Stay Inspired During Quarantine with Jennifer Pharr Davis’s Armchair Adventure Book Club
This is not what we pictured the hiking season of 2020 to look like. Just when we think that it’ll be an injury, illness, family emergency, or fatigue that will keep us from the trail, cue a global pandemic. By now, most of us have (reluctantly) come to terms with the reality that our thru-hiking season has been tossed out the window for the foreseeable future, and that leaves us with a whole lot of time on our hands.
If you keep saying to yourself “I’m going to read more during this time” but instead end up mindlessly watching Tiger King and forgetting what day it is? Me too. I’m guessing you haven’t been changing out of PJ’s until 3 p.m. either, so there’s little reason we shouldn’t hold ourselves accountable to some bedtime stories in the middle of the day?
Armchair Adventure Book Club is set to launch on April 9, hosted by Jennifer Pharr Davis (JPD) and Blue Ridge Hiking Company. You can purchase the complete bundle of books here. They have put together an all-star lineup of adventure books to keep you on the trail, even when you’re not. Each week, the book club will host the authors themselves, leading a virtual discussion.
The list includes two from JPD herself, former Appalachian Trail record-holder and Nat Geo Adventurer of the Year, as well as hiker favorites Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery, and Gorge by Kara Richardson Whitely. There’s no better time than the present to dive deep into a good trail story and get our minds off COVID-19 news.
Each session will be live via Zoom and Facebook (the ATC will be hosting week one) each Thursday at noon ET, from April 9 through May 28. No fees or registration required to participate. There’s no need to read the book beforehand either, though you’ll want to by the end. The schedule is as follows:
April 9: Becoming Odyssa, Jennifer Pharr Davis
One of the most popular thru-hiking memoirs to date, Jennifer Pharr Davis tells of how she found courage, kindness, and mental endurance during her first thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.
April 16: Unlikely Thru-Hiker, Derick Lugo
In his debut memoir, Derick Lugo thoughtfully chronicles his 2012 Appalachian Trail thru-hike as a lifelong New Yorker and young black man who had never been hiking or camping before, yet willfully conquered the trail. Our reviewer said, “It’s certainly one of the most artful and entertaining trail memoirs to come along in a good while.”
April 23: Untamed, Will Harlan
Untamed is the story of Carol Ruckdeschel, a self-taught naturalist and overall wild woman who spends her life defending the remote island she calls home and the creatures that live there.
April 30: Gorge, Kara Richardson Whitely
Gorge is the story of Kara Richardson Whitely’s fiercely determined journey to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, as she struggled with grueling conditions and the 300-pound weight of her own body.
A 2020 Wild and Scenic Film Tour and Women’s Adventure Film Tour selection, Positive Forward Motion reflects on the challenges and lessons that life has brought Jennifer Pharr Davis as a business owner, mother, and long -distance hiker following her record-setting thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail.
May 14: Stand Up That Mountain, Jay Erskine Leutze
This true story of a North Carolina outdoorsman who teams up with his Appalachian neighbors to save a small mountain town along the Appalachian Trail from being destroyed by mining.
May 21: Grandma Gatewood’s Walk, Ben Montgomery
In 1955, 67-year-old Grandma Gatewood hiked the Appalachian Trail with less than $200 to her name and is today one of the most celebrated hikers. Ben Montgomery retells her iconic story and earned the 2014 National Outdoor Book Award Winner in History / Biography.
May 28: Pursuit of Endurance, Jennifer Pharr Davis
In Pursuit of Endurance, JPD explores what it takes to persevere both on and off the trail. She analyzes her own Fastest Known Time adventure as well as that of other record-setters, with the touch of her storytelling voice.
Want to win a free copy of Becoming Odyssa?
We’re giving away a signed copy of Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr Davis. Comment below telling us how you’re making the best out of your time at home. We’ll pick the winner by April 11.
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