Grandma Gatewood's Walk

Grandma Gatewood's Walk

The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail

Book - 2014
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"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 two hundred dollars. 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, having survived a rattlesnake strike, two hurricanes, and a run-in with gangsters from Harlem, she stood atop Maine's Mount Katahdin. There 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. Gatewood became a hiking celebrity and appeared on TV and in the pages of Sports Illustrated. 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. Author Ben Montgomery was given unprecedented access to Gatewood's own diaries, trail journals, and correspondence, and interviewed surviving family members and those she met along her hike, all to answer the question so many asked: Why did she do it? The story of Grandma Gatewood will inspire readers of all ages by illustrating the full power of human spirit and determination."-- From publisher's description.
Publisher: Chicago, Ill. : Chicago Review Press, 2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781613747186
Branch Call Number: 796.51 Mo
Description: 277 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm


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Sep 15, 2017

Interesting book, especially for someone interested in the Appalachian Trail. Details of the trip itself seem a bit perfunctory. I realize this was awhile ago, but would have preferred a more reflective tone. It's amazing what this woman accomplished with her lifelong dream of through-walking the AT--she sparked a revival of interest that has not ended.

This book is a lot of fun to read. In 1955 at the age of 67 Emma Gatewood packed up and headed out to hike the Appalachian Trail. This story is about her hike, and about the trail itself. She was a remarkable lady, very strong and determined. With great pacing and writing, this book is a welcome read.

Apr 17, 2017

she is awesome, book was pretty good and skipped from her backstory to the trail. a few boring/dry parts mixed in weird ways, but I guess only so much changes on a 2000 mile trail! liked part author added at end

KHCPL_Wagner Jan 19, 2017

The amazing true story of the 67 year-old grandmother who in 1955 became the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail alone.

To be in your 60s and still ambitious enough to want to "go for a walk" on one of the most strenuous trails in the U.S. is just amazing. What will I do in my lifetime that has such an impact? Although this isn't an extremely well-written account, it pulls together enough of her story to make for a fascinating read.

May 05, 2016

Totally in awe of Grandma Gatewood and fascinated by the Appalachian Trail and its thru-hikers. However, this was kind of a dry, newspaper style recitation of facts. Went off on tangents about other news making events that happened while she was hiking which I ended up skimming at times. I'm glad I read it, but probably has a limited audience.

PimaLib_HeatherR May 08, 2015

An amazing, inspiring story that shows the depths of human strength and determination.

LaughingOne Mar 28, 2015

"Seemed like a good lark" is what Grandma Gatewood would answer when asked why she hiked the Appalachian Trail, and alone. She had spent some time on long walks in the area she lived in Ohio and that helped her decide what bare essentials she would need to be able to hike the Appalachian Trail. It was so minimal it’s hard to imagine she had enough. But she did. Her story is amazing and interesting and inspiring. It’s about the trail itself, and conservation, and adventure. But it’s also about spirit and independence and following your dream, and freedom. This is an awesome story. Enjoy!

Jan 31, 2015

Grandma Gatewood, after a life of child raising and domestic violence, decides, at age 67, that she needs some of the peace she has always found in nature, so she chooses to walk the entire Appalachian Trail. The first time doesn't work out well, starting from the northern end; so the next time, she starts from the southern end. She packs up what she needs in a bag that she sewed herself. takes the bus to Georgia and starts out. Many times she has to depend on the kindness of strangers for a place to sleep, food to eat, or directions to get back on the trail, which has not been well marked or maintained. With the help of her children, who have kept her journals and press clippings, the author shows us that, perhaps, we don't need as much paraphernalia as REI would have us believe in order to do some hiking. Grandma Gatewood not only hiked the Appalachian Trail more than once, but she also hiked the Oregon Trail and established trails in her native Ohio. She is an example of "a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step"--and just keep going.

Jul 13, 2014

An amazing story about an incredible woman. I am in awe.


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