Special actress portrayal of first woman to solo hike the Appalachian Trail coming to library

Free presentation set for 4 p.m. Friday, July 14 at Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library

CASHIERS -- Actress Anne Van Curen will transform herself into adventurous Grandma Gatewood and tell her story from the aging hiker’s perspective in a free one-hour monologue about Grandma Gatewood’s Appalachian Trail journey. It is set for 4 p.m. at Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library. The monologue is based on the book “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: the Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail” by Ben Montgomery. Emma Gatewood was the first woman to solo hike the A.T. in 1955.

“Emma Gatewood told her family she was going on a walk and left her small Ohio hometown with a change of clothes and less than two hundred dollars. The next anybody heard from her, this genteel, farm-reared, 67-year-old great grandmother had walked 800 miles along the 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail.  By September 1955 she stood atop Maine’s Mount Katahdin, sang, “American the Beautiful,’ and proclaimed, “I said I’ll do it, and I’ve done it.”

Driven by a painful marriage, Grandma Gatewood not only hiked the trail alone, she was the first person – man or woman -- to walk it three times. Gatewood became a hiking celebrity, and appeared on TV with Groucho Marx and Art Linkletter. The public attention she brought to the trail was unprecedented. Her vocal criticism of the difficult stretches led to bolstered maintenance and very likely saved the trail from extinction.”

Anne Curen will tell the tale of this adventuress lady on her unprecedented “walk”.

For information, call 828-732-0215.

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