Patrick Bredlau (Trail name: RW) has lived most of his life in the flat lands of Illinois. His life-long enthusiasm for the outdoors was fostered by the Boy Scouts of America during his childhood, and later as a Boy Scout leader on many hiking and backpacking trips.
His favorite sports are backpacking, fishing, and sailing. His passion for backpacking led him to hike some of the most spectacular natural locations in the United States and Canada, including the Rocky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Glacier National Park, and Banff National Park. As a sailboat racer, he has participated in the prestigious Chicago to Mackinac Island race, as well as other races on Lake Michigan.
After a long and successful 38-year career as a federal bank examiner and instructor, Patrick retired in 2013 to spend more time with his family and enjoy the outdoors. His first major adventure after retirement was to successfully thru-hike the entire 2,185 miles of the Appalachian Trail in 2014.
Patrick’s book, The Green Tunnel, A Hiker’s Appalachian Trail Diary is the true-life story of a retiree’s joys, challenges, and physical rigors while thru-hiking the entire 2,185 miles of the Appalachian Trail in one great epic walk. The book’s title refers to the nickname, Green Tunnel, given by hikers for deeply-shaded trail sections that cut through dark and densely-wooded forests. All too often, tree canopies block out all sunlight or views of the sky, sometimes for hundreds of miles.
Readers follow RW as he walks north, starting out from the cold winter mountains of Georgia, until he finally reaches Maine during the height of New England fall colors. Along the way, readers encounter a fugitive from the FBI, internationally-known backpackers, the homeless, plus many other hikers seeking adventure or redemption. Trail angels often come to the rescue. Journal entries are frequently peppered with humorous and historical anecdotes, along with colorful descriptions of the swiftly changing scenery and seasons. Readers will also find a good deal of useful backpacking information, from the many firsthand tips and advice on equipment, food, trail culture, lodging, and the hazards of wilderness hiking.