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Grandma Gatewood's walk : the inspiring story of the woman who saved the Appalachian Trail / Ben Montgomery.

By: Montgomery, Ben.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Chicago, Illinois : Chicago Review Press, Incorporated, [2014]Edition: First edition.Description: 277 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781613747186; 1613747187; 1613747195; 9781613747193; 1613747217; 9781613747216; 9781613734995; 1613734999.Subject(s): Gatewood, Emma Rowena Caldwell, 1887-1973 | Gatewood, Emma Rowena Caldwell, 1887-1973 | Hikers -- Appalachian Trail -- Biography | Women conservationists -- Appalachian Trail -- Biography | Appalachian Trail -- History | Hikers | Women conservationists | United States -- Appalachian TrailGenre/Form: Biographies. | Biography. | History. | Biographies. | Nonfiction.DDC classification: 796.51092 | B Online resources: The Judith Greenblatt Endowment Fund Home Page
Contents:
Pick up your feet -- Go home, Grandma -- Rhododendron and rattlesnakes -- Wild dogs -- How'd you get in here? -- Our fight -- Lady Tramp -- Attention -- Good hard life -- Storm -- Shelter -- I'll get there -- Destruction -- So much behind -- All by myself -- Return to Rainbow Lake -- Aloneless more complete than ever -- Again -- Pioneer woman -- Blazing -- Monuments -- Epilogue.
Summary: "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."-- From publisher's description.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Winner of the 2014 National Outdoor Book Awards for History/Biography 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.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 269-270) and index.

Pick up your feet -- Go home, Grandma -- Rhododendron and rattlesnakes -- Wild dogs -- How'd you get in here? -- Our fight -- Lady Tramp -- Attention -- Good hard life -- Storm -- Shelter -- I'll get there -- Destruction -- So much behind -- All by myself -- Return to Rainbow Lake -- Aloneless more complete than ever -- Again -- Pioneer woman -- Blazing -- Monuments -- Epilogue.

"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."-- From publisher's description.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • 1 Pick Up Your Feet (p. 1)
  • 2 Go Home, Grandma (p. 13)
  • 3 Rhododendron and Rattlesnakes (p. 31)
  • 4 Wild Dogs (p. 45)
  • 5 How'd You Get in Here? (p. 57)
  • 6 Our Fight (p. 69)
  • 7 Lady Tramp (p. 79)
  • 8 Attention (p. 89)
  • 9 Good Hard Life (p. 99)
  • 10 Storm (p. 107)
  • 11 Shelter (p. 117)
  • 12 I'll Get There (p. 127)
  • 13 Destruction (p. 135)
  • 14 So Much Behind (p. 149)
  • 15 All by Myself (p. 169)
  • 16 Return to Rainbow Lake (p. 183)
  • 17 Aloneness More Complete than Ever (p. 201)
  • 18 Again (p. 209)
  • 19 Pioneer Woman (p. 219)
  • 20 Blazing (p. 231)
  • 21 Monuments (p. 245)
  • Epilogue (p. 261)
  • Acknowledgments (p. 267)
  • Bibliography (p. 269)
  • Index (p. 271)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Emma "Grandma" Gatewood did not necessarily seem prepared for a 2,000-mile walk along the Appalachian Trail. With only $200 and a small pack holding a change of clothing, the 67-year-old woman often depended on the kindness of the strangers she met along the way for food, water, and nighttime shelter. The first woman to complete the arduous trek alone when she did it in 1955, she eventually hiked it again two more times, bringing national attention to the sometimes poor conditions and highlighting the need for preservation of the Appalachian Trail itself and the National Park Trail System as a whole. Patrick Lawlor recounts Gatewood's remarkable story of sheer will and determination with skillful cadence and tone. Depending on the context, he alternates between a steady-paced narrative voice and a distinctive character voice. He enunciates well and inserts timely pauses for emphasis and reader reflection. Verdict An inspiring biographical account about overcoming the odds and achieving one's dreams. A great audiobook to have on the shelf for anyone seeking an uplifting story.-JoAnn Funderburk, South Garland Branch Lib., TX © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Montgomery introduces listeners to Emma Gatewood, a woman who walked the length of the Appalachian Trail at age 67 in 1955 and twice more in the decade that followed. By her amazing feats, she secured attention and interest in a decaying national treasure and helped preserve it. Through research, interviews, and journals accounts, Montgomery pieces together Gatewood's physical journey, interspersing it with her life story and the challenges that lead her down the Appalachian trail. Reader Lawlor has a warm and inviting voice that is soft but deep. It invites the listener to follow along in Gatewood's journey. He provides a good cadence, combined with a strong emphasis and warm delivery. He fleshes out Montgomery's prose with a bit more personality and enthusiasm than the text has on its own, which makes the production more enticing. His character voices are not impressive, but that hardly detracts from the listening experience since the story is focused entirely on Gatewood. A Chicago Review hardcover. (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

In 1955, at 67, Gatewood left her small Ohio town and her 11 children and 23 grandchildren and set off to trek the Appalachian Trail. She'd long been fascinated by the 2,050-mile trail and was particularly lured by the fact that no woman had ever hiked it alone. Knowing her family wouldn't approve, she didn't tell them when she set out with a little 17-pound sack of supplies and no tent or sleeping bag. Journalist Montgomery draws on interviews with Gatewood's surviving family members and hikers she met on her five-month journey as well as news accounts and Gatewood's diaries to offer a portrait of a determined woman, whose trek inspired other hikers and brought attention to the neglect of the Appalachian Trail. She became a hiking celebrity, appearing on television with Groucho Marx and Art Linkletter. Montgomery intertwines details of Gatewood's hike with recollections from her early life and difficult marriage. Maps of the trail and photos from Gatewood's early life enhance this inspiring story.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2014 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

A journalist's biography of the unassuming but gutsy 67-year-old Ohio grandmother who became the first person to walk all 2,050 miles of the Appalachian Trail three times. When Emma Gatewood (18871983) first decided she would hike the A.T., she told no one what she planned to donot even her 11 children or 23 grandchildren. Instead, she quietly slipped away from her home in May 1955 and began her walk at the southern terminus of the trail in Georgia. Accomplishing this featwhich she often described as "a good lark"was enough for her. Tampa Bay Times staff writer Montgomery tells the story of Gatewood's first hike and those that followed, interweaving the story with the heartbreaking details of her earlier life. He suggests that this woman, who eventually came to be known as "Queen of the Forest," was far from the eccentric others claimed she was. Instead, Montgomery posits that this celebrated hiker used long-distance walking to help her come to terms with a dark secret. At 18, Gatewood married a man she later discovered had a violent temper and an insatiable sexual appetite. Despite repeated beatings over 30 years, she remained with him until he nearly killed her. Afterward, she lived happily with her children for almost 20 years. Montgomery suggests that an article in National Geographic may have been what first inspired Gatewood to hike the trail. However, as her remarkable trek demonstrated, while the A.T. was as beautiful as the magazine claimed, it was also in sore need of maintenance. Gatewood's exploits, which would later include walking the Oregon Trail, not only brought national attention to the state of hikers' trails across a nation obsessed with cars and newly crisscrossed with highways; it also made Americans more aware of the joys of walking and of nature itself. A quiet delight of a book.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.