Grandma Gatewood, my idol!
Journal Entries from January 2015
January 12, 2015
The weather has been really cold and quite snowy here (Kalamazoo, Michigan) so we have been getting some of our walking done on the treadmills at the gym. We’ve also been using the stair climber, the stationery bikes and the weight machines. It’s not as much fun as a walk in the woods (not even close!), but it’s better than no exercise at all.
I recently started reading Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery. What an amazing woman! She was the first woman to hike the entire length of the trail. She did this in 1955 at the age of 67 (my age now) without the benefit of good equipment, maps, well-marked trails or decent shelters. She had no backpack, no tent (just a shower curtain for protection from the rain), and no hiking shoes (just canvas sneakers). A few years later, she did it again, and again! When she was 71, she spent 95 days hiking the Oregon Trail from Independence Missouri to Portland Oregon. It was an arduous journey. What an inspiration!
January 13, 2015
From page 253 of Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: “She introduced people to the A.T., and at the same time she made the thru hike achievable. It didn’t take fancy equipment, guidebooks, training, or youthfulness. It took putting one foot in front of the other–five million times.”
If Grandma Gatewood can make it with sneakers and a duffel bag, then so can I!
“If I’d been afraid,” she said, “I never would have started out in the first place.”–Grandma Emma Gatewood”
― Ben Montgomery, Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail
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I am catching up on your blog. So cool! Grandma Gatewood is one of my heros! She was from just north of where I live and a section of trail in Hocking Hills Forest from Ash Cave to Old Man Cave is dedicated to her. It was her favorite trail. I hiked and wrote about it this past summer.