Winner of the Coveted 2011 National Indie Excellence Book ward!
What happens when a middle-aged couple with no previous backpacking experience, decides to test their 14-year marriage and spend six months hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine in one continuous hike? Will their motto of "Quitting is not an option" be a blessing or a curse?
Travel with "Windtalker" and "Mom," as they wrestle with their personal weaknesses and capitalize on each other's strengths; and in doing so, gain a deeper understanding of what it takes to make and keep a marriage strong.
"Solemates" is not a daily chronicle of trail life but rather a candid, introspective and sometimes humorous look into the range of emotions experienced during the pursuit of such a life-changing adventure. It is a warmhearted journal depicting lessons in love, perseverance, human nature, compassion, understanding, and teamwork. Their stories, and those of their thru-hiking companions, reveal insights into the human spirit and refreshing perspectives on what is truly important in life.
"No one has explored thru-hiking as a couple as thoroughly as have Randy Motz and Georgia Harris..an engaging account of thru-hiking the trail along with a half dozen other couples...a significant contribution to the A.T. literature..." --Larry Luxemberg - Author of “Walking the Appalachian Trail”
".....an engaging and inspirational memoir of self-enrichment and enduring love.....a joy to read....will leave you planning your own outdoor adventure." --Brooke Kenny - The Gazette Newspapers
"...an extremely well written book…should not be compared to Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods," nor is it like David Miller's ‘AWOL on the Appalachian Trail...'it is a different story...I highly recommend it...an absolute pleasure to read.” Don Blankenship – Amazon Top 100 Reviewer
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About the Author
Randy A. Motz could be considered a renaissance man. He has been an ASTM-certified heli-arc welder, a solar sunspace designer, carpenter, as well as general manager, and part owner, of one of the largest weighing equipment distributors in the U.S. He was a producer and marketing director for Gospel and Contemporary Christian Artists at a large Washington, D.C. recording studio and has several production credits to his name. In 2007 he released his own CD of Native American flute music entitled, "Windtalker - Native SoundScapes" and performs his unique style of music at festivals, state and national parks, wineries and coffeehouses. He is also president of The Qualtech Resource Group, Inc., a multi-media creation company, as well as the driving force behind Windtalker Music, a music production company. In his spare time he performs live sound production work for concerts, corporate, and civic events. Co-writer Georgia L. Harris, holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, has scuba dived, raced sled dogs, helped pilot her family's house boat through the Intracoastal Waterway and up the Mississippi River to Minnesota, has a Masters Degree in Technical Management, and is a physical scientist with the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Working in the Division of Weights and Measures, her job of assuring the measurement standardization of mass, length, volume, and temperature has taken her to every state in the United States, as well as Puerto Rico, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. She is an avid photographer, a passion that served her well on her greatest adventure of all in 2006. It was during that year that Randy and Georgia completed a continuous 2,175-mile hike of the Appalachian Trail, a life-changing, six-month-long trek from Georgia to Maine. Upon returning home, they turned their creative talents to writing about their amazing adventure from the perspective of what taking on such a challenge was like for a middle-aged married couple. The result is "Solemates - Lessons on Life, Love & Marriage from the Appalachian Trail." In their second book, "The Walk - Reflections on Life & Faith from the Appalachian Trail," published in 2010, Randy and Georgia use stories of their hike, scriptural references, inspirational quotes and wisdom from Native Americans to draw the many parallels between "trail life" and "real life" spirituality. They also produced a DVD entitled “Appalachian Trail Reflections,” a 50-minute photographic diary of the breathtaking sights along the trail complete with a soundtrack of natural sounds and original Native American flute music written and played by Randy. Randy and Georgia, or "Windtalker & Mom," as they are known in backpacking circles, travel the U.S. making presentations about their Appalachian Trail thru-hike and giving motivational talks that urge people to pursue their dreams. "Dream It! Plan It! Live It," "The Joys of Backpacking as a Couple," "Spiritual Reflections from the Appalachian Trail," and "The Care and Feeding of the Long-Distance Hiker" are just a few of the presentations made at state and national parks, churches, scout troops and professional and civic organizations.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I enjoy reading about the AT even though I have never done it but would love to try it. Unfortunately I am a 75 yr old retied nurse with severe arthritis. My husband and I spend every year in the mountains and wish that if we were younger weshould have gone for it. I encourage our 5 older children to go for it and hike the trail with their spouses. Don't wait for that some day to come.