Since ancient times, our Earth has been thought of as female, our Mother Earth. Her lands provide for us and her fruits sustain us. We find solace in the loving embrace of her forest canopy. The gentle sound of her voice through the trees brings serenity. It should come as no surprise then to say that women and nature go hand in hand.
For those women that love being out in nature, here are several books that will feed your soul between your adventures on the trail.
* Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman that Saved the Appalachian Trail by Ben Montgomery: The story of Emma Gatewood, the 67 year old grandma that was the first woman to thru hike the Appalachian trail in 1955, and the first person ever to hike the AT twice.
Gatewood became a hiking celebrity, appearing on TV with Groucho Marx. The public attention she brought to the trail was unprecedented. Her vocal criticism of the lousy, difficult stretches led to bolstered maintenance, and very likely saved the trail from extinction.
* Pickets and Dead Men: Seasons on Rainier by Bree Loewen: Bree Loewen worked as a climbing ranger on Mount Rainer where she was one of the only female employees. This book recounts her stories of learning the trade and fighting for respect from the public and her colleagues.
Loewen shares the harsh reality of living in the mountains, the misogyny of her colleagues and her own misdemeanors in the field and the associated danger she sometimes finds herself in.
* End of the Rope: Mountains, Marriage and Motherhood by Jan Redford: In this spirited memoir, Jan Redford shares tales from her many heart-pounding adventures, as both a woman in the male-dominated world of rock climbing and as a new mother struggling to rediscover herself.
This is a truly moving story about learning how to make it in the wilderness and how to survive in life. This book is must-read for any hiker looking to forge their own path.
* American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee: A fascinating true story about the rise and reign of O-Six, the most famous wolf in Yellowstone history. Author Nate Blakeslee explores the life and survival of this powerful alpha female, as well as the world around her, including the wolf watchers who made her famous, the pups she raises, the hunters who threaten her food supply, the wolves she must compete with, and more.
The tales of these bold ladies will inspire you and stir your passion for the outdoors all in one.