Grandma Gatewood's Walk

She called her 2,050-mile journey "taking a walk"



There she was in the spring of 1955, 67 years old, wearing tennis shoes and dungarees, a denim bag slung over her shoulder, about to leave Georgia and walk the 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail to Maine — alone.

To understand how amazing her venture was to be, you just need to know what she carried in her bag on the treacherous trek — a change of clothes, a blanket, a coat, a shower curtain for rain, a few essentials like a Swiss Army knife and flashlight, some food and less than $200 in cash. No map, no sleeping bag, no tent.

But 146 days, 14 states and seven pairs of tennis shoes later, she stood atop Maine's Mount Katahdin, the end of the Appalachian Trail, and said, "I did it."

Indeed she had, and Emma Gatewood, an Ohio farmer's wife, mother of 11 and grandmother of 23, would do it twice more before she hung up her battered shoes.

The book about her journey, "Grandma Gatewood's Walk" [Chicago Review Press, $26.95] by Ben Montgomery, reveals a woman with uncommon grit, astonishing endurance and utter fearlessness. Also, a woman who's credited with saving the Appalachian Trail as her celebrity brought much-needed attention to it.

I would need way more space than this to sufficiently sing this book's praises. You just have to read it.

Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. New Boston's Historic Fourth of July Celebration
    New Boston, New Hampshire, loves the Fourth of July so much the whole town turns out for the...
  2. Building on Hope's 2018 Project
    Local nonprofit group Building on Hope brings new life to the Crisis Center of Central New...
  3. Best of NH 2018 This & That
    Not all of New Hampshire's best things fit neatly into categories. Here are our Editor's Picks...
  4. Walpole's New Farmer-Owned Diner
    It doesn't get much more local than this. The Hungry Diner is an extension of Walpole Valley...
  5. Best of NH 2018 Breweries, Wine, Spirits, Cocktails & Bars
    Don't just eat local, drink local! Where to find the best New Hampshire beer, wine, spirits,...
  6. Best of NH 2018 Shops & Services
    Think of this as the ultimate guide to retail therapy. Plus, get excellent recommendations for...
  7. Best of NH 2018 Delis, Butcher Shops, Catering, Cafés, Lunch and Breakfast
    Up the "wow" factor by catering with an authentic Hawaiian luau, try Italian breakfast pizza,...
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags