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Freak of Nature

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    • Freak of Nature

      No backpack, No map, No compass, No tent, No sleeping bag, No sleeping pad, No stove, No boots, Dressed in Cotton. She thru hiked the AT in under 5 months twice. Then hiked the Oregon trail 2000 miles from MO to OR. then 700 miles on the AT to the Long Trail to Canada. All after her 67th birthday.

      Ju
      st about done reading Grandma Gatewood's Walk. Some of this I knew, but I didn't really appreciate the magnitude of her accomplishments. I also wasn't aware that she had become a national celebrity in her day. Has made me rethink just about everything I've read about hiking. I want to be here when I grow up.
    • odd man out wrote:

      No backpack, No map, No compass, No tent, No sleeping bag, No sleeping pad, No stove, No boots, Dressed in Cotton. She thru hiked the AT in under 5 months twice. Then hiked the Oregon trail 2000 miles from MO to OR. then 700 miles on the AT to the Long Trail to Canada. All after her 67th birthday.

      Ju
      st about done reading Grandma Gatewood's Walk. Some of this I knew, but I didn't really appreciate the magnitude of her accomplishments. I also wasn't aware that she had become a national celebrity in her day. Has made me rethink just about everything I've read about hiking. I want to be here when I grow up.
      After surviving the depression and an abusive marriage it really was just walking from her perspective. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Da Wolf wrote:

      Earl Shaffer had a different take on her
      Well Earl could be a bit of a curmudgeon I think.

      Grandma certainly enjoyed her town stops, and Yogi-ing some food and hooch off folks along the way. She probably did go off-trail sometimes because in those days it was not always clear where the trail was. There are critics who say Earl's hike was not pure either. I think both Earl and Grandma deserve their due. They were AT pioneers of sorts, and no one claims what they accomplished was easy.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • Hey Wolf,

      Why have they not pulled the plug on 'Trail Days' yet? It is pretty obvious it is not going to happen. Or at least I believe that Northam will try to keep it from happening.

      Also wondering what the mood is in town. The boards are all blowing up between the hikers saying 'stay home' and the 'I'm doing my hike no matter what' crowd. Are the folks in Damascus still happy to see hikers showing up for resupply?
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • IMScotty wrote:

      Hey Wolf,

      Why have they not pulled the plug on 'Trail Days' yet? It is pretty obvious it is not going to happen. Or at least I believe that Northam will try to keep it from happening.

      Also wondering what the mood is in town. The boards are all blowing up between the hikers saying 'stay home' and the 'I'm doing my hike no matter what' crowd. Are the folks in Damascus still happy to see hikers showing up for resupply?
      Trail Days IS cancelled as of today.not many hikers around here yet.
    • Da Wolf wrote:

      IMScotty wrote:

      Hey Wolf,

      Why have they not pulled the plug on 'Trail Days' yet? It is pretty obvious it is not going to happen. Or at least I believe that Northam will try to keep it from happening.

      Also wondering what the mood is in town. The boards are all blowing up between the hikers saying 'stay home' and the 'I'm doing my hike no matter what' crowd. Are the folks in Damascus still happy to see hikers showing up for resupply?
      Trail Days IS cancelled as of today
      Sad, but the right move.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • From the ATC website. The ATC also posted a somewhat shorter version of this on Facebook at about 2:00 today; I have to admit I'm surprised and disappointed in some of the comments to this. All seems pretty obvious to me.


      March 20, 2020: The Appalachian Trail Days Celebration in Damascus, Virginia, has been canceled based on guidance provided by the Virginia State Department of Health.

      March 20, 2020: Shelters and Camping Areas on A.T. in Maryland Closed
      The Maryland Park Service has closed all shelters and camping areas along the Appalachian Trail in Maryland. Camping is also prohibited outside of these areas along the A.T. in Maryland, so hikers should postpone or cancel any overnight hiking plans for all 40 miles of A.T. in Maryland. The closure is scheduled to last until May 11, but this might be extended.

      March 20, 2020: Shelters and Privies Closed in New Jersey – Overnight Camping Discouraged
      Shelters and privies on the A.T. in the state of New Jersey have been closed until further notice. Overnight camping is discouraged, though still allowed around the shelter; social distancing should be practiced and hikers should dig catholes more than 200 feet from water sources and campsites to bury human (and pet) waste. Camping in areas other than those designated by signs is also prohibited; campfires are also prohibited. The Trail itself remains open.
      2,000 miler

      The post was edited 1 time, last by max.patch ().

    • She could have done half of what was claimed and it would still be off the charts. As such I don't really care if there was yellow blazing involved. The book's author cited a lot of 3rd party verification of events throughout the length of the trail so I feel confident in classifying her accomplishments as off the charts no matter the total number of blazes passed. The book indicates that while she didn't reject inquires, she didn't seek out publicity either. I did not know until reading the book that she became quite a celebrity in her day. But it seems this would have been a motivation. In 1955, people weren't really becoming famous for thru hiking the AT.

      The book did address the Schaeffer controversy. It cited a study that involved a detailed analysis of his logs and concluded he must have skipped a number of sections. Curious if there has been a similar analysis of her diary, or are Schaeffer's protestations just sour grapes from a man under fire who felt his acclaim was being diminished by a 67 year old grandmother. The book did make a point that Emma always returned to the place she left the trail, except for a two mile section she shuttled around due to impassible flooding. It was clearly on the author's mind, if not Emma's.

      And did I mention she hiked through two hurrucanes?
    • I've read a LOT of thru hikers books; mostly years ago until they started to bore me. Now for me to read one it has to be something "different" -- think "Blind Courage" by Bill Irwin, A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson, "Walking with Spring" by Earl Shaffer and "Just Passin Thru" by Wynton Porter. I think Grandma Gatewood's book qualifies and I'm going to order it. Thanks for starting this thread OMO.

      I'm lucky to own the the massive 2 volume, 2,000 page Rodale book "Hiking the Appalachian Trail" copyright 1975 which told the stories of the early thru hikers.

      Another "different" book would be "The Long Walk" by Slavomir Rawicz which is only related to the AT in that one year it was a popular book for thru hikers carry. It's been alleged that it's not exactly 100% accurate.
      2,000 miler
    • max.patch wrote:

      I've read a LOT of thru hikers books; mostly years ago until they started to bore me. Now for me to read one it has to be something "different" -- think "Blind Courage" by Bill Irwin, A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson, "Walking with Spring" by Earl Shaffer and "Just Passin Thru" by Wynton Porter. I think Grandma Gatewood's book qualifies and I'm going to order it. Thanks for starting this thread OMO.

      I'm lucky to own the the massive 2 volume, 2,000 page Rodale book "Hiking the Appalachian Trail" copyright 1975 which told the stories of the early thru hikers.

      Another "different" book would be "The Long Walk" by Slavomir Rawicz which is only related to the AT in that one year it was a popular book for thru hikers carry. It's been alleged that it's not exactly 100% accurate.
      Few years ago my wife and I watched the movie The Way Back based on this. Even if not true, still an interesting story.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Astro wrote:

      max.patch wrote:

      I've read a LOT of thru hikers books; mostly years ago until they started to bore me. Now for me to read one it has to be something "different" -- think "Blind Courage" by Bill Irwin, A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson, "Walking with Spring" by Earl Shaffer and "Just Passin Thru" by Wynton Porter. I think Grandma Gatewood's book qualifies and I'm going to order it. Thanks for starting this thread OMO.

      I'm lucky to own the the massive 2 volume, 2,000 page Rodale book "Hiking the Appalachian Trail" copyright 1975 which told the stories of the early thru hikers.

      Another "different" book would be "The Long Walk" by Slavomir Rawicz which is only related to the AT in that one year it was a popular book for thru hikers carry. It's been alleged that it's not exactly 100% accurate.
      Few years ago my wife and I watched the movie The Way Back based on this. Even if not true, still an interesting story.
      It's on Amazon Prime now; I'll probably watch it this weekend. Thanks for the reminder; I forgot about the movie.
      2,000 miler
    • max.patch wrote:

      I've read a LOT of thru hikers books; mostly years ago until they started to bore me. Now for me to read one it has to be something "different" -- think "Blind Courage" by Bill Irwin, A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson, "Walking with Spring" by Earl Shaffer and "Just Passin Thru" by Wynton Porter. I think Grandma Gatewood's book qualifies and I'm going to order it. Thanks for starting this thread OMO.

      I'm lucky to own the the massive 2 volume, 2,000 page Rodale book "Hiking the Appalachian Trail" copyright 1975 which told the stories of the early thru hikers.

      Another "different" book would be "The Long Walk" by Slavomir Rawicz which is only related to the AT in that one year it was a popular book for thru hikers carry. It's been alleged that it's not exactly 100% accurate.
      I have read all of these except "Just Passin Thru." "The Long Walk" was a great read. It appears it may have been a stolen story that was based on a true story.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • max.patch wrote:

      I've read a LOT of thru hikers books; mostly years ago until they started to bore me. Now for me to read one it has to be something "different" -- think "Blind Courage" by Bill Irwin, A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson, "Walking with Spring" by Earl Shaffer and "Just Passin Thru" by Wynton Porter. I think Grandma Gatewood's book qualifies and I'm going to order it. Thanks for starting this thread OMO.

      I'm lucky to own the the massive 2 volume, 2,000 page Rodale book "Hiking the Appalachian Trail" copyright 1975 which told the stories of the early thru hikers.

      Another "different" book would be "The Long Walk" by Slavomir Rawicz which is only related to the AT in that one year it was a popular book for thru hikers carry. It's been alleged that it's not exactly 100% accurate.
      one thing that distinguishes this this book is that it is not autobiographical or contemporary. Written by a third party after the fact. Also interesting in that it provides a glimpse into a very different world of the first half of the 20th century, on and off trail.