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Grandma Gatewood's Walk Audiobook

Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail

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Publisher's Summary

Emma Gatewood told her family she was going on a walk and left her small Ohio hometown with a change of clothes and less than $200. The next anybody heard from her, this genteel, farm-reared, 67-year-old great-grandmother had walked 800 miles along the 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail. And in September 1955, atop Maine's Mount Katahdin, she sang the first verse of "America, the Beautiful" and proclaimed, "I said I'll do it, and I've done it." Grandma Gatewood, as the reporters called her, became the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail alone, as well as the first person - man or woman - to walk it twice and three times. The public attention she brought to the little-known footpath was unprecedented. Her vocal criticism of the lousy, difficult stretches led to bolstered maintenance, and very likely saved the trail from extinction.

©2014 Ben Montgomery (P)2014 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"A quiet delight of a book." (Kirkus)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (439 )
5 star
 (244)
4 star
 (148)
3 star
 (33)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
4.5 (383 )
5 star
 (249)
4 star
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3 star
 (30)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (3)
Story
4.3 (384 )
5 star
 (207)
4 star
 (117)
3 star
 (46)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (5)
Performance
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  •  
    Marci portland, OR, United States 12-22-14
    Marci portland, OR, United States 12-22-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Inspiring story about a strong amazing woman"

    I loved Grandma Gatewood. She's quirky and ornery and stronger than maybe any other character I've ever known. She suffers gracefully and graciously, which of course makes her perfect for the Appalachian trial. I was inspired by her strength on many levels.
    The story only gets four stars because I felt like Montgomery didn't completely do her justice. I felt like this story just scratched the surface of her and what she experienced. There was too much "filler" in the story about the politics of the time, and other topics that didn't belong in this story. I wished there was a lot more detail about her.
    The narrator was perfect. Lawlor gives a lightness to the story that highlights the quirkiness of Grandma Gatewood and of the situations she gets herself in.

    I've already recommended this book to several of my friends.

    24 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan 01-09-15
    Jan 01-09-15 Member Since 2011

    Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "I'd like to walk with her..."

    Ben Montgomery has given us a glimpse into Grandma Gatewoods (age 67) walks... yes plural... she did the Appalachian Trail three times and many, many others. She was the first ultra-light camper... carrying only a homemade stuff sack, wool blanket, shower curtain and Vienna Sausages. Ben takes his information from her brief journal notes, newspaper articles, family records and interviews. The third person narrative and the writers obvious desire not to write fiction, limits the beauty of the story... and I didn't like the book at first. I listened at 1.25 (not my normal) because it does drag along. However, the magnitude of what she accomplished outweighed any failures in the rendition of it and I'm glad I continued to listen.

    This is less entertaining than Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods" but she does complete the hike, which Bryson didn't... leaving me ticked at him still. You learn less about trail hiking than you would with Cheryl Strayed's book "Wild." However, anyone serious about hiking, changing lifestyles to be more active or biting off a big goals will appreciate her grit. I googled her after finishing the book and enjoyed the collection of photo's about her hike. She might not of saved the Appalachian Trail single handed, but she certainly motivated a generation of hikers who realized if "Grandma Gatewood" can do it, I can too.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Phoenix, AZ, United States 03-25-15
    Linda Phoenix, AZ, United States 03-25-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Good, but would have liked more of her."
    What made the experience of listening to Grandma Gatewood's Walk the most enjoyable?

    I want to be just like her. She was a inspiration.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Ben Montgomery? Why or why not?

    No. I bought the book to hear the story of Grandma Gatewood, but the book had very few of her words and a large amount of history. Would have liked more of her.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kortney T. 02-20-16
    Kortney T. 02-20-16
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    "Good in small doses"

    The story time line jumps around a bit which makes concentrating kind of difficult. Several times I felt lost. The narrator had a great voice for Emma's parts but otherwise did not enchant me. the story is still incredible and I feel greatly inspired as I prepare to start my own thru hike in just 2 months. Emma was one courageous lady. I wish I'd known her. this would be a great book to give an older family member in advance of a thru hike as it certainly takes the fear out of doing something like this.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan PointBlank, TX, United States 07-08-16
    Jan PointBlank, TX, United States 07-08-16 Member Since 2010
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    "Grandma didn't get lost but the author seems to"

    Grandma Gatewood was an amazing person and I did like HER story. However, the author gets sidetracked by the history going on during Grandma's life. Some of this history is very hard to connect to the main story. Some of these side trails seemed like filler. I found myself wishing the book was over. There are better books about the Appalachian trail out there.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MaryAnn 08-18-15
    MaryAnn 08-18-15
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    "Amazing story"

    The best book I've listened to in a long time. I was captivated and fascinated with Grandma Gatewood - her story, her life, her strength. The story includes historical info on the Appalachian Trail which I also found very interesting. This is an amazing story , I loved it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Out There 02-15-15
    Out There 02-15-15

    Kahnlynn

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An interesting story."

    I enjoyed this more than I expected to. Quite interesting. Quite a woman. Worth your time. Take a chance on it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Foster CA USA 09-22-16
    B. Foster CA USA 09-22-16 Member Since 2013

    ladyiris313

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    Story
    "Fascinating Story, Flat Narration"
    If you could sum up Grandma Gatewood's Walk in three words, what would they be?

    One badass Woman


    Would you be willing to try another one of Patrick Lawlor’s performances?

    Perhaps if it was not telling the story of a woman. I really felt a woman ought to have been narrating this story. While Mr. Lawlor's voice was clear, I found it terribly flat and even when describing very intense scenes, I nearly snored.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Spoiler Alert - when Mrs. Gatewood is jailed, then removed from jail by someone who was savvy and compassionate enough to realize she was a battered wife.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    debralynn 09-21-16
    debralynn 09-21-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Low on source material, a lot of filler"

    Grandma Gateway is an intriguing character: as others have pointed out, there is too much extraneous and irrelevant material. Not great Audible material, as would have preferred to skip extra sections.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annemarie Ketola 09-19-16 Member Since 2014
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    5
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    "Simple story of a woman who wanted to go for a walk"

    Simply and Beautifully written story of a woman who became an American hiking icon and advocate. A truly inspiring story of perseverance and making a difference despite society's expectations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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