Hiking Through: One Man's Journey to Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail

By Paul Stutzman

With breathtaking descriptions and funny anecdotes from his 2,176-mile trip alongside the Appalachian path, Paul Stutzman finds how immersing himself in nature and befriending fellow hikers helped him get over a devastating loss.

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Marathon guy hiked with no poles, and even though he did a big balancing act, nature usually received and a noisy thump introduced one other wipeout. We reached Unicoi hole with no breaking any bones. the following the path crossed Georgia Rt. seventy five; town of Hiawassee used to be 11 miles west. Lion King made up our minds that he needs to get off the path and purchase new gear if he had any desire of constant his hike. He deliberate to hitchhike to Hiawassee, get a inn room and take time to get over his chilly, after which discover a trip again to Neels hole to shop for a greater tent and backpack. lets both subscribe to him or stream on with no him. it sounds as if Sailor, Marathon guy, and that i had no longer but had sufficient distress. We opted to proceed on, convinced that Lion King might meet up with us quickly. yet we by no means observed him back. numerous days later, a hiker handed us and in dialog advised us concerning the seventy-year-old he had encountered in Hiawassee. that they had met on the town and break up the price of a lodge room. He pronounced that Lion King had new apparatus yet was once staying on the town a bit longer to attend out the rain. regrettably, 2008 used to be one of many wettest years in Appalachian path background, so, for all i do know, my pal should still be within the lodge in Hiawassee, expecting the rain to prevent. I had loved my time with Lion King; we shared conversations approximately lifestyles and dying and lacking our spouses. i will be able to merely want for him the peace and therapeutic i discovered on my trip north. Our crew used to be now decreased to 3. Marathon guy, our new chief, was once sixty-three and defied each description of a hiker. He hiked with out poles, had a pack made in 1969, and traveled in blue denims. He used to be oblivious to fashionable know-how, yet he was once in nice form, and that looked as if it would atone for every thing else. Seventy marathons had ready Marathon guy for this rigorous hike; he had entire one previous to beginning the AT. Sailor had marathon historical past too; he had speedwalked the Chicago marathon. Sailor turned our anchor guy. I trudged within the heart. either one of them have been Boy Scouts too, in order that they knew how one can tie these knots to hold our endure baggage. the single knot i may tie was once in my footwear, for the reason that my boyhood church had frowned on becoming a member of such worldly teams because the Scouts or 4-H golf equipment. There i used to be, Apostle, climbing among grownup Boy Scouts; me, an out-of-shape eating place supervisor who couldn’t tie knots, being driven and pulled over those mountains through a marathon runner and a speedwalker. i used to be good conscious that any time they selected, the opposite may well hike away and go away me to my very own pathetic camping out talents. yet they allowed me to hang out, and thanks to their endurance and my stubbornness, i stopped up masking miles a lot speedier than i assumed attainable. We climbed excessive after which slid downward, climbed and slid, all day. After Blue Mountain, Rocky Mountain was once a 1. 3-mile climb by way of a 1. 2-mile descent to Indian Grave hole. We climbed and slid over numerous lesser stumbling blocks after which confronted Tray Mountain and a 2. 5-mile uphill fight to the top elevation of our day.

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