A celebrated long-distance hiker’s account of how she captured the Appalachian Trail speed-hiking record.
For Davis, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail was no ordinary footpath. It was the place where she had met her first love, a man who broke her heart in 2007. Four years later, it became the place to which she once again felt “called” by God to “praise Him with the talents and gifts He had given me.” Davis had by then married a fellow Christian named Brew who had been helping her do something totally new: supported hikes. With his help, she broke the women’s thru-hiking record in 2008. She did not attempt the overall record until 2011, however, since she knew it would involve her somewhat reluctant then-boyfriend Brew. “I don’t know if my husband would ever have agreed to such a difficult, thankless task if we hadn’t planned the adventure directly after we got engaged,” she writes. Davis began her marathon hike in the rugged mountains of Maine, following the A.T. through 12 other states and into “the heart of backcountry Georgia.” Brew faithfully met her with food and water at designated stopping points, while fellow hiking enthusiasts accompanied her along portions of the trail. Over 46 grueling days, Davis endured injuries, illness, emotional meltdowns, sleet storms, extreme heat and stifling humidity, all of which tested the limits of her mind, body, marriage and friendships. In the end, she discovered that her 2,181-mile journey was not just about living out a dream, but about understanding the nature of love. Like the A.T. itself, “love is not always easy and not always fun.” At the same time, it is the truest way to becoming “your best self.”
A serviceably written yet inspired exploration of the meaning of commitment.