Who is Trail Zealot?

Please, call me Aaron! Trail Zealot is my website’s name.

In turns, I have been an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, a structural engineer, a marathoner, a climate modeler, a trail runner. Through it all, I always managed to bring coding into the mix. I am finally devoting myself to that common thread. I am a developer.

What is Trail Zealot?

When I hiked the Appalachian Trail, I hosted my daily journal on a simple blogspot site. At the end of each day, I kept track of occurrences, mileage, and photos. Then one October day, I reached the end of my journey atop Springer Mountain. I stopped writing abruptly and headed back to the real world. My blog lay dormant for years. But I found myself revisiting it from time to time to relive the memories. Eventually, I couldn’t take it any longer. Trail Zealot is the spiritual successor of that blogspot site, with more bells and whistles.

At this time, this website is the crossroads of all the different hats I like to wear. A platform for my writing, my coding projects, my backpacking trip reports, that old trail journal. The trails give me a lot of ideas. For ways to work with the data I record, to not be so mean to the landscape through which I love to meander, and to try and share some of the experiences that I have out there.

Why "Trail Zealot"?

When I am interested in something, I approach it with passion and energy (perhaps too much at times). I have loved hiking steep trails ever since I began a few years ago. From personal experience, I have become a bit fanatical about its benefits and what it can do for people. If hiking is my religion, you might call me an evangelist. The name Trail Zealot is a nod to that tendency of mine.

Questions or feedback?

Seriously, drop me a line. If there's anything you would like to say to me or ask me, please don't hold back! I am the only person who works on this project. More eyeballs and brains are a great thing. If you have a question about hiking, or anything at all, I will do my best to answer it. I might integrate my response into the website too, which can only make it better.