Early December, the weather forecast was calling for Snowmageddon, so I picked up a few books from the library, both about the Appalachian Trail or AT for short.
We got about 11″ and I spent more time on the computer and clearing snow off our new trees but I started Grandma Gatewood’s Walk.
I am in some not-myself-mental- funk right now with Christmas and looking back at the year so it may not have been the best time for book reviews.
I personally don’t like the cover of Ben Montgomery‘s book, Grandma Gatewood’s Walk. I understand the cover/jacket, designer, Debbie Berne Design was using another person’s photo of Gatewood from the family collection, but I would’ve done something different. I do like some of her other designs, especially a recent cookbook. This is one of the reason as a cover designer we require credit for the photo separately or in addition to the jacket/cover design. It just doesn’t appeal to me, but the story did. I do like the cover of Montgomery’s book, The Man Who Walked Backward.
I am just amazed at Emma Gatewood’s age, and what she started the trail with, or rather how little she started the trail with. I didn’t know before starting the book that it was her second attempt or that she thru-hiked it not once, but twice, and a third time in sections. I didn’t know she also walked the Oregon Trail, blazed a new trail and was said to have walk 14,000 miles.
I overlooked the author calling the world billions of years old, but I found the access he was given to be able to write about her story intriguing. He did say several things more than once, jump back and forth between the time on the trail and time in the past with just a scene line break that I often didn’t notice until the story quit following a timeline. He also covered some of what was happening in the world instead of just Emma walking the AT, which to a point helped set the theme. I was only a few years old when Gatewood passed away and I think about all I need to hike for the day in my 40’s. Then again I am not called or compelled to walk the AT in its entirety and the only person I’m competitive with is myself. You will not find me camping by choice either. Even though I know it’s many years later, it was neat to read about some of the same places I’ve walked along the AT, as we’ve passed many a white blaze on our outings.
I didn’t plan on checking out the book Called Again by Jennifer Pharr Davis but I liked the cover, and if you live in WNC you’ve heard about her. When I got home I realized it was not her first book, hence the “again” in the name. I don’t see me reading any others by Davis. As I was reading it, I felt over and over about how hard or selfish she was being mentally and verbally with her support team, almost expecting they be completely focused on her and mind-readers about what she wanted. I mean she could not have set those records without their help. She did thank them, and it was only for a portion of time while on the trail, but still- it made me wonder what she was like off the trail and not trying to set a record. Maybe I just don’t connect with that train of thought because I don’t like asking for help, and if I do get it, I hope I’m gracious about it. I thought about other sports, like race car drivers. Their support teams are rarely recognized and the winner gets the sole glory when they win. I think a correlating story from her support team would an eye-opening read. I liked her faith throughout the book but the last chapter was IMO, the best. Her record has been beaten, but she did what she set out to do and that is something. I didn’t know trail names were a “thing”. I wonder what mine would be? Wants-to-go-home, tears-up-a-lot, misses-her-cat-bed-shower, takes-too-many-photos. 🙂 I think I should stick to day hikes.
I kinda get Gatewoods walking the AT because she wanted to, more than Davis’ desire to break records that included asking other people to help. The time, of course, would not be as fast on a non-supported record attempt but I get that more. I could never ask or treat my hubby that way, even if he did know what he was getting into. Brew Davis should get a medal.
I think of what the pastor said when he was talking to us before marrying us. Mike said marriage is not each person giving 50%, it’s both people putting God first and giving 100%.
I tend to like thrillers, mysteries or Christian based novels but I don’t want to read books where they take the Lord’s name in vain.
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If we like the same kind of books I’d love to hear your recommendations ~