The title of Richard Judy’s fascinating novel, Thru – An Appalachian Trail Love Story – does hint at part of the story, but there’s a lot more to this intriguing book, published by the Appalachian Trail Museum, which receives all the proceeds from book sales.
Judy lives in Georgia, so I was surprised when I received a copy of the book from him. But then I decided he must have read my review of D. Dauphinee’s book, When You Find My Body, about Gerry Largay and her death after she got lost hiking theAppalachian Trail in Maine. The first two days that review was posted, 16,000 people read it.
Judy thru-hiked the AT in 1973, and his novel includes lots of information about the hike, both the good and the bad.
In his story, a bunch of hikers meet up early on the trail and decide to do the long hike together. And yes, love does blossom between some of this group, but there’s a lot more to the story than that.
The hiking group runs from the age of 18 to senior citizens. I especially enjoyed the story of the very fat guy who struggled mightily to keep up with the others. There were lots of injuries along the way, with horrific weather.
I like the way Judy told the story through the eyes and journal entries of the hikers. And by the time they finished the journey and stood atop Mount Katahdin, I felt like I was right there beside them.
Yup, I’ve climbed Katahdin many times. But I’ll never hike the AT. So I have to thank Judy for sharing this great hiking story with me.