PAINT, SWEAT, AND TEARS
150 DAYS ON THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL
“Paint, Sweat, and Tears is a lovely journey along the Appalachian Trail. Beautiful artwork accompanies trail journal entries that carry you along the iconic footpath and let you experience it as the author did.”Heather ‘Anish’ Anderson
Author of Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home and Mud, Rocks, Blazes: Letting Go on the Appalachian Trail. Co-author of Adventure Ready: A Hiker’s Guide to Planning, Training and Resiliency
National Geographic Adventurer of the Year
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About Paint, Sweat, & Tears: 150 Days on the Appalachian Trail
Author’s Note: I spent most of my adolescence in New Hampshire. Those years were filled with family backpacking vacations, weekend hikes, lakeshore summers, kayaking down rivers, and biking through brick lined streets. As I grew older I slowly lost this connection to the wilderness. By the time I was setting out to hike the Appalachian Trail in 2021 – the adventure about which I write in Paint, Sweat, and Tears – I had never been on a backpacking trip lasting more than a few days. Still, I hold a belief that anything can be accomplished through stubbornness, grit, and an optimistic drive to keep moving forward. During my solo thru hike it was this tenet that drove me to discover a deep well of strength within myself.
As a designer and artist I have been painting in the pen and watercolor ‘plein air’ style for close to ten years. When my dreams of hiking the Appalachian Trail were taking shape I knew that I wanted the creation of a trail sketchbook to be a priority, but I was daunted by the goal of painting every day. I also lack confidence in my abilities as an artist, leaving me deeply unsure that my artwork was ‘good enough’ to capture the experience or the imagination of others.
My adventure on the Appalachian Trail started with these two doubts – doubts of strength and doubts of artistic talent. Step by step over the 2,193 mile trail I shed these doubts. Not all at once, but by the end of the hike I found that no longer carried them with me. I set out to write this book to tell my story and inspire others to do the same.
Paint, Sweat, and Tears is a book of artwork from rarely seen Appalachia. It is also a story of self-discovery and perseverance through the physical and mental challenges of a long distance hike. I hope that it can be a beautiful window that allows readers to peek into my journey on this exceptional footpath.
“Remote for detachment,Harold Allen
narrow for chosen company,
winding for leisure,
lonely for contemplation.
The trail leads not merely north and south,
but upward to the body, mind and soul of (wo)man.”
READ MORE ON MY BLOG
While I was thru hiking I kept a monthly blog chronicling my adventures on the Appalachian Trail. I retell some of these stories in Paint, Sweat, and Tears but there is still a lot to be discovered here.