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Grandma Gatewood's Walk

The Inspiring Story Of The Woman Who Saved The Appalachian Trail

By Ben Montgomery

Emma Gatewood was the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail alone, as well as the first person—man or woman—to walk it twice and three times and she did it all after the age of 65. This is the first and only biography of Grandma Gatewood, as the reporters called her, who became a hiking celebrity in the 1950s and ’60s. She appeared on TV with Groucho Marx and Art Linkletter, and on the pages of Sports Illustrated. The public attention she brought to the little-known footpath was unprecedented. Her vocal criticism of the lousy, difficult stretches led to bolstered maintenance, and very likely saved the trail from extinction. Author Ben Montgomery was given unprecedented access to Gatewood’s own diaries, trail journals, and correspondence. He also unearthed historic newspaper and magazine articles and interviewed surviving family members and hikers Gatewood met along the trail. The inspiring story of Emma Gatewood illustrates the full power of human spirit and determination.

Emma Gatewood told her family she was going on a walk and left her small Ohio hometown with a change of clothes and less than two hundred dollars. The next anybody heard from her, this genteel, farm-reared, 67-year-old great-grandmother had walked 800 miles along the 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail. And in September 1955, having survived a rattlesnake strike, two hurricanes, and a run-in with gangsters from Harlem, she stood atop Maine’s Mount Katahdin. There she sang the first verse of “America, the Beautiful” and proclaimed, “I said I’ll do it, and I’ve done it.”

Grandma Gatewood, as the reporters called her, became the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail alone, as well as the first person—man or woman—to walk it twice and three times. Gatewood became a hiking celebrity and appeared on TV and in the pages of Sports Illustrated. The public attention she brought to the little-known footpath was unprecedented. Her vocal criticism of the lousy, difficult stretches led to bolstered maintenance, and very likely saved the trail from extinction.

Author Ben Montgomery was given unprecedented access to Gatewood’s own diaries, trail journals, and correspondence, and interviewed surviving family members and those she met along her hike, all to answer the question so many asked: Why did she do it? The story of Grandma Gatewood will inspire readers of all ages by illustrating the full power of human spirit and determination. Even those who know of Gatewood don’t know the full story—a story of triumph from pain, rebellion from brutality, hope from suffering.

Format

Book

Availability

1 available at Southeast
  • B Gatewood, Biography

Publish Date

2014

ISBN

9781613747186


Format: Book
Author: Montgomery, Ben
Title: Grandma Gatewood's walk : the inspiring story of the woman who saved the Appalachian Trail / Ben Montgomery.
Publisher Date: Chicago, Illinois : Chicago Review Press, [2014]
Subject: Gatewood, Emma Rowena Caldwell, -1973. Hikers -- Appalachian Trail -- Biography. Women conservationists -- Appalachian Trail -- Biography. Appalachian Trail -- History.
Isbn: 9781613747186 (hbk.) 1613747187 (hbk.)
Current Holds: 0
System Items Available: 1
System Items Total: 1
Call Number: B Gatewood
Oclc: 858940255
Upc:
Bib Id: 505896

Format: Book
Author: Montgomery, Ben.
Title: Grandma Gatewood's walk : the inspiring story of the woman who saved the Appalachian Trail / Ben Montgomery.
Edition: First edition.
Publisher, Date: Chicago, Illinois : Chicago Review Press, [2014]
Description: 277 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Subjects: Gatewood, Emma Rowena Caldwell, -1973.
Subjects: Hikers -- Appalachian Trail -- Biography.
Subjects: Women conservationists -- Appalachian Trail -- Biography.
Subjects: Appalachian Trail -- History.
Notes: Includes bibliographical references (pages 269-270) and index.
LCCN: 2013037551
ISBN: 9781613747186 (hbk.)
ISBN: 1613747187 (hbk.)
Requests: 0
Available Copies: 1
Total Copies: 1
Call Number: B Gatewood