Saturday, June 30, 2018

Book cover: "Appalachian Hiker, Adventure of a Lifetime"

  • Title: Appalachian Hiker, Adventure of a Lifetime
  • Author: Edward B. Garvey (1914-1999)
  • Publisher: Appalachian Books (Oakton, Virginia)
  • Year: 1971
  • Original price: Unknown, but I found a reference to the book still being in print in 1979 and costing $4.95 at that time.
  • My price: $1 at this year's Book Nook Bonanza in York
  • Typical cost of used copies: $10-$30
  • Sequels: This book was followed by two volumes that essentially serve as revisions and updates on Garvey's hiking life: 1978's Appalachian Hiker II and 1997's The New Appalachian Trail (Appalachian Hiker III).
  • Pages: 397
  • Format: Sturdy paperback
  • Back-cover blurb: "The long awaited book that competently describes the whole Appalachian Trail. The newest and most completely documented account of hiking the Trail from Georgia to Maine. Information on food stores, restaurants, hotels, motels, Post Offices. Edward B. Garvey, 58 years old, between careers, member of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) hiked the entire Trail in 1970 and has written this book about his adventure, how he planned for it, and the experiences he had."
  • First sentence: This is the story of the Appalachian Trail, the famous hiking footpath that stretches for 2,000 miles along the crest of the Appalachian mountain chain from Maine to Georgia.
  • Final sentences: To those who will hike the Trail for a few days or a few weeks, I wish you happy hiking. May the skies be sunny, the springs full, and the shelters clean and dry. For the comparatively few who have the time and stamina to hike the entire Trail I say "Welcome to the Club!" I know that for them, as well as for myself, it will be "The Adventure of a Lifetime!"
  • Random sentence from middle: A scant 50 yards from the shelter the U.S. Army was conducting helicopter maneuvers.
  • Items listed in chapter titled "Not Necessary But Nice": Camera, binoculars, book, radio, thermometer, diary, knives (specifically the Swiss Army Knife, which Garvey says is truly not needed).
  • Goodreads rating: 4.0 stars (out of 5)
  • Amazon rating: 4.6 stars (out of 5.0)
  • Excerpt from Amazon review: In 2015, Bansko wrote: "I read this book cover-to-cover several times when it first came out in the early '70's. I was a young Boy Scout who had the good fortune of belonging to a troop that loved to backpack. We covered small sections of the AT on our weekend trips, but this book gave me bigger dreams."
  • Notes: When my friend Mike McCombs and I were copy editors at the Spartanburg Herald-Journal in the late 1990s, we shared the dream of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. While editing and designing the pages for the sports section, we would discuss taking six months off from work, acquiring backpacks and gear, mailing supplies ahead and enjoying life on the Trail. We mulled how we would turn our Journalism Bodies into Hiker Bodies. On that last note, we decided the most likely scenario would involve letting the Trail itself work us into shape; for many hikers, the first few hundred miles serve as the best weight-loss and leg-strengthening program. Alas, two decades later we have not yet hit the Trail. ... I moved back to York County, Pennsylvania, in 2000 and, coincidentally, in 2002 I wrote the obituary for Earl V. Shaffer while working at the York Daily Record. (Sadly, that obituary appears to have disappeared from cyberspace.) Shaffer, a York County native, became possibly the first thru-hiker of the Appalachian Trail in 1948 and traversed the Trail many more times during his life, including at age 79 in 1998. In 1983, the book Walking With Spring, about Shaffer's Trail experiences, was published. ... I used to have a larger library of Appalachian Trail books, but have downsized that section over the years. A two-volume set that remains is Hiking the Appalachian Trail, which was published in 1973 by Rodale Press. Edited by James R. Hare, it contains dozens of first-person accounts by Trail hikers. If you're interested in even more stories, the website AT Memoirs contains a "bibliography of Appalachian Trail memoirs published in book format."

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