Boot Camp for Stoners

Nick and Bran were never star students in college. Although set on their own paths and gifted with privilege, wisdom, and wit, the party atmosphere proved to be too much for them, solidifying graduation as the only attainable honors in their four years.

They had been close friends since the age of seven, with the outdoors gluing their everlasting bond. Lost and unsure of what path to take after commencement, they decide to put everything behind them to attempt to hike all 2,192 miles of the Appalachian Trail. While they struggle to persist in the adversity of injury, wildlife, weather, drought, and replenishment, they soon come to find the real obstacle is sticking together. 

Although they were unaware of it upon the start, two friends starting and finishing a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail together is virtually unheard of. Despite meeting thousands of other hikers on trail, they never met another group of friends who began and stuck with each other until the end. Most often, hikers began solo and grouped up with others, but the glue of these cliques was transitory. It seemed personality, preference in pace, or just raw drama would inevitably disperse these coveys.

Those who do not know Nick and Bran may believe this feat is still impossible, but it is not. It happened in 2019, and now there is a beautifully written, enthralling story to warp the perspective of naysayers.

Readers want a new perspective on thru-hiking. The books on the market seem to have a similar plot: the protagonist is overambitious, they struggle to persist before finding some deeper meaning, often tied with spirituality, and they finish with triumph. Derick Lugo has begun this transition with his novel, The Unlikely Thru-Hiker, a story about an African-American man from the city unfamiliar with rural life who takes on the trail. Now, Nick has what’s next: the story of two friends doing what seemed impossible. 

Nick has a unique and intriguing voice, something he credits to passing many papers in college that were otherwise ill-prepared. But this novel is anything but ill-prepared. Upon his return from the hike, Nick took on the part-time job of independent writing—pouring his heart, soul, and due diligence into his work. He has sought advice from only the most credible of authors, public figures, and marketing sources. He also hired a freelance illustrator, Dex Greenbright, to design a cover, something he is sure will draw those who see it to be antsy to flip the first page.

Nick’s voice is comical, ironic, playful, and he strives on picking on himself. His dialogue is natural, modern, and unscripted. Ne is here to fill a void, and he is confident this project is nascent enough to someday be tantamount with the Appalachian Trail itself.

If you are interested in reading the manuscript or representing this story, please contact Nick at

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