Reading The Trail…

Members of our club have written books about their travels. Check out their author’s page on Amazon. If you would like your book or journal mention, please send a link to the webmaster.

“The Mountain Marching Mamas” founders of our club:

Mamas book photoITS ALWAYS UP, Memories of the Appalachian Trail by The Mountain Marching Mamas. (Charme Burns, Sylvia Crump, Ellen Kilpatrick, Mary Pfennig and Lenore Bunny Schneider)

A half-dozen women once decided to take a hike. Two thousand miles and twenty-some years later, the “Mountain Marching Mamas” had traversed the entire Appalachian Trail — Maine-to Georgia, “five million steps.” Mountain Memories of the Appalachian Trail is their memoir. It is filled with tales of triumph and travail, humor and sincerity, common sense and nonsense, and wisdom and dim-wittedness that only a mama who marches over mountains could share. Any hiker, outdoors person, or “mama” will love these stories and this book.

Their insight, relationships and warmth beckon you to join them as they complete the trail a section at a time, a year at a time. They start their long journey as novices but come away as experienced adventurers with a gripping story to tell. the book is a joy to read. Pull up a comfortable chair, a warm drink and stay dry and warm as they trudge through cold, rain, animal encounters, weirdo encounters and at times, wonderful weather and scenery.

The book can be ordered at or from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. (It will ask if you are an ATC member or not, then go to the second page of book listings), or call the ATC at 1-888-287-8673.

Bill “Skywalker” Walker:


Skywalker: Highs and Lows on the Pacific Coast Trail The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT) is the perfect place for an average person to do something extraordinary. Bill Walker (“Skywalker”), who stands 6’11”, might seem like anything but average. Yet in a brutally honest tone, he lays to bare all his considerable weaknesses and fears. Among these are crushing weight loss and fatigue, along with a fear of getting lost or a bear stealing his food. Nonetheless, he is bound and determined to hike the PCT, which at 2,663 miles, runs all the way from Mexico to Canada. The PCT’s calling card is its stunning beauty. It has a diversity of geography unequaled by any footpath in the world.

Haunting and beckoning the PCT hiker are the implacable desert, the towering majesty of the so-called High Sierra, and the ruggedly bleak, northern Cascade range. Indeed, the PCT hiker faces much greater extremes of terrain and climate than on the famed Appalachian Trail. Completing this demanding challenge calls for overwhelming clarity of purpose.

Walker’s signature characteristic as a writer is his real talent in capturing people (“Skywalker’s humor, his delight in human foibles appeal to a broad audience.”–Jeff Minnick, Smoky Mountain Book News). Obviously, he is a people person because he runs into and vividly describes a truly colorful cast of characters from seemingly all walks of American life. Among these are Uber Bitch, Shit Bag, and Serial Killer; the reader learns how these hikers ended up with their names (hint: blunders). The reader need not worry that Walker is a bully. Throughout this irreverent narrative, he turns his considerable supply of humor back on himself in ruthlessly self-deprecating fashion. It all makes for a delightful read.

Born and raised in Macon, Georgia Bachelors and Masters Degree University of Georgia in Accounting Accountant, Arthur Andersen, Atlanta Commodities trader in Chicago and London for 14 years Teacher of English as a second language in four Latin American countries for three years Author of Skywalker–Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail In 2010 hiked the Camino de Santiago.

Skywalker–Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Walker did a thru-hike of the A.T. in 2005. His book about that hike is in a similar genre to that of Bill Bryson’s “A WALK IN THE WOODS”, but Bill has some bragging rights that Bryson doesn’t, Bill finished the trail that year! This book explores what a newbie to hiking encounters when setting out to do a thru-hike of the A.T. and in fact, just setting out to spend his first night in the woods.

His descriptions are vivid, his sense of humor is gripping and his insight into what goes on in the mind of a hiker attempting such a feat is extremely detailed. His writing style is engaging and never dull, you finish one chapter and can’t wait to get into the next one, you just have to know what happens next.

At 6’11” Bill is an imposing figure, and his book is one of the imposing books about hiking the A.T. and a “must read” for anyone setting out for their first long-distance hike. This work will become a treasured classic in any hikers library. Contact Bill directly for a copy of his book, or go to his Website or, or Barnes and Noble, or Borders Books and order it now.

Dennis “K1” Blanchard:

Three Hundred Zeroes coverThree Hundred Zeroes: Lessons of the Heart on the Appalachian Trail. Dennis Blanchard’s promise to his brother haunted him for over forty years. Finally, when there were no more excuses, he set out on the Appalachian Trail to fulfill that promise. As he walked the trail, Dennis reconnected with the Norman Rockwell America that seems lost and forgotten. He learned that not only are the difficulties of walking over 2,200 miles easily underestimated but that trouble can begin long before setting a first step on the trail. Blanchard’s introspective demonstrates that bears, rattlesnakes, and challenging terrain may be far less formidable than some of life’s more subtle dangers.

Steve “Mighty Blue” Adams

My Appalachian Trial I: Three Weddings and a Sabbatical is the first book in the series. It tells Steve’s story of the hike from its origins, details his careful preparation and tentative first steps, and follows his faltering progress and eventual growth as a hiker. Often intimate, sometimes profound, and occasionally profane, My Appalachian Trial Iexplains why Steve was drawn to such an iconic trail, how he embraced it, and what happened when things went wrong.



My Appalachian Trial II: Creaking Geezer, Hidden Flagon is the second book in the series. It takes up the story when Steve returns to the trail after his unplanned visit home. The reader shares his journey, walking alongside him as he falls constantly, laughs loudly, and observes wryly. You’ll be cheering Steve on as he doggedly heads north in search of his destiny at the top of Mount Katahdin.





Hiking The Appalachian Trail Is Easy: Especially If You’ve Never Hiked Before is a precursor to his extensive account of the journey, found elsewhere on Amazon. My Appalachian Trial I: Three Weddings and a Sabbatical and My Appalachian Trial II: Creaking Geezer, Hidden Flagon tell the story of Steve’s journey and the transformation that happened along the way.