David “AWOL” Miller’s Famed A.T. Guidebook

first_imgWhen my partner and I were planning an extended A.T. hike, we stopped by our local outdoor shop and asked the manager what to bring. “Foremost thing you’ll need is this,” he said, reaching for a plain green book which otherwise looked a lot like a high-end car manual: David ‘AWOL’ Miller’s The A.T. Guide.“This guy, David ‘AWOL’ Miller practically lives on the trail.”Who was this AWOL? And how did the little green manual come to be?Back in the late-90s, working as a high-powered software engineer, Miller got turned on to the notion of an A.T. thru-hike via a newly retired, Katahdin-conquering ex-coworker. Miller soon viewed the 2,181-mile adventure as a potentially kickass springboard into his own retirement. But being married, a proud father of three, and not quite 40 years of age, Miller couldn’t conceive of himself as being capable of responsibly hanging up the corporate boots for at least another two decades.However, despite the pragmatic rationale—must clock the time, take max. advantage of IRA + 401k plans, continue gratingly, monotonously grinding along toward reaping the so-called Golden Years bounty—the A.T. had already infiltrated his system. Miller found himself facing an inconvenient truth: “I remember becoming increasingly aware this thru-hike was something that couldn’t wait. My life had grown precariously normal… It had to be done now.”In the spring of 2001, having procured a greenlight from the familial quintet, Miller quit his nine-to-five and lit out for Springer Mountain, the A.T.’s southern terminus.“My wife was actually happy for me to have the break from my job,” chuckled Miller. She and the kids set out to have a memorable summer of their own—beach trips, camping, and visiting relatives. I missed them, but they were aware I was doing something important I had to do for myself, and that was something they wanted to support.” He quickly earned his trail name AWOL after telling his life story to fellow thru-hikers of quitting his job and setting out for the woods. After he completed his thru-hike, he penned a memoir: AWOL On the Trail.A few years later, in 2007, Miller heard Dan “Wingfoot” Bruce was retiring from the business of maintaining his yearly-updated Thru-Hikers’ Handbook. As a software engineer, Miller realized he could present the trail data in a fresh, new way that was both functional and aesthetic.“For the next year, I spent every spare moment available working on the book, to the point of enlisting my wife and kids,” he said. His efforts yielded the most intricate, detailed, and stunningly resourceful trail guide yet produced.The popularity of The A.T. Guide is not surprising. Every year, Miller or a member of his team personally hikes each section and travels to each town to ensure the information is 100 percent accurate and updated.Miller himself isn’t planning another thru-hike anytime soon. “But if one of my kids wanted to do it and wouldn’t mind having me along, I’d definitely go with them.”last_img read more

Yasiel Puig re-aggravates hamstring injury in Dodgers’ 3-0 win over San Diego Padres

first_imgDodgers manager Don Mattingly said that Puig did not report any problems with the hamstring since he missed his last game Sunday against the Colorado Rockies. The disabled list “is always on the table but we didn’t have to make a decision tonight,” Mattingly said.If Puig requires a disabled-list stint this time around, the Dodgers can at least take solace in the fact that they did not lose any of the four games he missed.In his fourth start of the season, Zack Greinke (3-0) threw seven shutout innings, allowing only four hits and three walks while striking out seven. “Really good fastball command, then the off-speed was at least solid,” he said. “It was kind of a perfect game pitching, defense — everything was flawless. It was a good game all around.”Greinke worked out of a bases-loaded, none-out situation in the second inning without allowing a run by striking out Alexi Amarista and Cashner. With two outs, Wil Myers hit a line drive back up the middle, but second baseman Howie Kendrick was shifted into position to extend his arm and snag the line drive. SAN DIEGO >> The Dodgers won the game but lost their right fielder Friday.Yasiel Puig re-aggravated the left hamstring strain that caused him to miss four games last week running out a ground ball in the sixth inning of a 3-0 win over San Diego Padres.After pulling up gingerly, Puig jogged back to the dugout and was replaced in the field by Andre Ethier in the bottom of the sixth. A 96-mph Andrew Cashner fastball hit Puig on the side of his left knee in the first inning Friday, but he remained in the game. Puig did not speak to reporters before limping out of the visiting clubhouse at Petco Park after the game. Greinke owns the lowest career ERA and opponents’ batting average of any active pitcher against the Padres.“He’s probably one of the best righties I’ve caught in terms of command,” catcher Yasmani Grandal said. “I think when I was with the Padres, the one thing we looked at was movement — get him up in the zone, everything down just let it go, because he works a lot off of movement. That’s one of the things he’s got going for himself now. He can use movement when he wants to, but he’s got that four-seam fastball that rides the bottom of the zone, it kind of looks like a ball and it’s a strike. He gets a lot of strikes by doing that.”An RBI single by Juan Uribe in the second inning, and a solo home run by Carl Crawford in the seventh, gave Greinke all the runs he needed.Pedro Baez relieved Greinke in the eighth inning and survived a tense few minutes thanks to shortstop Jimmy Rollins.Rollins made the first out, on a ground ball by Myers, by ranging far to his right and making a perfect throw from the outfield grass. With Matt Kemp on second base, Rollins stopped a hard-hit ground ball by Justin Upton from going into left field, forcing Kemp to hold at third. With two outs, Rollins preserved the shutout by denying Yonder Alonso a hit on a grounder up the middle.The Dodgers tacked on an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Grandal walked, Crawford doubled, and Joc Pederson belted a sacrifice fly to center field to score Grandal.Crawford went 2 for 4 and Grandal went 2 for 3, accounting for half of the Dodgers’ eight hits.Yimi Garcia was chosen to pitch the ninth inning, his first career save opportunity coming in his 17th career game. The 24-year-old retired all three batters he faced in becoming the third Dodger to record a save this season.Mattingly said after the game that he would not “anoint” a closer until Kenley Jansen returns from the disabled list. Garcia, who’s pitched three straight games, has been the Dodgers’ best relief pitcher, striking out 16 batters and allowing just three hits in 9 2/3 innings.The Dodgers (10-6) had lost three straight games, all to the Giants in San Francisco. The win allowed them to take a half-game lead over the Colorado Rockies (10-7) in the National League West.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more