Tag Archives: trail magic

“Trail Magic” documentary Premiers May 29th

28 Feb

Grandma Gatewood documentary premiers May 29

Posted by Dave Tabler | February 27, 2015

bettePlease welcome guest author Bette Lou Higgins. Higgins is a founder and current Artistic Director of Eden Valley Enterprises, where she helps spread the “Ohio Gospel” through an assortment of living history programs. These programs, designed to make the history of Ohio meaningful and alive for adults and children of all ages, have been created for such Ohio organizations as the Steamship William G. Mather Museum, Western Reserve Historical Society, The Tuscarawas Historical Society and the Great Lakes Historical Society.

When I first wrote about Eden Valley’s Grandma Gatewood project for Appalachian History in 2013, we were at the half-way point of our trail to tell her life story. Essentially it was the equivalent of hiking from Georgia to the AT museum in Gardner’s, PA. Unlike hikers who reach that point, we didn’t know we were half-way there!

Anne McEvoy as Emma (filming session July, 2014)

To read Bette Lou’s full progress report for the Appalachian History blog posted  2/27/15 — check it out at http://www.appalachianhistory.net/

Puffin Foundation West Grant!

9 Oct

Puffin West_2sm

We are happy to announce that the Puffin Foundation West has awarded us a grant in support of our documentary about Grandma Gatewood! This gift will go towards the matching requirements from our Ohio History Fund grant and puts us at about the half way point of our goal of $10,000.

We have been working on filming the documentary over the past year and if you haven’t visited our Trail Magic Facebook page recently, please do. Director, Peter Huston has been posting updated from the shoots which I think you’ll enjoy seeing.

In other news, I hope you’ll plan to join us in Akron for TRAIL MAGIC at Wandering Aesthetics on Friday and Saturday, November 21 and 22,2014 at 8 p.m. and on Sunday, November 23, 2014 at 2 p.m. There’ll be three performances of this one-act play about Grandma along with a Trail Angels Reception Fundraiser on Sunday. Check our calendar page regularly for up-to-the-minute information.

Bette Lou Higgins
Artistic Director

Ohio Women Then and Now Fundraiser for “Trail Magic” documentary

22 Feb

Last chance to buy tickets for our fundraising series OHIO WOMEN THEN AND NOW at a discount! Advance tickets are available for all four shows at $19 @ until FEBRUARY 28. After that, the price goes up to $22 @ in advance or at the door! Don’t miss out — all four programs promise to introduce you to some fascinating women.

Get complete details at http://tinyurl.com/ohiowomenthenandnow

Ticket cost is a tax-deductible donation in support of our Grandma Gatewood documentary project. If you’re unable to join us for any of these events, please consider supporting our project with a donation —


Trail Magic Live #2 Emma, the “grandmother” of the Ultralight Movement

10 Feb

Emma Gatewood was probably the inventor or at least one of the earliest adopters of “Ultralight” back backing. Her life skills and years of commonsense applications, we would say now “adaptive technology” made her hikes possible with a minimum of gear.

She thoughtfully preplanned the equipment, food and minimum support materials for each of her hikes. Here is a clip that talks about what she brought. 

Women Making Moves- Four weeks of “HerStory”

20 Jan
  • Famous Ohioan, first women photojournalist to take photos from the front lines of WW2

    Margaret Bourke-White, Ohioan, first accredited female photojournalist to report from the front lines of WW2

    The First of several events cohosted by Women Making Moves and EVE, Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at Lorain County Community College: Alisa Riccardi will portray Cleveland photographer, Margaret Bourke-White – famous WWII photo-journalist and the first accredited female war correspondent. After the event meet the producers of the Emma Gatewood story “Trail Magic” documentary film.

  • Come celebrate Women’s History Month with a different program every week this March with this fundraising series sponsored by Eden Valley and Women Making Moves. Find complete information at: http://edenvalleyenterprises.org/progdesc/gatewood/2014events/march/owtnseries.htmSeries Tickets and Single Tickets available

Hey, did you see our facebook for our March Events:  https://www.facebook.com/events/251618014999413/ Pass it around!

“Trail Magic” stage performance premier Tickets Available

8 May

“Trail Magic” is now on the True North  box office system, the direct link to online sales is :http://sa1.seatadvisor.com/sabo/servlets/TicketRequest?eventId=620405&presenter=TRUENORTH&venue=&event=&version=

People can purchase over the phone or in person as well

“Trail Magic” — A Festival Dedicated to the life of Emma Gatewood

8 May

produced by Eden Valley Enterprises and TrueNorth Cultural Arts
at the French Creek Nature & Arts Center
4530 Colorado Ave.
Sheffield Village, OH 44054

Emma Gatewood was the first woman to solo thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in 1955.
Come join us for this celebration of her life!

Auditions “Trail Magic” a new play by Kelly Boyer Sagert

We’re looking for someone for the part of Emma Gatewood (age 70-ish) and for a Narrator (male or female; 50-ish). Please prepare a 1-2 minute monologue and be prepared to read from the script. The play will be directed by Rick Fortney. Schedule your audition slot by calling (440) 949-5200 Ext. 221. The performance is scheduled August 24th at 5p.m. and 7:30p.m.

The Complete TRAIL MAGIC schedule

5 -6 p.m. ~ Slip on your hiking boots and join us for a Family Hike with Senior Naturalist Amy Potonic

6:30 p.m. ~ Dinner is served!

7:30 p.m. ~ Poets in Thursday’s workshop will be invited to share their poetry at a public Poetry Reading.


10:30 a.m. ~ Senior Physical Fitness Hike.

5:00 p.m. ~ Premier presentation of “Trail Magic”, a first-person character program featuring “Grandma” Gatewood talking about her life and adventures.

6:30 p.m. ~ Pre-show Discussion on Mental Health & Self-Esteem (including domestic abuse), led by Natalie McCarthy, MSW, LSW.

7:30 p.m. ~ Encore presentation of “Trail Magic”, a first-person character program featuring “Grandma” Gatewood talking about her life and adventures.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 25, 2013, noon ~ Join Buckeye Trail Association member Byron Guy for hike on the Lorain County portion of the Buckeye Trail.

Call TrueNorth at (440) 949-5200 Ext. 221 or order online.

There will be an exhibit about The Buckeye Trail and a Quilt Show to honor Emma’s quilting activities during the weekend.

This festival is being funded in part by generous grants from the Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation Lorain County, Ohio History Fund, the Puffin Foundation of Teaneck, New Jersey and the Gallia County Charitable Foundation. It is part of a larger project to tell Emma’s story with FilmAffects and WGTE/PBS.

*** All dates, times and events are in the planning stages and are subject to change. Watch our Calendar Page for current information***

August 22-25
Join us on our Trail to tell Emma’ Story!

We are in the process of raising $15,000 to meet a challenge grant from the Ohio History Fund to complete a PBS documentary about Emma. You can help us meet this challenge with a tax-deductible donation.

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“Trail Magic” short background video from Peter Huston

28 Jan

This short video will help’s explain our projects goals and why we are so amazed by Emma Gatewood’s story

Lessons Yogi Bear Taught Us

14 Jan

Yogi: “Hey Boo Boo, I see a pic-a-nic basket.”

ImageBoo Boo: “Yogi the park ranger does not want us bothering the humans”

Yogi: “We’re not bothering them, we’re entertaining them”.

On our trip to Mt. Katahdin last fall we had a chance to meet up with Bruce Grant, from MATC. In the course of our conversation he mentioned that he was friends with a retired park ranger who knew Grandma Gatewood. He explained that this park ranger believed that Emma was not only a great “Yogi practitioner” , but perhaps was the “Grandmother” of all trail “Yogi-ing”.

The concept of “Yogi-ing” on the trail was new to me. So I asked him to explain. He went on and told us that this was a technique for getting or motivating others to help you, without directly asking for it. Food, clothing, money, car rides, you name it. The key is to act innocent and slightly helpless, at least enough to get what you need when you are out of resources.

As the conversation above between Yogi and Boo-boo points out sometimes entertainment is the best way to get this kind of help. I was recently talking with “Fink” a south bound through-hiker from 2011. He told us his yogi story.

It seems that “Fink” and his friend were out of food and hungry. They had set up camp in the Shenandoah National Park. They were not far from a spot where day hikers and picnickers would come on nice days. So he and his friend decided to hang out and “share” their stories. In fact they shared them several times over the next couple of days being rewarded with hot meals and snacks for their great story telling. This is a sublime example of the art of “Yogi’.

Grandma Gatewood’s journal is filled with stories of others helping her. While she may not have documented her technique, she appears to be truly gifted in getting others to help her to accomplish her journey. Sometimes the best trail magic is being a good “yogi”.

Katahdin’s Trail Magic

8 Oct

We just got back from a shoot in Millenocket Maine and Baxter State Park this past week. The weather was decent, the fall foliage was spectacular, and the people at the park could not have been nicer. We set out to connect with the through hikers coming in across the Hundred Mile Wilderness. We met about a dozen all enjoying Maine’s most beautiful quilt of color at the end of a six month journey. They looked a little worm down but jubilant none the less.

While we were there a hiker went missing while summiting Katahdin. It reminded us that Emma Gatewood also went missing when she first came to Baxter to start her trek. Back then many traills were across privately owned yet to forested lands. Often the trail would be marked and obvious one month and then the trees would get harvested and there would be no clear evidence of the trail anywhere. On her first attempts Emma was in one of these areas bounded by what is know as the “Golden Road” where timber is trucked out daily that crosses the AT near Rainbow Lake. Today the AMC, State of Maine, The Maine Appalachian Trail Club and the AT Conservancy work hard to make sure that the trail remains accessible and well marked regardless of the season or changes in private land usage. That was not always the case in the 50’s and 60’s before the National Scenic Trail Act of 1968.

Luckily for the the lady who went missing this year, trail markings were not the issue, she was heading up to the top of Katahdin too late in the day. It got dark and she got lost and ended up bushwhacking her way out. Thankfully she showed up a day late. Her adventure, like Emma’s points out how difficult a place this can be. Being there we got a greater appreciation for her ability to survive and succeed, especially in 1955. But when you see the park you realize that there is “trail magic” here. People you don’t know or may never meet again will go out of there way to help you.