My name’s Brew Davis, a.k.a. Jen Pharr’s husband and her sherpa, pit crew, pack mule, what have you, for her AT record attempt. Jen told me this past winter that she wanted to give this thing a go, and I said “sure,” so here we are. Whenever folks hear what I’m doing this summer, they instantly decide that I’m either a) totally whipped or b) the greatest husband in the world. Well, the truth’s probably somewhere in between. There are plenty of extenuating circumstances and factors that make this trip fun for me. And just so you’re privy to what went through the ol’ cranium when I signed up for this gig, I’ll run through them real quick …
I’m a teacher so I’ve got the time to kill.
I love hiking and camping. I’ve gone out west the past two summers to hike in the Tetons, the Wind River Range, the Rockies, North Cascades, Yosemite, Glacier National Park, the Utah parks, and the Sierras. Except for a little stretch near Asheville, I haven’t hiked the AT at all so the thought of hiking parts of it with Jen sounds really cool.
I love driving “blue highways” so the thought of driving them along the Appalachian Mountains is appealing. Now, if Jen were hiking through Nevada or South Dakota or something, I’d probably be laying on a beach somewhere drinking a Sweetwater 420.
Other than a trip to Boston, I’ve never been to New England, and I want the real, backwoods Yankee experience.
I can’t wait to try fresh Maine Lobstah. And…
I want to drink a beer at Farley’s in Scranton, PA, setting for only the greatest sitcom of the 21st century, The Office. I can hear Michael Scott bustin’ the rhymes right now… “Ain’t no party like a Scranton party, ’cause a Scranton party don’t stop!”
I’ve got a bunch of books I want to read- Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Last American Man, Aldo Leopold’s Sand County Almanac, Naked by David Sedaris, Shelden Van Aucken’s A Severe Mercy- and this’ll give me time to do it.
I love swimming in cold water. Last summer I swam at Crater Lake in Oregon and the water was fifty-one degrees. It was so cold it was hot, ya know? I’m hoping there’ll be some colder swimming holes in northern Maine
Driving an hour or two every day will give me plenty of time to pray and think about God’s beauty and also to play some old CDs by my favorite musicians- Patty Griffin, Sam Bush, Tim O’Brien, Steve Earle, Gillian Welch, Chris Thile, Tony Rice, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, James McMurtry, etc.
Getting bit by all those mosquitoes and black flies in Maine will make me appreciate the heat down South.
I’ll get to hammer away at the ol’ guitar while I wait for Jen at the trailheads.
We got new sleeping bags that zip together.
I’m stocking up BIGTIME points for when I screw up later on.
I love my wife and I want her to be happy. She really wants to set this record, so I want to help her do it.