In 1973 a husband and wife along with their ten year old daughter Kyra decided to thru hike the Appalachian Trail. When they were done, the father, Mic, wrote a book about their adventure. He self-published in hard cover about 30 or so copies. Most copies he gave away to friends and family, but he set aside five copies as loaners for anyone who wanted to read them. He did this for ten years. He got all the loaner books back except one.
I remember hearing this story, but I just thought it was folk lore.
About four years ago, while cruising e-Bay, I found one of the loaner books for sale. Could this be the one he never got back? At this point I had no idea who the author was, so I contacted the seller asking if he was selling a stolen book. The seller got back to me and said, no, I am the author. After a little back and forth about the book I bid on it. It was number 4 of the loaners. I was pretty excited.
Until I lost the bid in the finale seconds. But then an amazing thing happened. The author reached out to me. “Tom, I have two books left, and I will sell you one at the same price book number four went for.” So I said, “Cool, what numbers do you have left?” He said, “Number one and number two.” “I will take both of them.”
He signed both copies and even mentioned Hike for Mental Health. These two books are priceless to me. I kept number two for myself and gave number one to Leo. Then I read the book. Now you all know how much I love Lucy and Susan Letcher’s books, The Barefoot Sisters Southbound and the Barefoot Sisters Walking Home. I have to tell you, this book is right up there with them. This is a wonderful book about a family doing a crazy adventure. Kyra is my hero. I am not going to spoil it for you, but when Mic Lowther finally gets it, it made me cry.
This book has now been re-released. And I am proud and honored to not only own book number two, but to be able to say Mic Lowther will be at our booth at Trail Days in May, doing signings and answering questions. This is a must-read. You will be amazed at this book. And you will love how Kyra coped with this.
You have know idea how excited I am about this. The book is called Walking North, and this is the third edition. Please buy this book. You will thank me. And if you already have a copy, bring it to Trail Days to get it signed. Mic will have copies available at Trail Days. I will also have my copy of loaner book number two for you to see. And of course Chipmunk’s boots will also be on hand.
Hope to see you all at Trail Days!