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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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WALKING NORTH

Walking North: A Family Hikes The Appalachian Trail. Read a sample chapter, see photos of their 2,100 mile-214 day experience, buy a signed book from author Mic Lowther or on Amazon.

Illustration by Steve Stankiewicz

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Photos by Jerrianne Lowther/Mic Lowther

Walking North is a story of discovery, a story of realizations that come slowly, gradually to one who doesn’t even know he is looking for anything.

Mic and Jerrianne Lowther, with 10-year-old daughter, Kyra, start optimistically one first day of spring to walk from Georgia to Maine along the Appalachian Trail. The path is more than 2,000 miles long and follows the very crest of the Appalachian Mountains. All uphill, hikers say, in either direction.

They walk through the usual elements a backpacking adventure brings - snow, rain, wind, cold, heat, swarming bugs. Through bogs, rocks, mud, river crossings, up 400,000 feet of elevation gain and back down, and enough pleasant and easy walking to keep going around the next bend. And from Georgia to Maine, the backdrop is mountain scenery - vivid, spectacular, ever-changing.

Bears, skunks, mice, porcupines, and raccoons invade their camps, along with a colorful assortment of hikers making their way casually, methodically, or obsessively toward Maine.

Differing objectives become evident early on. Jerri has come to see things growing and green, to follow spring north, to walk without hurry through a full change of seasons. Mic counts the miles, plotting each day as a means toward the goal: Maine. And Kyra, well, who knows what she’s thinking….

Walking North is a thoughtful narrative, descriptive at times, touching at times, humorous throughout. It is a story of a family working through the day’s problems, of understanding personal differences, and of slowly discovering one’s place in the natural world.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Reality Is All Uphill

Chapter 2: Of Rain, and Things That Go Chomp in the Night

Chapter 3: If Daisies Won't Tell, Ask a Daffodil

Chapter 4: Descent into Spring

Chapter 5: To Mountain Vistas, Steeply

Chapter 6: Al2

Chapter 7: Town

Chapter 8: The Ten-Year-Old Earns Her Stripes

Chapter 9: Gotta Get to Maine

Chapter 10: Bouquets and Symphonies

Chapter 11: Annie Dillard, Won't You Please Come Home

Chapter 12: What Comes Down, Must Go Up

Chapter 13: Intruder at Sawmill Run

Chapter 14: Downwind, Boy; Downwind

Chapter 15: Visit to Headquarters

Chapter 16: Halfway

Chapter 17: The Moth That Ate Pennsylvania

Chapter 18: Trouble in DWG

Chapter 19: Cold Shower in the Girls' John

Chapter 20: Rainer

Chapter 21: An Appointment Kept

Chapter 22: Stormy Birthday at Bromley

Chapter 23: The Pattern Changes

Chapter 24: The Three Most Perfect Days of Summer

Chapter 25: Mahoosuc Notch: Love It or Leave It

Chapter 26: The Big K

Chapter 27: A Definition

Chapter 28: It All Makes Sense When You Go South

Chapter 29: Note Left in Passing

Chapter 30: View from Saddleback Mountain

Chapter 31: The Man in Red Gaiters

Chapter 32: Crossroad