Grandma Gatewood laced up her Keds and announced to her family she was going on a walk. In the spirit of ultralight wanders, like John Muir, she carried only the most necessary items as she embarked on her journey. A little over three months later she became the first woman to solo, thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, and she did so at the age of 67 using only a handful of items from around her home. She went on to hike the Appalachian Trail two more times, making her the first person to achieve that feat. While many of us wish to pursue grand adventures like this, lack of money and time usually provide challenge. This blog is not a guide to thru-hike the AT, but hopefully it will inspire some to start their own adventures outdoors. The goal is simple; to provide women interested in exploring the outdoors the tools and confidence they need to set out on their own hiking and backpacking adventure. Of course, this doesn’t offer more time or financing toward the goal, but it should save time researching and money on unnecessary gear.
I invite you to join me on a journey into a new chapter of my life. I have recently left a successful professional career with Alabama State Parks to pursue a more successful personal life. My ultimate goal is to continue an over decade-long pursuit of teaching others about the natural world. One of my favorite methods is through the experiential education that comes with exposure to the outdoors through recreation such as hiking and backpacking. However, I will utilize any tool, resource, or moment to share my passion for the outdoors with others, and a blog seems like a wonderful way to reach others I may not be able to physically lead into the woods to learn.
Before you embark on this voyage with me you will no doubt want to learn more about my credentials, personal attributes, and what to expect in this blog. The welcome page offers a “coming soon” list of posts I will begin next month, and I encourage you to review the various pages of this site to learn more about me and the mission of Butterfly Outdoors. If you decide this blog can help you discover your personal goals of outdoor adventure, then join me each week for a new post including stories, gear reviews, trip photos, videos and reader requests, and follow me on social media through the links provided in the page footer.
Source: Montgomery, B. (2014). Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail. Chicago, IL: Chicago Review Press, Inc.