Monday, April 12, 2010

The Barefoot Sisters

The Appalachian Trail, officially the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, is a 2,175-mile hiking trail stretching from Maine to Georgia. It is the fantasy of many hikers to through-hike the entire trail. It usually remains a fantasy for two reasons. First, two thousand miles is not a distance to be trifled with. Second, most people have jobs and/or family responsibilities that do not allow them to take six or more months off to complete the hike. Luckily for us, many people who are able to do it write books about it. It is much easier, quicker, and cheaper to hike the trail from your La-Z-Boy. It also makes your wife much happier.

An outstanding example of such a book is The Barefoot Sisters: Southbound, by Lucy and Susan Letcher, a.k.a the Barefoot Sisters, a.k.a. Isis and jackrabbit. In this book, they hike from Mount Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia in about eight months. They encounter weather ranging from bright sun to raging blizzards and emotions from joy to despondency. They meet interesting characters on and along the trail. They have good days and bad. Above all, they tell their story in a very well-written and interesting manner. The book switches between Isis' and jackrabbit's point of view in a continuous narrative. The best compliment I can give it is that it is the type of book that will make you long to hike the trail yourself.

To make matters even better, the last words of the book are "To be continued..." Yes folks, as they approached Georgia they decided to hike back to Maine when they finished, or yo-yo. The second book, The Barefoot Sisters: Walking Home is on its way to me even as I write this. I can't wait.

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