Grandma Gatewood’s Walk, the inspiring story of the woman who saved the Appalachian Trail tells the story of a pioneer as brave as any of our forebears. This 67-year old abused mother of 11 walked out the front door of her Ohio house in dungarees and tennis shoes in the mid-20th century. She carried a homemade sack containing a shower curtain, a change of clothes, a few essentials, and $200. She got a ride to Mt. Oglethorpe in Georgia and from there hiked the entire 2050 mile Appalachian Trail to Mt. Katahdin in Maine, alone—completing the trek in late September, not much before the Yankee winter set in.
It seemed a remarkable accomplishment until I read about the abuse she had suffered in the years before she found the courage to start out on a solo journey that no other woman had ever tried before.
So if you want to be inspired by a story of what the human body and spirit can endure, read Grandma Gatewood’s Walk, by Ben Montgomery, published by Chicago Review Press.
“I get faster as I get older,” Grandma Gatewood said.