answer is yes. Some people may question us. And some days may be harder than others. But I promised you all a film that would entertain, inspire, and show people the beauty of the Appalachian Trail. And thanks to our editor, Jason Furrer, and the rest of the Traveling Circus, Emily and Brandon, this film is well on its way to fulfilling that promise.

The documentary is not just about the Appalachian Trail. It's about our experience on the trail -- the highs, the lows, the laughs, the sorrows. Most importantly, it is about the unique social community that the trail has to offer. Starting next week, Jason will be posting video clips on the blog. We hope these clips will add to your enjoyment of the blog as we continue our journey on the Appalachian Trail.


  1. Questioning and criticizing are easy, but they have little value; knowing, and doing, are hard but have great value. People who imply criticism of your efforts are really just making a statement about themselves. You are making a statement about the world.

    Your documentary sounds fantastic! I can't wait to see the clips.

  2. People will say anything to make themselves feel better, more so if all they do is sit on the couch with their thumbs in their asses.

    Keep up the hussle! I'm happy to have tracked your trip thus far. Can't wait to see the documentary.


  3. Guys this is fantastic! I just stumbled across your blog (and awesome site) cause I too am soon to begin the famous journey. I'm just a solo guy from Panama City Florida and can't wait to experience what you all are doing. I wonder how long you prepared prior to your departure...I know you're prolly too busy to answer emails and all, but being that you are there now, is it a doable thing to hike thru by myself? I'm at a crossroads right now and feel this is the time to do it. what do you think??
    my email is jnichols0950@yahoo.com if you could give me any insight.
    Yall are doing great!!

  4. "You're making a film" not "your making a film".

  5. J ---

    I know Monkey already sent you an email, but I just wanted to let you know (and anyone else who may be reading this) that you are more than welcome to shoot us some questions about the trail and we'll be happy to help.

    Most people hike alone --- in fact, hiking solo is far more common than hiking in a group. But if you go Northbound, and start in March, you will meet a lot of people on the trail and may even form a group while you're out here. You'll figure out what works best for you as you go along.

    Feel free to look at our itinerary and gear list to help plan for the trip, and please let us know how else we can help!

  6. Love this entry!! ... Never give up on your dream! I know your film will be given from an incredibly unique perspective and in all reality formal training means nothing... Look at James Cameron! ;) He studied physics and ended up directing the two largest grossing films of all time... Its not in the schooling, it is in the vision... And no one can teach that... No one...

  7. How far are willing to go to make your dreams come true? Awesome statement/question! You have given me inspiration to make this dream become a reality. AT in 2014