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. Cider Donuts (Where To Find Them and How To Make Them)
    Enjoy a cider donut recipe plus local NH stores and orchards where you can get hot and fresh...
  2. The 10 Best Free Events Happening in September
    Art shows, a duck race, festivals and an art and wine tour: here are 10 ideas for having...
  3. Welcome to Keene's Cuisine Scene
    The city with the widest Main Street is filling up with great flavors
  4. 16 New Granite State Breweries
    Get ready to experience the thrill of discovery. From the top of the state to the coast, here are...
  5. Pad Thai
    In this edition of Cooking with Emshika, Emshika Alberini shares her recipe for Pad Thai
  6. Brewing Beer is a Labor of Love
    The owner of Litherman's Limited is making his passion a full-time job
  7. The Connection between Loneliness and your Health
    Loneliness can affect more than emotional health.
Edit ModuleShow Tags