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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Maybe Start With 67 Miles?

My health and physical condition are excellent, my commitments can be easily adjusted, and in a little over six months I'll be the same age as Emma Gatewood was when she became the first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail (AT) beginning to end in 1955.

Finishing "Grandma Gatewood's Walk" (2014) convinced me it's time for a new demanding physical challenge. What was the last book that similarly inspired you? What action did you take? According to author Ben Montgomery, approximately eleven thousand people have traversed the entire AT either as a "thru-hike" - Gatewood did that twice in her late sixties - or in sections - Grandma did that at age seventy seven. Having disappointed myself more than once not reaching a wildly ambitious goal, I'm not initially shooting to join that elite group only to end up in ignominious defeat like say, Bill Bryson. (Bryson hiked less than forty of the two thousand miles. But, he also got a bestseller out of the experience and then morphed into Robert Redford in the film version of his book so his wild ambition - ignominious defeat notwithstanding - was apparently a sound business decision.)

Sour Bryson grapes aside, my demanding physical challenge approaching sixty seven will involve the AT somehow; stay tuned for details. Foremost among the benefits of my blog is being accountable for any public pledges I make here. And even wildly ambitious goals are better than no goals. I'd love to hear some of yours.

1 comment:

  1. I'm looking at a pair of forty-year-old Vasque hiking boots. I'm also looking at a two-volume set of Hiking the Appalachian Trail, edited by James R. Hare. There are all sorts of yellowed newspaper articles inserted into and hanging out of these books. Apparently, my husband had a life before he met me. Imagine. The nerve!