“As a woman who travels the United States extensively from behind the wheel of a big rig, how could I not be inspired by Amy’s story of walking over 2,000 miles of it? She describes the details of the beautiful Appalachian Trail in a way only a person who has set foot on it can do; from the highly saturated red of a Scarlet Tanager songbird, to the way mist and fog enshroud a mountain before it gently lifts to reveal crisp, clear air and a panorama so spectacular, only those lucky enough to be standing on its ridge can see it. A story of camaraderie, personal goals, relationship dynamics and communing with nature move this narrative along in such a way, the act of reading it is as enjoyable as finding out how Amy’s journey ends.”
“Amy draws on a wealth of spiritual and life experience for her decision to hike the Appalachian Trail, described by some as nature’s cathedral. Her descriptions of an ever changing mix of weather, other hikers, magnificent vistas and intricacies of the hike itself shows how the AT experience mirrors our life journey. People spend much time and money looking for that magic “something” that will bring them into a direct and intimate experience with our cosmos. Amy understands that words of Saint Augustine offer a simple idea for solving life’s mysteries, Solvitur Ambulando… it is solved by walking.”
“When it came in my mother snagged it and started reading. She kept reading until she finished it. It took her a few days. She has been telling me everything she read. This doesn’t seem like such a big deal until you consider I have been trying to get her to read for years. She always says that she can’t remember what she reads and it take too long to re-read everything over and over. I guess she just needed the right inspiration. All I can say is she read it and enjoyed it and can’t wait to tell me more about what she read every time I see her. She said she would like to hike if she was young again. She has so many things that she didn’t do because of sacrificing for her family.”
~Charles Hodges about his mother, 86-years young
Some of us talk the talk, but few of us actually walk the walk. I know the author personally and she is one of those few that actually do walk the walk. Amy Allen has chronicled that walk honestly and adeptly in Summoning the Mountains. As I read the book, I couldn’t wait to get back on the Trail with Amy to see where we were headed next and what challenges we would face. I felt like I was there with her through all of the highs and lows. Funny how Amy illustrated how closely hiking the Appalachian Trail mimics the inner workings of our minds and thoughts and lives. I highly recommend this book to anyone out there looking for shared adventure and a taste of a truer Reality in their lives. Amy is a ‘Real’ person, exploring the real world and exposing the depths of its real beauty and joys balanced perfectly with its just as real challenges and hardships. A very good read!
I first heard of the AT in the late 1970′s while studying geology in the Southern Appalachians. Back then, I thought nothing less than a “National Geographic Expedition Team” could be capable of walking from GA to ME. With that outlook, I just HAD to read how a single Mom…turning 40…actually did it! I looked forward to physical descriptions of the trail (rocks, mountains, flora, fauna, etc.) which the author did beautifully, but the unexpected bonus to me was learning about the “sense of community” that exists among the hikers and also, the small towns located along the AT. Their kindness and support to each other was awesome. By the end of the trail, I felt surprisingly hopeful; if hikers can build a sense of community while “in transit”, can the rest of us who live more “stationary” lives learn a lesson from them?
After reading this book, I bought myself a new pair of hiking boots and now, when I hike the local trails here in NC, I see them in a completely different light! I may not make it all the way to Maine, but with Willow’s inspiration, I am “Hiking my own hike!”