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Author Mic Lowther writes books about backpacking America's back country trails. Walking North is about his family's experiences walking the Appalachian Trail 2,100 miles from Georgia to Maine in 214 days. Taking the Long Way Home includes selections from another 2,000 miles of hiking adventures in Alaska, California, Arizona, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Texas and New Mexico.

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TAKING THE LONG WAY HOME

Taking The Long Way Home - 2,000 miles of wilderness hiking adventures in AK, AR, CA, ME, NH, NM, TX and VT. Read a sample chapter, see photos, buy a signed book from Mic Lowther or on Amazon.

Adventures Hiking 2,000 miles on Wilderness Trails In Alaska, Canada, California, Maine, New Hampshire, Texas, New Mexico & Vermont

TRAIL TO CRESCENT LAKE

CAMP AT WARREN LAKE

SANTA ELENA CANYON

CLIFF DWELLING IN   ROGERS CANYON       SEE MORE PHOTOS >  

CLIFF DWELLING IN ROGERS CANYON    SEE MORE PHOTOS >  

In 1973 I hiked the 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine with my wife, Jerrianne, and daughter, Kyra, who was 10 years old at the time. I wrote a book about the adventure which I published as Walking North

I’ve walked another 2,000 miles or more since then on many different hiking and backpacking trips. This book tells of some of those journeys, either because the place I went was interesting or because something interesting happened there. For the most part, I hiked alone. I’ve sometimes thought this was because I went such bizarre places no one wanted to go along. But friends and family do hike with me on occasion and some of those trips are included here, too.

The epilog of Walking North reviews an important understanding I gained on the AT: that I was not a guest or visitor in the woods, but I belonged there as much as the trees and rocks and grass and flowers and creatures that lived there. It was my home as much as theirs. 

Then I looked a step beyond that realization and wrote: “I can't help but think that insight was just an introduction and that some wider vision lies beyond it.” I’ve been seeking that wider vision ever since. These stories are a record of my progress and of the satisfying conclusion I’ve reached. Whether the result is profound or not, it was good to go looking and discovering for myself.

Nine of the adventures in this book took place in Alaska, two in Canada and Alaska, and the others in California, Arizona, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Texas, and New Mexico. They add up to about 550 miles of wilderness trail. You may have hiked some of these places; others you may want to try. There are a couple I’d suggest you avoid. 

I wrote these stories over the course of 30-some years from journal notes, from pictures, from memory, from maps and guidebooks, and from whatever I had available, some the week after they happened, others many years later. They appear in the order they occurred, the first in 1980 and the last in 2013. Not all are hiking adventures on popular manicured trails. There’s some caving, rafting, wandering lost in unforgiving wilderness, and (gasp) even driving as well. Combined, they are the rest of what I have to tell.

So, come along and be lost for two days in maddening underbrush, for a month in the desert of the Superstition Wilderness, for the fifty most difficult miles of the Appalachian Trail, for several days in Alaska's featureless nowhere, for the brutal gold-miners' trail up Chilkoot Pass into Canada, and other adventures either fun, exasperating, or educational.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Nightwalk - Whittier Tunnels, Alaska

Chapter 2: Resurrection - Resurrection Trail, Alaska

Chapter 3: Up Golden Stairs - Chilkoot Trail, Alaska-Canada

Chapter 4: Passage to Nowhere - Pinnell Mountain, Alaska

Chapter 5: On the Skyline Too Long - Skyline Trail, Alaska

Chapter 6: Climb to Paradise - Sierras, Califonia

Chapter 7: Death March - Indian Valley, Alaska

Chapter 8: Among Glaciers - Crow Pass, Alaska

Chapter 9: In My Own Footsteps - Wildcat, Mahoosucs, and Carter-Moriahs, New Hampshire-Maine

Chapter 10: Purification - Superstitions, Arizona

Chapter 11: Walking Home - Chugach Mountains, Alaska

Chapter 12: Two Tourists Touring - South Rim-Santa Elena Canyon-Carlsbad, Texas-New Mexico

Chapter 13: Messages - Crescent Lake-Johnson Pass, Alaska

Chapter 14: Why It's Called Lost Lake - Lost Lake, Alaska

Chapter 15: To Alaska for the Winter - Alaska Highway, Canada-Alaska

Chapter 16: Here Endeth the Lesson - Long Trail, Vermont