Continuing lessons from the trail- by Peter Huston

25 Aug

Thanks to NYT Bureau Chief Katharine Seelye’s recent obit, Emma “Grandma” Gatewood’s story continues to demonstrate firsthand that her inspiration is “evecropped-scan0002rgreen”.

Seeing “evergreen” happen, has been the most amazing part of our experience while making our EMMY nominated film “Trail Magic, the Grandma Gatewood Story”. Recently the New York Times New England Bureau Chief Katharine Seelye wrote an op ed piece “Overlooked No More, Emma Gatewood, First Woman to Conquer the Appalachian Trail Alone”.


This was an over due obituary notice that the New York Times does to honor famous and notable achievers like Emma “Grandma” Gatewood, in her case 40 years later. I had no idea that back in 2008 when we first started this trek interviewing Emma’s youngest daughter Lucy Seeds, that we would be on a long ever enlightening transit from obscurity to recognition for “Grandma Gatewood”.


Along the way author Ben Montgomery joined us on the journey with his award winning book “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk” and together we have shared Emma’s story with thousands of people in church basement, lecture halls and movie theaters.


Perhaps our experience has mirrored the public’s interest in this fascinating and brave woman who survived a 33 year abusive marriage while raising 11 children to become the first woman to solo through hike the Appalachian Trail. She did this in 1955 at the age of 67. When we started our project, her story seemed best known by the people that were most familiar with the AT, the thousands of annual hikers who vicariously learned about her on their own Appalachian Trail hike.

A few years ago Bill Bryson’s book “A Walk in the Woods” was made into a film starring Nick Nolte and Robert Redford. That film and “Wild” featuring Reese Witherspoon have continued to refocus people’s interest on hiking and ultimately Emma and her inspiring story. We are excited to see this interest in Emma continue to broaden and deepen. Thank you Emma for all you did and continue to do, inspiring others to reach for new opportunities.


2 Responses to “Continuing lessons from the trail- by Peter Huston”

  1. Beth Maupin August 26, 2018 at 8:25 am #

    I will forever be inspired by Emma Gatewood’s journey through life and on the trail. It amazes me that so few people know of her but it is exciting to know that her story is becoming more widely known. So many of us can learn from her how to overcome deplorable circumstances in a positive and healthy way.

    • hiddenarts August 26, 2018 at 3:49 pm #

      Thanks Beth. We keep seeing her story spread often by “wom”. It is inspiring

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: