Becoming Odyssa: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail

Becoming Odyssa: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail

by Jennifer Pharr Davis
Becoming Odyssa: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail

Becoming Odyssa: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail

by Jennifer Pharr Davis

Paperback(Second Edition, Revised edition, Second Edition, Revised, Tenth Anniversary Edition)

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After graduating from college, Jennifer isn’t sure what she wants to do with her life. Through inexperienced and unprepared, she feels drawn to the Appalachian Trail and sets out along on the long-distance footpath that stretches 2,175 miles from Georgia to Maine.

The next five months are the most physically and emotionally challenging of her life—coping with blisters and aching shoulders, hiking through endless torrents of rain and a blizzard, facing unwanted company and encountering tragedy. The trail becomes a modern day Odyssey that tests Jennifer’s faith in God, humanity and herself. But even at her lowest points, it provides enduring friendships, unexpected laughter, and the gift of self-discovery.

With every step she takes, Jennifer transitions from an over-confident college graduate to a student of the trail. As she travels along the ridges of the ancient mountain chain, she realizes that she isn’t walking through nature—she realizes she is part of nature. And she learns that the Appalachian Trail is more than a 2,175 mile hike: it is a journey that will change a person forever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780825309380
Publisher: Beaufort Books, Incorporated
Publication date: 03/16/2020
Edition description: Second Edition, Revised edition, Second Edition, Revised, Tenth Anniversary Edition
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 125,238
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Jennifer Pharr Davis grew up in the North Carolina Mountains, where she developed a love for hiking at a young age. At age twenty-one, Jennifer hiked the entire Appalachian Trail as a solo female and fell in love with long-distance backpacking. Since then, Jennifer has hiked more than 11,000 miles on six different continents, with North American hikes including the Pacific Crest Trail, Vermont's Long Trail, and the Colorado Trail, and completed three thru-hikes on the Appalachian Trail. She has hiked and traveled on six continents; some of the highlights include Mount Kilimanjaro, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and the 600-mile Bibbulmun Track in Australia. In the summer of 2011, Jennifer topped her own 2008 Women's Endurance Record for the fastest thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail, making her the overall record holder for both women and men. Jennifer is the first woman to hold the overall title. Jennifer hiked from Katahdin, Maine to Springer Mountain, Georgia. Her goal was to hike the entire 2,180-mile faster than the current overall speed record of 47 days, 13 hours and 31 minutes, which she did in 46 days. To break the record, Jennifer hiked an average of 47 miles a day, camping along the trail. She had trail support from legendary ultra-runner and former AT and Pacific Crest Trail speed record holder David Horton, as well as veteran AT expert Warren Doyle and Davis' husband, Brew Davis. Her hiking and backpacking accomplishments, as well as her influence as an outdoor role model, are remarkable and momentous. Jennifer is a 2012 National Geographic Top Adventurer of the Year nominee for her record-breaking thru-hike, has been on CNN, The Early Show, NPR numerous times, and was featured in Fitness Magazine and Shape magazine, among others. Jennifer has also written for Trail Runner magazine,, is a frequent contributor to Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, and has written three guidebooks. Jennifer lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband, and is the owner and founder of Blue Ridge Hiking Co.

Table of Contents

Preface David Horton, Ph.D. vii

Introduction Warren Doyle, Ph.D. ix

1 Gratitude 1

2 Truth 7

The Appalachian Trail Institute, Banner Elk, NC

3 Ineptitude 13

Unicoi Gap, GA, to Springer Mountain, GA-50.9 miles

4 Adventure 31

Unicoi Gap, GA, to the Nantahala Outdoor Center, NC-84 miles

5 Adversity 43

Nantahala Outdoor Center, NC, to Waterville School Road, NC-103-4 miles

6 Home 55

Waterville School Road, NC, to Hot Springs, NC-33-4 miles

7 Friends 65

Hot Springs, NC, to Cherry Gap Shelter, TN-84-5 miles

8 Confidence 85

Cherry Gap Shelter, TN, to Damascus, VA-104-9 miles

9 Oppression 103

Damascus, VA, to a little past Pearisburg, VA-165 miles

10 Discomfort 125

Outside Pearisburg, VA, to Troutville, VA-92 miles

11 Inspiration 139

Troutville, VA, to Rockfish Gap, VA-132.3 miles

12 Generosity 155

Rockfish Gap, VA, to US 522 (Front Royal), VA-107 miles

13 Diversity 165

US 522 (Front Royal), VA, to Pen Mar Park, MD/PA-95 miles

14 Abnormality 177

Pen Mar Park, MD/PA, to Delaware Water Gap, NJ-260 miles

15 Mortality 201

Delaware Water Gap, PA, to Bear Mountain State Park, NY-107.9 miles

16 Perseverance 219

Bear Mountain State Park, NY, to Mount Greylock, MA-183.9 miles

17 Optimism 233

Mount Greylock, MA, to Hanover, NH-160 miles

18 Regrouping 241

Hanover, NH, to Pinkham Notch, NH-123 miles

19 Tribulation 261

Pinkham Notch, NH, to Monson, MP-199 miles

20 Triumph 279

Monson, ME, to Mount Katahdin, ME-118 miles

21 Homecoming 295

Summer 2005 to Summer 2011-6 years

2008 Itinerary 301

Acknowledgments 303

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