12262741With the movie of the book Wild coming out on the big screen, this book – Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trailcaught my eye on Audible.com. Maybe I should do the same thing Emma did. I am certainly not 67-years-old – at least not yet!!


Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail | [Ben Montgomery]

Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail

Emma Gatewood told her family she was going on a walk and left her small Ohio hometown with a change of clothes and less than $200. The next anybody heard from her, this genteel, farm-reared, 67-year-old great-grandmother had walked 800 miles along the 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail. And in September 1955, atop Maine’s Mount Katahdin, she sang the first verse of “America, the Beautiful” and proclaimed, “I said I’ll do it, and I’ve done it.” Grandma Gatewood, as the reporters called her, became the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail alone, as well as the first person – man or woman – to walk it twice and three times. The public attention she brought to the little-known footpath was unprecedented. Her vocal criticism of the lousy, difficult stretches led to bolstered maintenance, and very likely saved the trail from extinction.

©2014 Ben Montgomery (P)2014 Tantor

 

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