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Button - Appalachian Trail Journal - 2012

Entry 208 of 209
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City: Winchester
State: Hampshire
Country: UK
Begins: Mar 20, 2012
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Mon, Jan 5th, 2015
Trip Distance: 1,872.5

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 1,440
Journal Visits: 100,012
Guestbook Views: 14,735
Guestbook Entrys: 223

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Button and Loops on a UK holiday

New Year, New Blog, New Dreams

So I blew through 2014 without much to show for it, I’m sad to say.

Well, actually I shouldn’t say that. Loops and I went on our first ever UK holiday together to Devon. We had four days of glorious sunshine, seaside, train and boat rides and even a short walk on the South Coust Path! It was a beautiful time just with he and I where I could show off some wonderful bits of my homeland.

I also took an amazing and soul altering trip to the Isle of Skye (click on the ‘Other Trail’ link at the bottom of this page to read about it). It was just what I needed to help me say goodbye to my dad.

On a happy and surprising note - I even had a visit from Bunny and Phil – on my side of the pond! That’s right, my awesome trail buddy and her boyfriend flew all the way over the ocean to come and stay with me for two weeks and guess what? It was amazing fun and brings a huge smile to my face when I think of it now. I treated them to as many proper English experiences as I could, we toured Stonehenge, they visited Winchester Cathedral (it’s over 900 years old, you know) and London too. I taught them how to make Eton Mess (which every English person must be able to do to prove their citizenship) and we took a beautifully relaxing all day walk through the countryside near my house to the local pub, ate a scrumptious lunch and then walked home again. And almost unbelievably, they only had a couple rainy days, the rest was sunshine. As always, I wish I could transplant Bunny from Miami to here in Winchester so I could visit her whenever I wanted.

I also had another ‘almost trail buddy’ encounter last year. Lighthouse, who started his AT hike a couple weeks before mine, lives up in Scotland and he popped down for a weekend to visit with me too. Now, Lighthouse and I never met on the trail, nor anywhere else in fact, but we had been chatting online about our hikes for near on a year before we set out and still keep in touch on Facebook regularly. So once again, it was just a totally rush of AT love to have both of these people come and see me here at home.

On the slightly mundane but positive side of things, I took on a new job. Technically a year contract, but it looks like I will probably be staying on after this. While I like the organisation I work for (Guide Dogs), I’m not in the role that will be my forever job to say the least. I am now an office bound person. And this is simply not me. What it is though, is a chance to gain some new people skills, work with some new faces and, of course, gain a pay check that allows me to save a bit of cash, because once again, I have a plan…

So my new idea is a little bit of a starburst right now, it spreads in far too many directions and I need to reign it in a bit, but I wanted to share it with you all who have been so supportive in the past of my hiking and blogging.

So here goes….

Last month Loops sent me an email. Out of the blue one day (he’s home at the moment by the way and hoping to join me February or thereabouts once we sort out immigration…again).

This email contained a website link and just the words ‘Do you want to come and live in this with me?’ The link it turns out is to an RV. A huge 40ft RV, decked out to the nines with an $ 180,000 price tag. Sure, of course! So jokingly I sent replied ‘Yeah, why not!’

It was only a day later that the cogs started turning in my head. Why not indeed?

Well, of course Loops and I don’t have anywhere near $ 180,000 (why do you think we went to live in tents for a year for goodness sakes), but hell, with a bit of saving I’m sure we could stump up enough cash for a caravan or a little motorhome to toodle around in.

Hmm. Now there’s an idea.

And so, a new dream has begun to take shape.

Once again I found myself back on the internet in full research mode, so reminiscent of the days planning my AT hike. I felt excited, empowered and finally beginning to brush off the heavy and grey feeling I had been carrying for over a year. Here was an adventure, something that once again my parents would roll their eyes at and yet deep inside, be very impressed and proud of me for being so daring and bold all over again. My travel engine was beginning to rumble.

So with my research I found out this – there are people who live full time in RV’s. They travel the country. They move with the weather. They hang around in RV parks or in the wilderness wherever they can park their RV. They don’t mind that they live in a confined space because, well, they just open the door and suddenly their house is everything you can see, smell and touch. And even more amazingly, they blog, sometimes if they’re lucky, for income.


I can’t tell if Loops was surprised when I came back to him with the actual, real proposition that I thought it would be an amazing new adventure for us to take a year and spend it travelling the USA in an RV. I have a sneaky suspicion he might have had a little more up his sleeve though because he immediately told me he thought it might be a good way for me to be able to do some contract work at a zoo or national park in the US like I have talked about wanting to do for a long time.

Added to that, when I tried to pin him down for a date when we would look to start out, rather than the usual, ‘Well, we’ll think about it’, I managed to pin him to a fairly certain spring 2016 date - blimey! This seems like it’s forming a pretty solid foundation here.

My suspicions were on the money and confirmed when Christmas arrived and with it a package from Amazon with a book about living in an RV tucked inside. Houston, we are go….

And so, here is my official announcement to those who might have an interest in following us into our new adventure. There promises to be blogging, possible video footage (I’m angling for a GoPro or other type of videoing device this year) and no doubts there will be stories, so many stories to tell and reviews to write! And of course, the usual Button and Loops disagreements and make ups that come from living in a confined space once again. There WILL be hiking – I am not only angling for a stint on the PCT and definitely hiking the JMT, but also I will be looking to convince Loops to get us back onto the AT to finish the sections we didn’t manage to complete so we can finally get our 2000miler certificates. He has already mentioned it to me once before as an idea. Additionally, as a personal desire, I would love it if I could raise enough funds to be able to hike the full length of the Camino de Santiago just before we set off on our ‘Grand RV Tour of 2016’. Well see…

And on that note, there is just one final exciting but nerve wracking thing to mention, and that is that in preparation for these new adventures, I have begun a new blog. My very own blog, on my very own website.

I would like to personally invite anyone who would like to join Loops and I on our next adventure to come and visit us at:

I would also ask you to bear with me as I am feeling my way with having multifunctional blog, rather than just a straightforward hiking blog. My website will contain posts on a multitude of random stuff that comes out of my head (you all know what I’m like), but as the year progresses, it will focus more and more on our preparation for our next year travels (Oh my god it really will be next year!!!)

I am open to all forms of comments be they good or bad. I very much want to once again blog our travels and adventures primarily for us to always have them to go back to, but also in case anyone wants to try and follow in our footsteps, or just have a giggle when things go a little awry as they tend to with the two of us.

If you like what you see and think others will too, pass it far and wide. If you know anyone with travel or RV experience, please point them our way so that I can get hints and tips.

I hope you will join us again for our next great adventure together; because it really just wouldn’t be the same without you.

Button out.

Entry 208 of 209
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Journal Photo

Button's Grand Adventure

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
- David Henry Thoreau


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