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Spend Some Time with Nimblewill Nomad

Nimblewill Nomad - M.J. Eberhart

I got the chance to do a short interview with M.J. Eberhart, possibly better known as Nimblewill Nomad. He is currently on his 2014 Odyssey hiking the Oregon National Historic Trail (ONHT).  He was kind enought to take a few moment to answer just a few questions for us via email.

I came across Nimblewill years ago while I was searching for information on the North Country Scenic Trailway, which he happened to be hiking at the time.  I had followed that hike on his website and when he was near an area that I commonly hike, I was going to attempt to meet up with him just to shake his hand and share a lunch. Unfortunately being the working stiff I am, I had to be at my job that weekend. I never got to meet him face to face, but hope one day to be able to shake this mans hand.

I asked Nimblewill if he could give us a short bio for this article, and he replied ” how’s “Long-distance Triple Crown Hiker and Author!” To that, I would like to add “an inspiration to all.”

Visit Nimblewill Nomad‘s website for a full bio and much more. Now, on to our  little interview.

Dick: I was going to start naming trails you have hiked, but that would take up most of this interview. Out of all the trails that you have been on, are there any that are “hands down” your favorite? If so, what makes them stand out?

Nomad: A frequent question, and certainly a good one. I answer it (tongue-in-cheek) by asking a question back–which one of your kids is your favorite! Of course, that simply begs the question.nimblewill meme

This current trek o’er the Oregon National Historic Trail is proving one incredible and amazing journey. A favorite? Don’t know. But I do know that the almost daily outpouring of human kindness from perfect strangers along–just amazing. Ah, and as first stated in my Ditty, “Why Go,” it’s the people…

As you know, I’ve hiked all 11 National Scenic Trails, and have a fair start on the National Historic ones. Each of these trails, in their own unique way, are special and dear to me. The mountains are beautiful. So for the plains, the deserts, the countless rivers and lush valleys, even the snowbound peaks. I’ve labored long and hard at seeing it all, because all of Nature is unique and so very special!

Dick: What 3 items would you never hit the trail without?

Nomad: My pickup and 5th-wheel–is that one or two things?

Okay, George Washington “Nessmuk” Sears said, “I go to the woods to smooth it, not to rough it. I get it rough enough at home.” So, that in mind, the process becomes one of sorting out (and then managing) the difference between what we want and what we truly need. Click on “Gear List,” any of my recent odysseys, and read what’s there in the intro. For convenience, I’ll cut and paste it for you here:

“Our pack burden (the crushing weight of all the stuff we lift and lug to the trail) is directly proportional to our degree of insecurity–our fear of the trail, that dreaded unknown. The greater our fear, the heavier our packs become. Until we accept this fact will we forever continue staggering on, bound by (and shackled to) this crushing burden of stuff.

“So, the dilemma: What to do! Well, it’s really quite simple. First, we must diligently set to shedding this crushing burden of fear. Fear that weighs our hearts and minds. Then (and only then), might we begin shedding the burden of all the stuff that weighs our backs.

“Believe me dear friends, experiencing the joy of trekking unburdened is near magic, no less the rejoicing in Ma Nature’s glorious wonders.”

This didn’t answer the question, did it!

Dick: When you are not out on a hiking odyssey, how do you spend your time? Is much of it taken up by training for your next journey on the trail?

Nomad: Training? Good God, no! I have no home. When not living on the trail, out of my pack, I’m disperse camped in one or the other of our national forests–out of an old ’89 GMC 4WD pickup with topper.

Dick: I have seen on your website that you have quite a number of poems and “ditties” that you wrote. Do you have a favorite that we could post a link too?

Nimblewill Nomad -ODYSSEY 2014 ONHTNomad: Currently (because I’m on the ONHT) it’s “How the West was Won.” It’s also there on my Odyssey 2014 ONHT page.

Dick: You have been backpacking since the early eighty’s and have seen many trails. What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is just getting into backpacking?

Nomad: Put your pack on and go; learn it the hard way, just like the blistered-up rest of us! Or you might shortcut the misery involved with the learning curve by reading the least…

Dick: Your website says that you had “long pondered the conclusion to your long-distance hiking career” after last years Odyssey. When you do decide to hang up the old hiking boots, how do you plan on spending your retirement?

Nomad: Easy question to answer: My granddaddy died in the woods. My daddy died in the woods. And I’m working on it.

Dick: Where can we find you on the Internet (social media)?

Nomad: Can’t. Not there. I’m old fashioned; drop me a hello at my guestbook

Dick: Again, thank you for taking time out of your hike to answer these questions! We here at Tent Camping Headquarters truly appreciate it.

Nomad: Hey, Dick, you’re certainly welcome–it’s been a hoot!ODYSSEY 2014 ONHT

*For more on Nimblewill Nomad  check out his website

 Sign his guestbook and tell him we said “Hi!”

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  • Bill says:

    Hello, this is Bill and Jesse , my Australian Shepherd, we met in Hope Valley,CA. Just thought we’d say hi, we’re in Seward, Alaska for the summer. All I can about Alaska is WOW AWESOME !!! It was fun, talking and cooking a breakfast for you guys. If you can drop me an email sometime, would like to update again soon. If you can meet in Hope Valley, near Scott’s Lake, October 10th were gonna be camping with a few friends, join us if possible. Take care Ole buddy, Bill and Jesse

  • Dave says:

    Thanks for commenting Bill! Just make sure to contact Nimblewill at his website – because he probably will never see the message here since this is just an interview with him.

    Stop by again and share some stories!!

  • Dan says:

    Thanks for sharing your interview with us! I’m a huge fan of Nomad! I have all three of his published books and I regularly read his journal entries and watch his youtube videos. He’s a daily inspiration to me. I’d love to run into him one day on a trail. Anyone who thinks they can’t do it need only look at Nomad for inspiration. He could kick all our butts on the trail and he’s in his late seventies. That’s my kind of hero.

    • Dick says:

      Thanks for your comment Dan! He has inspired me as well. That is why I wanted to do this little interview with him. I was going to attempt meeting up with him once on the North Country but when he got near I had to work.
      Things dont always work out but it is nice to be inspired by someone.

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