Book Review #4: My Appalachian Trail I:Three Weddings and a Sabbatical
Bruce and I are on a roll! 4 books in 4 weeks. We don't even miss Netflix, cheesy Amazon Prime movies, or sappy Hallmark chick-flicks. It's amazing the time we have reclaimed. This week's read was by Steve Adams, a savvy Brit who has a way with words and a knack for story telling.
Steve - Might Blue as he called himself on the trail - had absolutely zero hiking experience and being a tall brute weighing in at 245 pounds, was far from what his friends and family would call outdoorsy. But that didn't stop him from setting foot on the Appalachian Trail.
I can't explain how much enjoyment Bruce and I are having doing these readings together. We've always been close and have a wonderful marriage. I am not the only one to say so. If you ask him he'll tell you the same. He has learned that very important phrase needed for all successful marriages, "Yes, Dear." But seriously, what a great way to keep that lovin' feeling strong then to spend quality time together. Maybe that's one reason I can't get enough of anything Appalachian Trail. It may have been my journey in 2015 and 2017 but it really was more like a 6-month honeymoon each time my boots hit the trail.
As we read Steve's story we were once again transported back to the AT. Our tales differ drastically, but it was the same path. While Steve's struggles were different than mine, many of the lessons learned were the same. It was fun "watching" Mighty Blue transform from a big bloke who stumbled his was up the trail with very little confidence, to a hiking machine as each lesson taught him new strengths he didn't know he had.
Steve's story is so in-depth it takes two volumes to complete. We get to hit the trail with Mighty Blue again this week to see what lesson's, trials, and aggravations the Appalachian Trail throws at him for the remainder of his journey.
There is one common theme I have found when talking with, reading about, and being around Appalachian Trial thru-hikers is the camaraderie and acceptance we all have for each other. Hikers come from all walks of life. Our backgrounds are unique. Our socio-economic statuses are from dirt poor to filthy rich. Our political views are so wide spread they aren't even on the same continuum. Our beliefs are just as diverse. Even our reasons for being on the trail differ greatly. But throw us on the same path and non of that matters.
I used to be so intolerant to certain behaviors, beliefs, personalities, and such. Some, I even found repulsive to be around. But the trail, not the so-called "real" world along with my faith has taught me to be less judgmental. It's amazing what one can learn from someone who is completely different from ourselves. That doesn't mean I have changed my fundamentals, but I sure do appreciate and even luxuriate (I stole that word from Mighty Blue) in the differences of other people.
Another thing I find amazing about the Appalachian Trail is how it has changed lives. I have met so many hikers who upon returning from their hikes have become successful doing something completely different from what the did pre-hike. I am still trying to gain such notoriety. Steve is one of those such individuals. He began doing podcasts where he interviews Appalachian Trail Hikers. He currently has 328 episodes recorded on Hiking Radio Network.
Next time you find yourself with nothing to do and are tired of the garbage on the boob-tube, grab a copy of any of the books I have reviewed so far. Or if you have a long drive and need something other than commercial-filled airwaves, listen to Hiking Radio Network. Just be careful, doing any of these suggestions, you may find yourself with a 30-pound pack strapped to your shoulders huffing and puffing your way up Springer Mountain one day. If you do, it will ruin your current way of life.
Side note: I will be on vacation for the next 10 days so I may or may not have a book review for next Monday. We will keep reading, I just may not be near service to write a blog. I plan to get my boots dirty on a trail somewhere with Ziggy and hubby.