Take a Hike Granny Gatewood!
Have you ever dreamed of thru-hiking the 2,168 mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, or from Maine to Georgia? Would you spend months preparing? Most people do. They take classes, buy the best and lightest equipment and train to get into top physical shape. They mail food boxes to destination points along the way and sometimes hike with partners.
But what if you didn’t do all that? What if you made a denim sack and filled it with an army blanket, a rain cape and a shower curtain? What if you laced up your Ked sneakers and told your kids you were going on a walk? Then you would be Emma Gatewood, known as “Granny Gatewood” and you would become the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail.
Emma was born in 1887 in rural southern Ohio. She married a school teacher; he injured her repeatedly with his abuse. She had eleven children with him and all she knew was hard work. In 1950, she read about the Appalachian Trail in National Geographic and the idea of hiking the trail caught her fancy. She wanted to do something for herself. In 1955 she packed her small kit and left. She was 67 years old. She became a celebrity before she had finished the trail. She hiked the AT again in 1960, and then again at age 75 in 1963, making her the first person to hike the trail three times.
Granny Gatewood also hiked 2,000 miles of the Oregon Trail and traveled to all 48 states.
Her involvement with hiking saved the Appalachian Trail by spotlighting how it should be improved, maintained and promoted. I encourage you to read the splendid story of Granny Gatewood. Granny Gatewood’s Walk has over 1,000 positive reviews and readers have
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