Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Welcome to All the New Readers!


This is probably your first visit to my blog.  If so, welcome!  If you've landed on this page, it's likely because you typed "I hate Cheryl Strayed" or something similar into a search engine and BLAM, here you are.  If that's the case, you've come to the right place, friends.

Another reason you may have come here is because you were either the happy or unhappy recipient of one of these--

--happy, because friends of yours who also happen to be friends of mine have told you about this blog and excitedly introduced you to me, or unhappy, because I overheard you talking about how totes awesome "Wild" was and I felt the need to correct you.

Whatever brought you here, allow me to welcome you. I'm not a dick; I just play one on the internet. 


For those of you who found this blog because you hated "Wild" and thought you were all alone in the world, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  Given, I may have been the only person crazy enough to spend several months tearing it apart, but I will now comfort you with the knowledge that this blog has been viewed nearly a quarter of a million times by people in over 130 countries at the time of this publication, and that number grows every single day (this is another reason why I'm writing this post-- I feel like celebrating a milestone).

**Shout-out to all the people who email me-- first off, thanks.  Seriously.  You guys make my day.  Second, I'm not a celebrity just sitting around with nothing to do while my millions roll in; I'm a real person with a real job that pays next to nothing and I have real things happening in my life.  I wish I could respond to all of you, but, goddamnit, I just don't have the time for that because THERE ARE SO MANY OF YOU.  For all of you who have written to me, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.  Please forgive me for not emailing all of you back.  I have a list and I will respond when I can.**

With that said, if this is, in fact, your first visit to the blog, I strongly encourage you to START AT THE BEGINNING. CLICK HERE.  If you try to go in reverse or just pick a random post all willy-nilly, you will immediately conclude I'm a crazy person and you will disregard everything I worked so hard to create.  I'm not saying I'm *not* a crazy person-- because I'm pretty sure writing this blog drove me over the edge and sanity is something to which I can dedicate this song-- but you should start at the beginning so as to witness firsthand my descent into madness.  It'll be fun for you.  I promise.  It will also explain, post by post, why I decided to write this in the first place.

Again-- if this is your first visit, GO HERE.  Once you've read everything, come back to this post and then go here.  I know I wrote in Part Four that distance hikers shouldn't try to write books about their hikes because they have nothing to say about distance hiking as hiking is apparently super boring, but I only wrote that based on what books I have read by other distance hikers.  I am going to walk across the country in less than five months from now and yes, I am going to write about my journey.  It'll be like "Travels With Charley," except without a dog, and on foot, and written by someone who would be the horrifically wonderful spawn of John Steinbeck and Drunk Uncle (if they were capable of making a baby together).

Yep, that's me.
Go ahead and read the whole shebang and then, if you were entertained, go here.  I'm gonna walk across the country and I'm going to write about it.  I will make it as entertaining as humanly possible.

Here's why I need a GoFundMe account--

Backpack + sleeping bag + tent = at least $500
Walking cart = $300
Phone bill for at least 8 months (so I can let loved ones know I'm alive on a daily basis) = $900
Shoes to last the journey at $120 a pop = $1200
Other gear (like clothes, socks, a ton of bug spray, a small stove, small pots, a water purifier and a ton of other things that will be necessary)
Food for 8 months = OMFG
Oh, hey, I'm gonna need to do laundry and stay at motels to maybe take a shower every couple weeks = Who Knows
Aaaaaaaaaand, when I finish, let's not forget that I will be homeless and unemployed = OH, GOD, MAYBE THIS ISN'T A GOOD IDEA.

To hell with all of that.  Walking across the country has been a dream of mine for over twenty years, so I'm going to do it.

Here's when I lay on the NPR-Fundraising-type guilt-- if this blog made you laugh and gave you joy, figure out how much that laughter and joy meant to you and then put a dollar amount on it.  I know you're laughing; you've told me as much.

I hate to be the person begging on the off-ramp, but ANYTHING WILL HELP.  Again, go here.  I promise to write about my journey and I will make it as entertaining as humanly possible.  As an extra added bonus, anyone who contributes will be mentioned by name in the acknowledgement section of what will undoubtedly be my super awesome book about my journey.  (For those of you who are hesitant to hand over money but still want to help, please email me at califohioan@gmail.com because there are other ways you can assist, like sending care packages or giving me a place to camp for the night.)

And that's the end of that.

If nothing else, welcome.  If you wish to fund my dream-- I cannot thank you enough.

Hugs and kisses,