Why Not?

Emma Gatewood (Grandma Gatewood) was a farmer’s wife and the mother of 11 children. Abused by her husband, she reported broken teeth and ribs and beatings so severe that she feared for her life. She ran to the woods for solitude and safety from the attacks. When Gatewood divorced her husband, he threatened to have her institutionalized as insane.

In 1955, when Grandma Gatewood was 67, she told her grown children that she was going for a walk. Used to her excursions, they did not ask where or for how long. She carried an old army blanket, a shower curtain, a rain coat, and a duffel bag. Wearing  canvas shoes, she began her walk.

The next anyone heard, Gatewood had hiked 800 miles of the Appalachian Trail. In September 1955, having survived a rattlesnake strike and two hurricanes, she stood atop Maine’s Mount Katahdin—the end of over 2000 trail miles—becoming the first woman through hiker!

While not every woman has the physical ability to carry out such a feat, the story is clear—women of any age can be active and vital. New adventures await. What is your walk?

(Need more?  Grandma Gatewood’s Walk, or watch for the film Trail Magic)




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