Author Mic Lowther chronicles backpacking 2,100 miles on the AT from Georgia to Maine in 214 days with his family and another 2,000 miles hiked over 30 years “looking for something.”
I’m not the kind of guy who knew his destiny at six years old. I didn’t decide to be a writer at an early age and pursue that goal relentlessly day after day overcoming all obstacles.
I don’t even remember six years old. I don’t remember high school, either. I drifted through life in a fog till I was nearly 20.
In college I discovered I was good at something: I wasn’t afraid of math and I enjoyed English literature, writing, and grammar. I chose math as a basis for a career but also had a strong desire to write.
But about what? I’d never been anywhere, never done anything, didn’t know anything. I wanted to write but had nothing to say.
I left Minnesota after college and in 1962 found a Computer Systems Analyst job in New York (I was called a Programmer back then). I went on to do the same job at another company in Arizona in 1967 and then Alaska in 1974. I retired after 33 years in computers in 1995. I never used any of the math I studied except the underlying logic of it all, the process of doing things one at a time in a logical sequence.
After backpacking the Appalachian Trail I at last had something to say, or at least write about. I wrote Walking North about the 2,000-mile AT journey, then Taking the Long Way Home about selected adventures from another 2,000 miles I hiked over the next 30 years. Though I didn’t intend it to be so, these adventures were all a process of “looking for something.” These books tell about what I found.
During the 90s I wrote stories for children. These featured a cast of animal characters and eventually became 72 adventures titled Manford of MorningGlory Mountain. What made them distinctive is the stories contained no violence. The characters worked together to learn or accomplish something, did not bicker or fight among themselves, did not beat up their friends and neighbors, and were not endlessly pursued by some ghastly monster trying to kill them. The stories were happy, fun, and educational. You could read them knowing nothing bad was going to happen. Disappointingly, there was no market for happy, fun, and educational. A hundred cases of books sat in my garage until I finally gave them to childrens’ hospitals in all fifty states.
After living in Alaska for 35 years, I moved to Minnesota where my brothers and I operate LowtherBrothers LLC. I write new adventure stories from time to time and practice what I learned in bartender school to make a wonderful martini.