Patrice had sent me the Barefoot Sisters Southbound and the companion book Barefoot Sisters Walking Home. They were pretty easy reads once I got going and despite her recommendation to read the northbound first, I decided to go southbound since it was their first book and because that part of the trail was still fresh in my mind.
Lucy and Susan Letcher, Isis and jackrabbit respectively on the Trail, are sisters who set off southbound in Maine on summer solstice in 2000. From the start you could tell that this was going to be a drama filled adventure and they were definitely hiking their own hike. Sometimes I wanted to give them a kick in the butt to speed up because I kept shaking my head that they weren’t going to make it to Georgia before winter happened. And of course they didn’t. But, I’m glad they didn’t because their winter adventures in Virginia to North Carolina were insane!
As the title suggests, they started walking barefoot and yes to top off all the normal thru-hiker questions that get asked by others, they got lots more by their walking barefoot. I was particularly interested in a family called The Family from the North, a family that homesteaded and tried to live off the grid, including pay taxes. The Barefoot Sisters walked with the Family for quite awhile, including a harrowing snowstorm in the Grayson Highlands of Virginia. They battled frost bite, not having enough food, side adventures and all sorts of crazy moments but all I imagined was being out on the trail in the quiet of winter surrounded by snow and ice. It would have been beautiful on those sunny days, but on the stormy ones—ick!
Of course despite all of their insane adventures going south they decided to yo-yo and go north once they got to Springer Mtn in Georgia! I really enjoyed that part because it was obviously the way we went, but also they got to enjoy spring. They also talked about hostels and people that were not around for our hike, particularly Miss Janet’s hostel in Erwin, Tennessee. While she is still a notable Trail Angel, she does not run her hostel any longer. I also liked hearing about hostels we didn’t stay at, like Elmer’s Sunnybank Inn in Hot Springs, North Carolina. We stayed at a B&B and did not get to see that hostel.
I highly recommend reading these books, they are very well written. They also chronicle finding out about the September 11th terrorist attacks and going from a tranquil and enjoyable day in the woods to wondering if some of their friends in NYC were ok.
I haven’t read much else lately but I will be picking up Persuasion soon. I’m battling a cold here and have been taking everything I can including lots of homeopathic type remedies, too. I really like the throat coat tea mixed with the Target version of Emergen-C. A tasty combo!
If you read in a feed reader, drop by and tell me if you like my new set up. Not much is different other than a list of buttons to categories in my blog. I realized it was hard to navigate if you wanted to read further into the blog. I do miss the simpler version so I may be reducing the size of the buttons to make it more condensed.
Tomorrow I will have a 2010 wrap up!