In Episode 31, we discuss the life and legacy of Emma “Grandma” Gatewood, who at 67 years old was the first woman to solo thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. Author Ben Montgomery gives us an intimate look at this extraordinary lady who overcame financial hardship, survived domestic and sexual abuse, and had 11 children and 23 grand children when she left a small town in Ohio to walk the A.T. in 1955.
The book, Grandma Gatewood’s Walk is now a New York Times best seller, and Ben gives us a look at the life and legacy of Emma Gatewood through her photos and trail journals, from interviews with her surviving children, and by tracking down some of the folks that actually met and hiked with Emma on the Trail.
Modern day thru-hikers walk with backpacks, tents, and sleeping bags – yet Emma had none of these items when she hiked the 2000+ mile Appalachian Trail three times in the 1950’s. She was one tough lady – and this is an inspiring tale of the suffering, strength, and triumph that brought much needed publicity and federal funding to the A.T. at a time when thru-hiking was in its infancy.
Subject: Grandma Gatewood’s Walk
Interviewees: Ben Montgomery
Interview Date: February 3, 2016
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