I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.
-- Mark Twain

First, I'd like to acknowledge a special debt of gratitude to my wife Maria and the European Union. In planning the H2H I made extensive use of online resources (as well as spending many hours hunched over traditional paper maps). Perhaps the most useful online resource was the website of the Via Alpina. The Via Alpina is a network of long distance paths that extends from one end of the Alps to the other, and the website that has been developed to provide information about it is superb (in some ways much better than this one... but that is what a combination of expertise, many workers, and large amounts of EU funding will do for you). Much of the H2H follows more or less closely one or the other of the Via Alpina trails, and if you are interested in further information about any given stage, quite frequently you can find it at their site. The Via Alpina was funded by the EU (as part of their effort to support and encourage tourism within Europe), and Maria first brought it to my attention.

Maria receives further thanks for being immediately supportive when I first suggested that I go hiking for four months... and for remaining so during the long period of preparation before the hike when often times the only thing I wanted to talk about was the H2H. Some may see something suspicious in her quick acquiescence to seeing me leave for four months... but not me :-).

Next, I'd like to thank my brother Stewart and his better half Sally who both agreed to hike the H2H with me without a second's hesitation. As I write this, we haven't yet hiked the H2H, but assuming that the three of us complete the hike this summer without mutual mayhem or homicide, then I am certain that I will say at the end that I couldn't have done it without them!

And lastly, and also prospectively, I'd like to thank all my other relatives and friends who have said that they will join the H2H as "guest" hikers... your participation will make the journey vastly more enjoyable. In other words, I expect to find out that, as Mark Twain would have said, I like you people!