Rethinking Life on the Appalachian Trail: The Thru-hike of

Rethinking Life on the Appalachian Trail: The Thru-hike of "Rethinker"

by Gary Bond


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Many dream of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. For Gary Bond, that dream had lain just below the surface for over 30 years. But eventually, Bond adopted the trail name Rethinker and the dream was traded for an adventure.

At the Trailhead

Leading up to this excursion and the chosen trail name was a period of "rethinking" for Bond. The beliefs that had been the foundation of his entire life had turned into nagging doubts. He longed to shed this burden and seek out Truth and a simpler way of life. And what better way than a long walk in the wilderness?

What would Rethinker discover during five months on the Trail? What would he learn about Nature, about long-held beliefs, and about himself? How would he apply these lessons to the Larger Trail?

The Long Walk

This book captures the many aspects of Rethinker's AT thru-hike. Experience the physical and mental highs and lows of the grueling journey. Meet various characters and "legends of the trail" that Rethinker encounters, including the "Harbinger of Maine," and enjoy their stories as well.

Walk alongside Rethinker as he gains his "trail legs" in the mountains of North Carolina. Confront fear as peaceful sleep is invaded by a frightful night-time visitor in Tennessee. Be taught the definition of "necessity" beneath the spreading limbs of a Virginia maple. Endure the crucible of New Hampshire's White Mountains and observe confidence turn to humility by the magnitude of the quest.

Witness restoration beside a New England pond as Rethinker marvels at the strange contrasting harmony of Nature. Slog through mucky bogs and ford swollen streams while hiking through Maine's 100-mile wilderness. And experience that "diamond day" when lifelong visions of a mystical fish camp are finally realized.

Hear from mentors of times past whose words both haunt and encourage Rethinker along the way. See how lessons learned in childhood are applied to overcome obstacles and threats. Be amazed, as Rethinker was, by "trail angels" and the kindness of strangers.

The Larger Trail

Whether you have made the hike yourself, or if you're a thru-hiker-wanna-be, or if you simply like to vicariously experience the journeys of others, this book will have something for you. Rethinker vividly portrays the wonder of the Appalachian Trail thru-hike experience while also examining the deeper meaning for him on the Larger Trail. In addition, he shares many useful tips and hiking gear advice from his own experiences for those who would attempt the trek.

After five million steps and thousands of white blazes, covering 2,175 miles of trail stretching from Georgia to Maine, join Rethinker during the bittersweet moment of journey's end on the rocky peak of Katahdin. After all the rethinking of the journey and all the lessons learned, what would be the answer to life's questions? Would a key be found to unlock life's Great Mystery?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781491267561
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 08/12/2013
Pages: 214
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.45(d)

About the Author

GARY BOND is a business owner who also had a career with UPS. His real passions, however, lie in wilderness adventures - trails hiked and those still waiting to be hiked. On the Larger Trail, Gary has partnered with wife, Jill, for 30 years. That partnership has produced three other trekkers: Brett, Meagan, and Kellie. After living many years in Athens, GA and Johnson City, TN, Gary and Jill now find shelter in Bryson City, NC, Gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains.

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