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Hiking Through: One Man's Journey to Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail Paperback – March 12, 2012
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From the Back Cover
After Paul Stutzman lost his wife to breast cancer, he sensed a tug on his heart--the call to a challenge, the call to pursue a dream. With a mixture of dread and determination, Paul left his job, traveled to Georgia, and took his first steps on the Appalachian Trail. What he learned during the next four and a half months changed his life--and can change yours as well.
In Hiking Through, you'll join Paul on his remarkable 2,176-mile trip through fourteen states in search of peace and a renewed sense of purpose. Along the way, you'll meet fascinating and funny people, experience trail magic, and discover that every choice we make on the path has consequences for the journey. More than that, you'll come away with a new understanding of God's grace and guidance--even in the smallest things.
"Hiking Through is a page-turner! Being a hiker, I have read a number of books about the AT; this one is different. It is about accomplishing a goal but it is also about love, family, friendship, change, discovery, healing, and so much more. Hope you enjoy the read as much as I did!"--Dr. Steve Wingfield, founder of the Steve Wingfield Evangelistic Association and author of Live the Adventure
"For a serious backpacker to be interested in yet another version of how it is to hike the entire Appalachian Trail, a book must have a unique twist. Some writers use romance to delineate them from the others, some use spirituality to be different, some humor, some life's struggles, and some the trail itself and the challenges that it presents. Hiking Through has it all!"--Bill Irwin, speaker, author of Blind Courage, counselor, and executive director of Free Indeed Ministries, with Orient, hero dog-guide of the Appalachian Trail
Paul Stutzman is a restaurant-manager-turned-captivating-storyteller who left his career after his wife's death from breast cancer. His passion and mission is to share what he learned on his thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. When he is not hiking or biking cross-country, he makes his home in Ohio.
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Top Customer Reviews
Mr. Stutzman is a down to earth writer that immediately pulls you into his adventure.I found his back story interesting, and found his fascinating that he had Amish roots. As a nature lover the author's descriptive writing allows the reader to experience nature thru the eyes of the author.The pictures the author includes really adds to the visual aspect of the story. A story that reminds the path toward healing is taken one step at a time. Overall, a great book for anyone who is dealing with grief, Nature lovers and anyone who has ever thought about hiking the Appalachian Trail will also find this book hard to put down.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I'm not an outdoorsy person. I hate camping and I hyperventilate at the thought of aerobic exercise, although I do enjoy walking. I've done, and mostly enjoyed, short hikes here and there over the course of my life, and I walked all over Rome and Florence and Paris, but I cannot fathom hiking 2,220 arduous miles over mountainous terrain. Yet, Paul's account of his experience hiking the Appalachian Trail makes me want to go hiking myself. (My boys will be so happy!)
I could not put this book down. To say it was engrossing is an understatement. It was absolutely enthralling. Reading Hiking Through was like sitting with Paul and listening to him tell his story. He's a captivating, articulate, storyteller and his writing style is easy and comfortable. There are no pretenses, no airs. He's straight-forward about his experiences, he's honest in sharing his grief over losing his wife, he's open about his faith in God, and he paints a fascinating picture with his words. I enjoyed his ability to weave his life experiences into the account; they weren't digressions, they were natural additions to the flow of the story.
Paul is honest about his regrets and realization that he needed something to help him move past his grief and find himself and his purpose again. On the trail, he realized that his purpose is to share his story and to remind people that God is very much aware of them and not to take their wives and families for granted.Read more ›
The physical journey took almost five months; I suspect that the spiritual journey will never end. During his journey, Paul battled difficult trail conditions and experienced periods of overwhelming loneliness. He also enjoyed spectacular scenery and the camaraderie of the trail, and along the way he found peace.
Paul tells his story with grace and good humour. He started his journey as a man trying to come to terms with a devastating loss. He finished his journey, with a renewed passion for life, and much more aware of his relationship to others, to nature, and to God.
I enjoyed sharing Paul's journey through reading this book and looking at the photographs on his website. The history of the places along the Appalachian Trail is fascinating, as is Paul's recounting of his own personal journey through life.
`Dreams can come true if you allow them to.'
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed the book. Right up front I like true to life stories. I even liked the movie "Walking in the Woods" that got panned by the critics. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Joe Kramarz
It was a good story. Wasn't the best hiking book I've read, but a good story with a few things to learn about walking the AT.Published 5 days ago by David L. Graham
good story telling, and pretty good story. if you're looking for faith based then i think you'll like this book. Read morePublished 12 days ago by tiger187126
First book in years that I couldn't put down. Really great read. Kept it exciting every chapterPublished 14 days ago by Lisa Bertuzzi
I love this book! Can't stop reading .. It's a way to hike vicariously while I'm healing from a sprained MCL. Highly recommend!Published 15 days ago by janice g. lambert
I enjoyed every page of this book. Apostle has a lot to say along the trail and shows us how he dealt with life's changes after his wife lost her life to cancer. Read morePublished 17 days ago by John M Simms
This book started out pretty good, there were a lot of stories and philosophical thoughts mixed in to the day to day descriptions of his hike. Read morePublished 21 days ago by TLopez
Some people may be put off by the Gospel but I thoroughly enjoy traveling along with Apostle Paul in his journey. I will read this again maybe while I am hiking the AT.Published 26 days ago by Tim Cook