Thankfully, I don’t have to hike the entire trail because I experienced that in Jim Haskell’s great book, Two Tents, published by Maine Authors Publishing. The title references a mistake Jim made on one of his hikes, lugging two tents up into the mountains.
Jim, a Maine native, was not a “through hiker.” He completed the 2200 mile hike in sections over a 21 year period. And he was inspired to do that at the age of 9, when he and his Dad and older siblings climbed Mount Katahdin. Yes, Mount Katahdin can be inspiring!
Jim’s hiking adventures included some serious challenges, including falls, major storms, and an aggressive bear. I particularly enjoyed his stories of other hikers, some of whom joined him from time to time along the trail. And his descriptions of the hikes put you right out on the trail with him.
But this isn’t just a hiking book, nor do you have to be a hiker to enjoy it. Jim’s life story unfolds as the years progress, including two marriages and adoption of a baby from Guatamala. And all along the trail, Jim is discovering things about himself. I especially loved how he loved fatherhood, to the point that he decided to give up his dream of hiking the entire AT because he didn’t want to leave his baby son.
It was Jim’s wife who insisted he complete the hike, and she was so very right to do that. And we must also thank those who encouraged him to write this book. As it says on the back cover: Two Tents is about making dreams come true.