Trail Magic - The Grandma Gatewood Story film night

Trail Magic - The Grandma Gatewood Story film night

THIS EVENT, ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED FOR 2/13 HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER AND RESCHEDULED FOR FRIDAY APRIL 5TH. See the Emmy-nominated documentary about Emma "Grandma" Gatewood, the first woman to solo thru-hike the 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail in 1955 at the age of 67 after raising 11 children and surviving domestic abuse. The film follows the twists and turns of Emma's historic walk from Mt. Oglethorpe to Mt. Katahdin, much of the story in Emma's own words. She would later say of the AT: "For some fool reason, they always lead you right up over the biggest rock to the top of the biggest mountain they can find."

 

TRAIL MAGIC - THE GRANDMA GATEWOOD STORY is the Emmy-nominated documentary about the first woman to solo thru-hike the 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail in 1955 at the age of 67 after raising 11 children.

This first screening of this film in western Washington is co-sponsored by the Foothills branch of the Mountaineers and the City of Bellevue, Department of Parks & Community Services.

The film follows the twists and turns of Emma Gatewood's historic walk from Mt Oglethorpe to Mt. Katahdin in 1955, much of the story in Emma's own words. The story is augmented by key interviews with family, historians, and experts commenting about the amazing events that led up to that journey and her ability to overcome nearly insurmountable obstacles, including years of spousal abuse, along the way. TRAIL MAGIC: THE GRANDMA GATEWOOD STORY was nominated for an Emmy Award from the Regional National Association of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) in the “Best Documentary, Historical” category in April, 2017.

Emma "Grandma" Gatewood's story speaks to the courageous, undaunted spirit of Appalachian people everywhere. Emma was born in 1887 at Raccoon Creek, Gallia County Ohio; she was one of 15 children. At 19 she married Perry Clayton Gatewood, a teacher. After 32 years of spousal abuse, and raising eleven children, she divorced Perry, Emma decided she needed another challenge. When she read about the Appalachian Trail in National Geographic she discovered that no woman had ever hiked the entire trail alone so she decided to BE that woman.

In 1955, at the age of 67, Gatewood told her children (who were by then adults) that she was going for a walk. They did not ask where or for how long, as they knew she was resilient and would take care of herself.  About 5 years earlier, Gatewood read an article in National Geographic about the AT and thought "it would be a nice lark," though in retrospect considering the difficulty she added "It wasn't." 

The magazine gave her the impression of easy walks and clean cabins at the end of each day's walk. Thus she took little in the way of outdoor gear. She wore Keds shoes and carried an army blanket, a raincoat, and a plastic shower curtain in a homemade denim bag slung over one shoulder. In a sense she was truly a visionary of the ultra-light hiking movement.

She would later say of the AT:  "For some fool reason, they always lead you right up over the biggest rock to the top of the biggest mountain they can find."

She hiked the AT again in 1960, and then again at age 75 in 1963, making her the first person to hike the trail three times (though her final hike was completed in sections).She was also credited with being the oldest female thru-hiker by the Appalachian Trail Conference.  

In addition, she walked 2,000 miles (3,200 km) of the Oregon Trail  from Independence, Missouri  to Portland, Oregon  averaging 22 miles (35 km) a day. She traveled to every state of the continental United States.

In 2018 the New York Times published a belated obituary for her as part of its Overlooked series about "remarkable people whose deaths went unreported in The Times".

The screening of TRAIL MAGIC will be preceded by a film about the history of the Appalachian Trail.

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AND if you'd like to meet ANOTHER contemporary and pioneering long-trail thru-hiker -- in person -- join us at the Mountaineers' Seattle Program Center on March 12th:

Hear from renown thru-hiker Heather “Anish” Anderson, What Life on the Nation's Longest Trails Has Taught Me at The Mountaineers Program Center in Seattle on March 12 at 7 pm.

In November 2018, Heather became the only woman to have completed a calendar year “Triple Crown of Backpacking,” completing the Appalachian, Pacific Crest, and Continental Divide National Scenic Trails in a single calendar year. In the process, she set a female Fastest Known Time (FKT) for the route— hiking it in 251 days, 20 hours, 10 minutes and is the only female “Triple Triple Crowner” having completed the entire route three times.

What drives her passion for life on far-flung trails? It is something she asked herself in the days, weeks, and months she walked alone in wild places, facing her fears, loneliness, and physical challenges. Heather share details of her recent accomplishment, her motivations, and stories from her new memoir, Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home, new from Mountaineers Book.  Tickets can be purchased at this link:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/heather-anderson-what-life-on-the-nations-longest-trails-has-taught-me-tickets-52376001029

 

TO PURCHASE TICKETS TO GRANDMA GATEWOOD, CLICK ON THE BELOW LINK "MORE INFO ABOUT THIS EVENT"

More information about this event…