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Click on the links below to read my journals and articles and view photos.

Day 1
Today's miles: 10.2
Destination: Stover Creek

I've started this entry over twice already. It's one thing to sit at my computer and type out my thoughts as they come to me, then re-read, reorganize and clarify; it's quite another to....

My Search & Rescue Blog

Exploring Arizona
Great day trips!

Kekekabic Trail, etc.

Laurel Highlands Trail

Wind River Range

More journals and articles....

Ramkitten's Backpacking Bookstore

Ramkitten's Packing-for-Backpacking Checklist

The 24-Hour Pack: Hike Smart, Be Safe

24-Hour Packs
for hikers

Find out
The Real Dirt on the Appalachian Trail.
Everything you need to know to truly be prepared for life on the trail--the art of the cat hole, the 3-second rule & more

Read my article
How To Plan For An Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike
It's not what you might think.

Read journals by other backpackers at:

Hiking The Appalachian Trail: A Story in Postcards

Welcome! I'm glad you stopped by. With the millions of websites that exist, many about those who hike and those who write, and some about those of us who think about writing while we hike, I sure appreciate your interest in mine.

So, what's the purpose of this site, you ask? Well ... to tell you about my novel, for one. (Figured I'd come right out with it.) After all, there are more works of fiction than there are websites, so those of us who aren't household names, who want to share what we conjure up from the murky depths and far reaches of our creative minds, have to do a little something to spread the word. So if you're a reader of literary fiction or would like to be, then check out my first published novel, I. Joseph Kellerman, and, hey, maybe buy a copy! (How was that for a blatant plug?)

The other reason I'm spending money on web space rather than sushi, is because I enjoy sharing my backpacking adventures with those who like to read off-the-cuff journal entries, even if they don't personally enjoy shlepping thirty to forty-some-odd pounds up and down mountains in rain, sleet and sticky heat, slogging through mud, slapping themselves upside the head and other exposed body parts in an effort to kill voracious mosquitoes, doctoring blisters and sometimes oddly-colored toenails, going slip-and-splat because somebody stuck a root or loose rock right in the middle of the trail, or smelling like a rotting peach for days on end. But I love it!

Don't be fooled, though, I'm not as cool as you might have thought when you saw that neat photo at the top of this page. My friend from the Appalachian Trail, Gaited Mule (otherwise known as Frank), took that picture of me on an overlook near the end of my thru-hike. (That's 2,167.1 miles, by the way. *Arrogant sniff*) But, believe me, I'm not all that sure-footed. As I wrote in my August 31st entry, Mule said I'm "slower than a three-legged turtle walkin' backwards on some o' them downhills." He ain't kiddin' neither. And I have plenty of fears. Let's see now, I'm afraid of thunderstorms, rattlesnakes, furry spiders, the dark, the huge creatures with fangs that creep around in the dark, falling from high places, falling from not-so-high places. I even have this hang-up about lighting camp stoves. Go figure.

Still, the trails of the world keep calling me back. The fresh air. The sheer physical exertion. The camaraderie with others who walk with packs on their backs. Not to mention all that guilt-free eating! But, for me, one of the best things about hiking is the creative freedom. Sometimes it takes a while to hike off whatever might have been irking me lately, or to stop mulling over global issues or how many times I can afford to go out for sushi during the next month, but, once I do, my thoughts move on to wonderful, weird and sometimes pretty wild places. And that's where my novels come from.

Well, I could ramble on, but I'll save it for my journals. Feel free to e-mail me at with any questions or comments you might have about writing, hiking, sushi or whatever else is on your mind. As long as I'm not on a backpacking trip or typing the novel I came up with while I was on that trip, I'll respond shortly.

Happy trails to you!

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Welcome to my Zazzle Shop: Ramkitten's Adventure Emporium

I. Joseph Kellerman
a novel
by Debra Lauman

Signed copies available. Click here for ordering information.

Within the boundaries of a world peopled by the troubled souls who come to 4991 Hopewell Street, and by one devoted assistant, a tale of self-discovery and redemption unfolds....

My Second Novel
now available on Kindle

Read the prologue from
A Picket Fence in Pawpaw

Deb's Short Stories &
Creative Non-Fiction

The Gum Tree

Mother's Favorite Stupid Soap Opera

*A Man Called Screamer*
Awarded second prize in the Arizona Literary contest

Read my article,
Hiking My Way to a Novel
about writing
"I. Joseph Kellerman"
on the Appalachian Trail

Deb's favorite
Wilderness Survival & Rescue Reading
Other Favorite Books

Poetry by Ramkitten, Just for Fun
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Site created by Debra (Lauman) Kingsbury