Project image
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$6,423
pledged of $10,000pledged of $10,000 goal
77
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, December 17 2012 6:13 PM UTC +00:00
$6,423
pledged of $10,000pledged of $10,000 goal
77
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, December 17 2012 6:13 PM UTC +00:00

About

I’m Cheryl McCormick and my trail name is Clinker.

Clinker backpacking on the Appalachian Trail
Clinker backpacking on the Appalachian Trail

My project will be a compilation of photographs and haiku poetry, all created while backpacking solo, 2,187 miles from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail. Once I return, the National Center for Nature Photography has agreed to a gallery exhibit of both my photographs and haiku poetry, documenting this endeavor in a creative fashion.  I am launching this project on my 63rd birthday, April 5, 2013.

Little time is available to reach the goal and receive Kickstarter funding.  I have been lifted by all of the backers who have supported this project so far.  I feel a stronger commitment to create haiku and photographs which will inspire those who follow me while on the trail (www.trailjournals.com/clinker) as well as those who view my exhibit and other post-hike contacts. I am a resourceful person and will make this work.

An essay I submitted early this year to L.L. Bean summarizes why I decided to hike the entire trail and how I got my trail name. (Thank you L.L. Bean! Your support and my published essay helped to announce my intention and erase—or at least smudge—the doubt on listeners’ faces.)

If I can keep my focus on the daily journey—not on the glorified destination of Mt. Katahdin, the terminus in Maine—I have presented before me an opportunity to capture and share my heartfelt feelings and interactions with the natural world and life on the trail in a format that is unique, intimate and sincere.

Fourteen states from Georgia to Maine.
Fourteen states from Georgia to Maine.

Why is my project titled  MyKu: A Shot at Haiku While Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail? It is MyKu because this gives me the liberty to write in my style, not constrained by tradition, since haiku is a new study for me. And a “shot” because, even though I am an experienced photographer, I will only have available limited, light weight gear. In this case I will use a high-quality cell phone camera.

Gear must be minimized as I plan on following the ultra-light backpacking guidelines and hope to carry no more than 20 pounds. I feel confident that I can capture scenes and events with current cell phone camera capabilities that will in no way shortchange the average viewer.

A creative extension of this project is a plan to produce a presentaion, "Ultra-light Backpacking for Women" with photos, haiku and lessons learned from the trail. This will be put together with the help of backpackinglight.com,   I want to educate individuals about backpacking light, living simply, and communing confidently with the natural world.

One of the many sign posts and varied habitats along the trail
One of the many sign posts and varied habitats along the trail

As I see it, my journey has already begun: the schooling, the research online, books I’ve read, backpacking trips I’ve taken and guided, shared experiences with other thru-hikers, photography portfolios, haiku practice, the fitness I have maintained, and the announcement of my intentions. Who knows, I might beat the odds—I could be one of the 20% who complete the entire trail in one season.

Knowing that I am supported on this grueling journey with a sophisticated goal enhances my ultimate intention: To inspire others to take the first step in their “I would love to…” journey and not worry about where they get off.

I will be journaling my thru-hike online. You can follow me at trailjournals.com for the year 2013 Appalachian Trail, @ Clinker.

Funding is needed to help cover expenses for 6 months and the costs of creating a professional photographic and haiku exhibit of my journey. 

For those of you new to Kickstarter, you may not be aware that it’s an all or nothing proposition. How does that work?

  • Your credit card will be billed only if the funding goal of $10,000 is met or exceeded.
  • I do have to meet this goal…otherwise I will receive no Kickstarter funding.

I also plan to Kick It Forward, which means that if I go over my goal, 5% of my backers' support will be donated to other Kickstarter projects.

It will be great financial and emotional support to know I have friends and family walking those 5 million steps with me from Georgia to Maine and keeping me focused on the creative journey. Thank you for your interest in this project; I hope it will inspire you in some endearing way. 

Risks and challenges

The greatest challenge is making sure that I actually get started on the Appalachian Trail as I intend on my 63rd birthday, April 5, 2013. I will continue to pursue this goal with committed planning. No matter where I get off the trail, I will be proud that I have at least started and followed my bliss. I can still send postcards with haiku, create a photo calender, produce a book of photography and haiku, meet backers on the AT, and mentor backers with the experiences I gain while living a simple, close to the land lifestyle and documenting it with photography and haiku poetry. The National Center for Nature Photography assures me that they want to exhibit my photos and poetry regardless of how many miles I backpack.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Thank you! All backers will receive an emailed thank you and original haiku from Cheryl, as well as a photo of her with her ultra-light backpack and a list of her gear.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    You will be acknowledged on the gallery wall at the National Center for Nature Photography where Cheryl will exhibit her combined haiku and photography project.

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    23 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Postcard with a personal message and haiku from Cheryl mailed from the Appalachian Trail.

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    20 backers
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    An invitation to dinner at the Toledo Metroparks next fall (and it won't be trail food!). You will be the first to hear readings of Cheryl's favorite haiku, see Appalachian trail photos she especially likes, and listen to stories and lessons learned about her adventure in the wild. Unable to attend? We will send you a DVD of the evening.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    2014 Calender with Appalachian Trail photos from Cheryl's backpacking journey.

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    9 backers
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Book of photos and haiku created by Cheryl while hiking on the Appalachian Trail.

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    4 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Lunch on the AT: Cheryl will meet up with a group or family of 4 in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, home of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. She will treat you to lunch and share her experiences about her creative endeavor while thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Mentoring: 1 year of weekly personal mentoring and moral support via email, letters, cards, and phone for an individual who is planning a creative and challenging endeavor. Cheryl will trustfully guide you to remember your talents and follow your bliss.

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Funding period

- (30 days)