This is what started it. My obsession with The Applachian Trail. I had to buy a replacement from Amazon. The original copy is buried somewhere in 30 years of The Child Bride “putting stuff away” and then not remembering where she put it. I can’t really complain though, I’m no better when it comes to “stuff”. I can remember things that happened to me years ago and use a lot of that in my fiction. But where those silver dollars or the savings bonds we bought for the kids are, well, someone will find them someday.
This book was given to me just after I graduated college. I spend a lot of time outdoors in various pursuits and this fascinated me. The idea of forging through wilderness and all of the Americana nearby caught something deep inside left over from my backwoods pioneering ancestors. National Geographic put out this Pictorial/Narrative book in the early 1970’s. The photos of the landscape are wonderful and the story of not just the Trail but the people on and around it is inspiring.
Life never let me make the hike (2200 miles from Georgia to Maine). Career, family and mortgage stood in the way. It’s one of those adventures that requires six months and loads of physical and mental stamina. Hard to do working a full time job and trying to raise kids and pay bills. Journals and blogs that I follow of the thru hikers who made the walk this year describe the many trials and tribulations experienced by these hearty folks. Seems the hikers are either just out of high school or college having their adventure or old farts like me who finally got around to it after life has left them the room.
So the training has begun. Walking and carrying various pack weights on rail trails and sections of the Applachian Trail nearby (Pennsylvania). Jump off is set for April 2017, if my knees and heart doctor don’t put a hold on it. The cardiologist told me not to worry, he would make up an “emergency kit” that he said, “Will keep you alive until the chopper can get to you.” Well, shut my mouth!
Even if you don’t have the same fire inside, I recommend this and the many other books out that tell the story of the Trail and the people. It is a truly Americn story.
The Appalachian Trail, 1974, National Geographic Society