Audiobooks SouthboundAuthor Lucy Letcher – Entrecielos.co

My seven year old daughter decided recently that she wants to thru hike the Appalachian Trail, and she wants to hike it from Maine to Georgia Her reasoning is that then you get the toughest part of the trail out of the way at the beginning She and I have talked about the extra challenges of the southbound route not the least of which is beginning the trek with the Hundred Mile Wilderness and running the risk of hitting winter in the Smokies if you don t hike fast enough , but she s undeterred My seven year old daughter decided recently that she wants to thru hike the Appalachian Trail, and she wants to hike it from Maine to Georgia Her reasoning is that then you get the toughest part of the trail out of the way at the beginning She and I have talked about the extra challenges of the southbound route not the least of which is beginning the trek with the Hundred Mile Wilderness and running the risk of hitting winter in the Smokies if you don t hike fast enough , but she s undeterred She says we can practice and get stronger and learnand then we can attempt a family thru hike when she s 17 and her brother is 13.Incidentally, I like the southbound route because it s not as well traveled Not only am I not keen on the idea of crowded trail shelters, I ve read that less of the party atmosphere follows hikers traveling southward than it does those traveling northward I d kind of rather avoid the party atmosphere if at all possible, especially hiking with my kids even though they ll likely be teenagers by the time we hit the trail The Barefoot Sisters Southbound is the first narrative I ve found describing a southbound thru hike It s helped me to seeclearly the challenges of thru hiking in general as well as the challenges unique to the southward thru hike One thing I know for sure I have no interest in hiking in the wintertime I know that regardless of which direction we go, we re going to hit chilly weather It will still be chilly at night in Maine and then chilly again in the Smokies if we go south, and it will be chilly in the Whites if we go north Chilly I think I can handle, especially if I m out in it all the time and become accustomed to it But blizzards and ice storms I spent most of my youth living along the California coast Winter and I are tentative friends at best as it is I think winter camping would be pushing that relationship beyond the breaking point Although I suppose that even that s subject to change We re planning to snowshoe this winter provided we get enough snow, unlike last year If we love it, heck, maybe we ll schedule in some winter on our thru hike.It was interesting reading about Isis and jackrabbit s perspective, too, because had I gone with the original timing I d planned for my thru hike, I would have done it the year after I graduated from college, two years before they did their thru hike So they re nearly my contemporaries As a result, the book had a bit of a this is what it might have been like had I quality for me I would, however, have been woefully underprepared, and I most likely would not have finished Even though the sisters descriptions of the physical toll on their youthful bodies has left me a little nervous about how well my body will do with nearly three decadeswear on it, I think on the balance, my chances of completing a thru hike will be better at nearly fifty than it would have been when I was 21.Although not as funny as Bryson s A Walk in the Woods, this book is muchdetailed in its depiction of trail life, and it includes the Letcher sisters original poems, songs, and even an excerpt of their trail romance novel Southbound exults in the wonder, beauty, and transformative power of the trail while it simultaneously pulls no punches in describing the daily discomforts and dangers of the trail The result is a vivid and compelling story that leaves me craving the trail evenI m so glad they also wrote a book about their hike back home I ll be picking that one up next time I have the chance and letting both books fuel my fantasies and nightmares about thru hiking the Appalachian Trail I enjoyed the sisters account of their southbound hike HOWEVER It took me quite awhile to finish the story I found myself a little dare I say bored toward the middle of the book It s not that their adventure itself was boring, it wasin the details When the weather started getting bad for them and they became depressed, I think I became depressed for them Had I not known there was another book of their hike north, I would not have held out much hope for them to finish They took a I enjoyed the sisters account of their southbound hike HOWEVER It took me quite awhile to finish the story I found myself a little dare I say bored toward the middle of the book It s not that their adventure itself was boring, it wasin the details When the weather started getting bad for them and they became depressed, I think I became depressed for them Had I not known there was another book of their hike north, I would not have held out much hope for them to finish They took a lot of risks that could ve cost them their lives The relationships they formed on the way were not quite as rich as the ones I ve read about on other s accounts They spent a significant amount of time with a group known as the family and that whole relationship creeped me out a little, mostly because I was a little scared of the father figure, Paul The other relationships were mostly with guys and I got tired of all the innuendo.In conclusion, I do intend to read the next book about their northbound trek Just not right away Rarely will you find books that explore the human emotions of a long distance trek so honestly and clearly Roger Williamson, Campmor, Inc Highly recommended trailsbibFrom the book We stood for a moment before the venerable signpost marking the summit Scored with graffiti and the constant onslaught of weather, it stands perhaps three feet high, a wooden A frame painted Forest Service brown with recessed white letters KATAHDINftNorthern Terminus of the Appalachian TrailBelow this were a few waypoints Thoreau Spring Katahdin Stream Campground,At the bottom of the list Springer Mountain, Georgia,More than two thousand miles It was simply a number, too large and incomprehensible to have any bearing on me The farthest I had ever walked in a day was ten miles and that was with a daypack Now I was contemplating a journey of months, covering thousands of miles All of a sudden, there on the summit with the clouds screaming past us, it didn t seem like such a great ideaI turned to my sister, half expecting to see the same doubt mirrored in her face But her eyes were shining, and she smiled with an almost feral intensity It was a look I would come to know all too well over the next year and a half, and it meant, I am going to do this and no one had better try to stop me We re really doing this, she shouted over the wind s howl and the lashing rain We re hiking the Appalachian Trail At the ages of twenty five and twenty one, Lucy and Susan Letcher set out to accomplish what thousands of people attempt each year thru hike the entire , miles of the Appalachian Trail The difference between them and the others They decided to hike the trail barefoot Quickly earning themselves the moniker of the Barefoot Sisters, the two begin their journey at Mount Katahdin and spend eight months making their way to Springer Mountain in Georgia As they hike, they write about their adventures through themile Wilderness, the rocky terrain of Pennsylvania, and snowfall in the Great Smoky Mountains a story filled with humor and determination It s as close as one can get to hiking the Appalachian Trail without strapping on a packListen to the Barefoot Sisters read excerpts from their book here Southbound Podcast partand here Southbound Podcast part Book Info Genre Memoir AutobiographyReading Level Adult language, adult situations Recommended for Those interested in hiking and hiking culture, memoirs, great storiesMy Thoughts This book is frequently quite hilarious, especially the bits about the Extreme Hiking Maneuvers, the squirrels, and Mr Shaw s driving, just to name a few I was initially interested in it because of the hiking barefoot thing I have always loved to go barefoot, and when I was a kid, by the end of summer I d have Book Info Genre Memoir AutobiographyReading Level Adult language, adult situations Recommended for Those interested in hiking and hiking culture, memoirs, great storiesMy Thoughts This book is frequently quite hilarious, especially the bits about the Extreme Hiking Maneuvers, the squirrels, and Mr Shaw s driving, just to name a few I was initially interested in it because of the hiking barefoot thing I have always loved to go barefoot, and when I was a kid, by the end of summer I d have feet like a hobbit from running around on scoria a type of volcanic rock that is very sharp that we use to gravel the roads in eastern Montana When I went to university in Fargo, ND, I was frequently found running around campus barefoot in the fall, until eventually the university put up signs forbidding people to come into the buildings barefoot, which annoyed me greatly The thing about better feeling the world through your feet is really true.This is quite a long book My Kindle doesn t keep track of pages, but it estimated my reading time and it s good at that at about 11 hours I m not sure how it was I found this book, and I m doubly happy I managed to snag a free copy, because it s now about 12, but I have to tell you, it s really worth the price, a really outstanding story, and now I want the sequel, Walking Home, to hear about their adventures returning from Georgia back to Maine.There are a lot of important ideas running through this book, mostly about the importance of taking care of one another I m sure that not all hikers are as wonderful as they are portrayed in this book, but it does seem that the danger of the hike seems to bring out the best in people, encouraging people to work together for the greater good The stories of all the generous people that help the hikers along the way were heartwarming This was just an amazing book, and an amazing story, and I m so happy I managed to grab a copy I highly recommend this to all my friends who enjoy a really good story I find my words are completely inadequate to express my joy in having read this amazing book, so I hope these poor attempts will encourage you to check this book out Highly recommended.Disclosure I picked up this book onduring a free promotion I have never, to my knowledge, interacted with the authors, nor was a review requested All opinions are my own.Series Information Barefoot SistersBook 1 SouthboundBook 2 Walking HomeSynopsis At the ages of twenty five and twenty one, Lucy and Susan Letcher set out to accomplish what thousands of people attempt each year thru hike the entire 2,175 miles of the Appalachian Trail The difference between them and the others They decided to hike the trail barefoot Quickly earning themselves the moniker of the Barefoot Sisters, the two begin their journey at Mount Katahdin and spend eight months making their way to Springer Mountain in Georgia As they hike, they write about their adventures through the 100 mile Wilderness, the rocky terrain of Pennsylvania, and snowfall in the Great Smoky Mountains a story filled with humor and determination It s as close as one can get to hiking the Appalachian Trail without strapping on a pack I thought this was quite a good book, and can t wait to read the sequel Walking Home It s the personal journal of two young women, sisters, who hiked the entire Appalachian Trail from North to South in 2000 2001 Both Isis and jackrabbit trail names of Lucy and Susan were fit, athletic, but without a lot of long distance hiking experience Their inexperience is fairly typical of many people who attempt thru hikes of the trail However, unlike 80 to 90% of people who attempt to hike th I thought this was quite a good book, and can t wait to read the sequel Walking Home It s the personal journal of two young women, sisters, who hiked the entire Appalachian Trail from North to South in 2000 2001 Both Isis and jackrabbit trail names of Lucy and Susan were fit, athletic, but without a lot of long distance hiking experience Their inexperience is fairly typical of many people who attempt thru hikes of the trail However, unlike 80 to 90% of people who attempt to hike the entire trail, these two actually succeeded Jackrabbit missed a short stretch of the southbound hike, but completed the whole thing when they turned right around and headed North, as chronicled in the sequel Their choice to hike as much of the trail as possible barefoot, they say, was simply because that s what felt good to them they were used to going barefoot most of their lives Some readers of the book attribute this choice to narcissism and a craving for attention I saw little evidence of that in their written account There are many people who enjoy barefoot hiking on suitable trails but the A T is certainly not such a trail Some of the problems the sisters had on their hike could be laid to the lack of footwear e g their slow pace, especially at the beginning Jackrabbit experiencedphysical problems than her sister, even though she was theathletic of the two black belt in Taekwondo Yet as she tells it she hadproblems with her knees and hips than injuries to her feet The best attribute of the book, for me, was the extremely detailed account of what the sisters saw, felt, and experienced on their hike It is also very detailed about many of the friends they made on the trip, and how these friendships evolved along the trail I think I got a very clear feeling for what hiking the whole A T is like, even though I m in no way fit enough to do such a thing myself The trials and tribulations as well as the joys of the trip receive equal attention It s a better book in this regard and in my opinion than Bill Bryson s A Walk in the Woods Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail , though that has its own, but different, merits.Some readers are critical of the book, because of its length almost 500 pages and what it does not offer that they had expected It is not a guide book to the A T., even though it does have some very detailed information on various parts of the trail that could be very useful to any thru hiker It is also not a meditation on life, the universe, and everything or of the wonders of nature, the indomitability of the human spirit , or the spiritual virtues of long distance hiking I wasn t expecting any such things, but readers who are will be disappointed Another criticism is that the sisters seem narcissistic because they write so much about themselves To me, however, that s the whole point of the book a first person account of their personal experience both the good and the bad It enables the reader to share that experience, vicariously.The one thing about the book that gives me some pause is that very high level of detail It s sort of hard to believe that Isis and jackrabbit could have recalled all the details they report, such as exactly how the sky and the forest looked at many places, or the exact words of hundreds of conversations, as well as the tone of voice and facial expressions of the speakers It s as if they wrote it all day by day, or at least kept very complete journals Yet they hardly ever mention that they even had a journal with them It is unsettling to imagine that many of the details presented may be reconstructions But if one is willing to suspend disbelief, the narrative is truly engrossing They should have added a subtitle How We Were Looking for Love on the AT They even ended the book with some other dude chick getting hitched They should have added a subtitle How We Were Looking for Love on the AT They even ended the book with some other dude chick getting hitched Hot damn, this was a good book It brought back to life my dream of hiking the AT and heck, the PCT too I ve been on about 1% of each trail Someday I ll see Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost Southbound is one of the best books I have read about long distance hiking, and I think it is much better than Wild by Cheryl Strayed It not only goes into the accurate technical details of a full Appalachian Trail through hike, but also what the hikers go through during their adventure We experience the ups, downs, background, and personal thoughts of the hikers, as well as the meaningful relationships they form on the trail, which make up so much of the t Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost Southbound is one of the best books I have read about long distance hiking, and I think it is much better than Wild by Cheryl Strayed It not only goes into the accurate technical details of a full Appalachian Trail through hike, but also what the hikers go through during their adventure We experience the ups, downs, background, and personal thoughts of the hikers, as well as the meaningful relationships they form on the trail, which make up so much of the through hiker experience The Barefoot Sisters are two sisters from Maine who hiked much of the 2,100 mile Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia in 2000 barefoot They did it not to set some arbitrary record, but because they liked the feeling of experiencing the trail through the additional dimension of how it felt through their bare feet They did most of the trail in this manner until the snows caught up with them late in the season in Virginia Being barefoot is just a sidelight, however The real draw of the story is the honesty of the authors and the day to day trials, tribulations and triumphs of long distance hikers.Hikers on the AT adopt trail names, alter egos by which they are known on the trail Through the Barefoot Sisters diary like entries we meet Waterfall, Tuba Man who carried a brass tuba the entire distance , legendary 1948 through hiker Earl Shaffer, The Family of the North Maine homesteaders with no last names hiking the entire trail with small children, including a baby and many others We go to The Gathering trail conference in West Virginia, where hikers past and present meet for fellowship and to swap stories of their adventures We experience trail magic, the kindness of complete strangers which helps them along their way and which helps renew their faith in the basic goodness of people We encounter trail romance, camaraderie, hiker box stew, sibling rivalry, trust, periods of self doubt, and deep friendships There are life threatening blizzards, trail shelters with pizza delivery, days when the water runs out, and celebrations of life in trail towns along the way We also experience what it is like to have an injury and how devastating it can be for a hiker to have to leave the trail for a time after adopting it as her home for many months The narrative is written in alternating sections by Isis and jackrabbit lower case the trail names of authors Lucy and Susan Letcher In this way we gain greater perspective on their adventures Over time the story rises above that of a simple travelogue, however, and we take away a number of important lessons for living life well A little technology in the form of a new stove was useful, but I wouldn t know what to do with my evenings if I could get hot water out of a tap whenever I wanted it Most of all, I would miss the way our simple, vital work bound us as a community, how deeply we depended on each other and how carefully all of us in spite of our diverse backgrounds and profound religious differences upheld that trust However long I live, I thought, I will never again stand on the shore of Sunfish Pond in the fog, on the loveliest day of October, having walked hundreds of miles to get here, without even knowing what awaited me Whatever path your life follows, the Barefoot Sisters remind us to hike your own hike The trip affects their own lives so deeply that, upon completion of the trail in Georgia, they turn around and do it again, yo yoing south to north They write about their second adventure in their next book, Walking Home If you are at all interested in the Appalachian Trail, hiking, or outdoor adventures in general, I highly recommend the well written and engaging Southbound I don t know how most books about doing long hikes the AT, the PCT make me really want to hike and simultaneously make me think that I d hate everyone else doing it.Lucy and Susan Isis and jackrabbit seem like a very particular type of girl you d meet in college pretentious, privileged, and pseudo earthy I enjoyed when I could focus on the descriptions of the trail and the hike without getting too much of their personalities in it.Their trail romances or crushes were just icky to read abo I don t know how most books about doing long hikes the AT, the PCT make me really want to hike and simultaneously make me think that I d hate everyone else doing it.Lucy and Susan Isis and jackrabbit seem like a very particular type of girl you d meet in college pretentious, privileged, and pseudo earthy I enjoyed when I could focus on the descriptions of the trail and the hike without getting too much of their personalities in it.Their trail romances or crushes were just icky to read about The juvenile yet oh so worldly flirting would be tiresome in real life Reading about it did not make itpleasant This was my favorite Appalachian Trail memoir that I have read yet The Barefoot Sisters experience was everything I expect my hopefully future journey to be They were not know it alls, they weren t arrogant, they were just completely genuine and warm I can t wait to read their NOBO journey as well