What's an AsABat?

It's common on the long trails to take, or be given, a trail name. There are many people I consider friends who I know only by their trail names. Because they are easy to remember, it helps the trail grapevine communicate information up and down the trail.

Contrary to the belief of a few hiking partners, my trail name does not refer to hiking "as a bat out of Hades." Rather, it refers to "blind as a bat." In 1996 and 1997 I had new corneas installed. Prior to the transplants I spent a short time legally blind because of keratoconus. Hence, I was blind as a bat. When others ask how I got my name, I relate this information and remind them to fill out their organ donor cards.

Not drawing any comparisons to myself, I can relate to John Muir who, before his conservationist career, was quite the inventor. He punctured an eye in an industrial accident and lay in darkness for two months until his vision slowly returned. That was a turning point in his life, and he later wrote,

"Now had I arisen from the grave!
God has to nearly kill us sometimes, to teach us lessons,"

and later,

"I bade adieu to all my mechanical inventions,
determined to devote the rest of my life to the study of the inventions of God."

BTW, yes, I spell it as one word. I started out writing it "Asabat" but confused too many people, so adopted the funky capitalization "AsABat."

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