In 1991, David Horton
completed the Appalachian Trail
and wrote a manuscript that became the basis for the first half of A Quest for
Adventure. This document contained the daily dairy entries he had made during his
run, complimented by retrospective reflections of his journey. However, that manuscript
was set aside for several years and it was not until David met Rebekah
Trittipoe in 1993 that the manuscript was taken off the shelf for Rebekah to read.
That year, David challenged Rebekah with the statement, "I bet you can't run 50
miles." That was all it took. After several months of training, she ran and won her
first ultra; the Catoctin Trail 50K. Later that year, Rebekah successfully completed the
1994 Mountain Masochist Trail Race. In fact, she was 2nd female and
the rest, they say, is history.
Of course, early on in her running career Rebekah had read the manuscript David had
written about the AT, but the timing just wasn't right for a book to be written. By then,
David was preparing for the 1995 Trans America. The race was financed through the many
generous contributions of friends and acquaintances that had followed David's running over
the years. It was essential for these supporters to be kept abreast of the progress of the
race. As a result, it was decided that Rebekah would write a weekly newsletter that would
be sent out to each of the nearly 200 contributors. It was these newsletters that became
the basis of the Trans-America portion of the book.
After the runners had crossed the finish line in New York and returned home to their
families, attention was once again turned to a possible book. In addition to the AT
manuscript, hours of dictation by David into a small tape recorder had to be transcribed.
These daily "mutterings" served to reflect David's thoughts and impressions of
each day's Trans-Am race. All of this "verbiage" had to be assembled and the key
ideas extracted. So, armed with the old AT manuscript, Trans-Am dictations, and
newsletters, Rebekah began the arduous task of turning the bits and pieces into a book
that could be enjoyed by the runner and the non-runner, alike. This type of writing was
certainly a big change from the technical and scientific writing to which she was
After a year of writing and re-writing, the basic book was complete. A local publishing
company was contracted to help with the logistics of editing, formatting and printing.
However, even as this was going on, there seemed to be a missing ingredient; something
that could really make the book come alive. In discussing this with David, Rebekah found
out David had each of his crew people from the AT write a short summary of the experience
from their point of view. Additionally, there were literally hundreds of cards and letters
that had been sent to David along the route of the AT and the Trans-Am. Rebekah decided
that interjecting excerpts from some of these communications would give the book the extra
flare that was needed. Now, the reader could not only experience each of the adventures
from David's perspective but also realize the impact of the events on the family members,
crews, and supporters, many of whom were non-runners.
After innumerable long nights, the final draft was ready. "All" that was left
was proofreading, proofreading, and more proofreading! The proofreading task fell equally
on Gary and Rebekah Trittipoe and David and Nancy Horton. It almost became a form of
self-inflicted torture to read the text over and over. Nevertheless, the four were able to
complete the job, finalizing the format by choosing the photos to accompany the story. The
formatted manuscript was sent off to the printer, and on a rainy day in October, the
completed book was realized.
We trust that the book will not only be entertaining and informative, but we hope you will
be spurred on in your own "Quest for Adventure."
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