The Barefoot Sisters Southbound

The Barefoot Sisters Southbound

by Lucy Letcher, Susan Letcher


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The Barefoot Sisters Southbound by Lucy Letcher, Susan Letcher

Rarely will you find books that explore the human emotions of a long-distance trek so honestly and clearly. --Roger Williamson, Campmor, Inc. "Highly recommended." From the book: "We stood for a moment before the venerable signpost marking the summit. Scored with graffiti and the constant onslaught of weather, it stands perhaps three feet high, a wooden A-frame painted Forest Service brown with recessed white letters: KATAHDIN 5268 ft.Northern Terminus of the Appalachian TrailBelow this were a few waypoints: Thoreau Spring, 1.0, Katahdin Stream Campground, 5.2. At the bottom of the list: Springer Mountain, Georgia, 2160.2. More than two thousand miles. It was simply a number, too large and incomprehensible to have any bearing on me. The farthest I had ever walked in a day was ten miles and that was with a daypack. Now I was contemplating a journey of months, covering thousands of miles. All of a sudden, there on the summit with the clouds screaming past us, it didn't seem like such a great idea.I turned to my sister, half-expecting to see the same doubt mirrored in her face. But her eyes were shining, and she smiled with an almost feral intensity. It was a look I would come to know all too well over the next year and a half, and it meant, I am going to do this and no one had better try to stop me. 'We're really doing this,' she shouted over the wind's howl and the lashing rain. 'We're hiking the Appalachian Trail!'" At the ages of twenty-five and twenty-one, Lucy and Susan Letcher set out to accomplish what thousands of people attempt each year: thru-hike the entire 2,175 miles of the Appalachian Trail. The difference between them and the others? They decided to hike the trail barefoot. Quickly earning themselves the moniker of the Barefoot Sisters, the two begin their journey at Mount Katahdin and spend eight months making their way to Springer Mountain in Georgia. As they hike, they write about their adventures through the 100-mile Wilderness, the rocky terrain of Pennsylvania, and snowfall in the Great Smoky Mountains--a story filled with humor and determination. It's as close as one can get to hiking the Appalachian Trail without strapping on a pack.Listen to the Barefoot Sisters read excerpts from their book here:Southbound Podcast - part 1 and here: Southbound Podcast - part 2

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780811735308
Publisher: Stackpole Books
Publication date: 01/09/2009
Series: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail Series
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 677,277
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Lucy Letcher is an artist and a writer. She has an MFA in printmaking from Edinburgh College of Art, and has exhibited in galleries in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. She currently lives and works in Berlin. Susan Letcher is a doctoral student in ecology at the University of Connecticut. She plans to work as a professor for study abroad courses in Costa Rica with the Organization for Tropical Studies.

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The Barefoot Sisters Southbound 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pure Joy! This was a extroidenary read, what a pleasure. It was like reading poetry & at the same time being able to use all your senses along with the Sister's as they hiked. The writing was excellent, loved all the details about the natural spots along the trail. The details were so vivid I felt like I was standing there with you, thank you. The only thing left undone for me, is an up-date on how the family from the North faired. Other than that I look forward to your next book. The two of you are incredible, and have such inner strengh. Hugs!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first time I heard about the Appalachian Trail was in Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods. It wasn't my favourite book of his and it didn't do much to capture my imagination at the time, but the more I read about the Trail, the more enticing it became. I stumbled upon a recent thru-hiker's blog and the seed was planted: One day, I want to thruhike the AT. Anyway, in one of my bouts of obsession I looked up a couple of books about hiking the AT, and ordered a few. This was one of them. Southbound made me feel like I was hiking the trail myself. I think it might have made me gain weight because of reading about pizzacravings and needing tons of calories - I hope I made up for it by walking a little extra, inspired by jackrabbit and Isis's adventures. Speaking of which, this book alternates between the recollections of 'Isis' and 'jackrabbit', the authors' trailnames. They both manage to describe their surroundings, the people they spend time with and their own thoughts and experiences very well, in a way that really lets their own personalities shine through. Sometimes I was confused because a certain part didn't seem like jackrabbit, only to realize I had skipped over a change in narrator, and vice versa. It really added another layer to the story for me because, despite being sisters, the two are rather different people with different outlooks on life and thus experienced the Trail in different ways. Finally, I was a little daunted by how thick the book was when I started. I could only hope it was a good read - and it was. A lot like how the sisters described the Trail, it started off as a daunting task, but when I was almost finished I was hesitant to keep reading because I didn't want their journey to end. Thankfully, there's a part two. This book was both an adventure and a breeze to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Strong, smart, and especially sane, women.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Want South bound and Northbound as audio books
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HYKERSLG More than 1 year ago
I felt like I was hiking alongside Isis and Jackrabbit while reading this book. At one point in the begining I even found myself getting so aggravated with one of the girls to the point that I shouted out loud! I was sad when the book ended, but hopeful when I saw the incomplete sentence of "to be continued..." So, I visited the B&N website in hopes that there was a sequel..the girls did say that they were going to yo-yo. I am dissapointed that there isn't a sequel...but I still highly reccomend this book, it will make you want to tie on your boots (or not) and get hiking!
thetentman More than 1 year ago
Simply one of the best Appalachian Trail narratives to come along in years. Well written and a good story if you like outdoor adventures and enjoy heartfelt and introspective writing this is for you. Susan and Lucy start in Maine and hike south on the AT and bare not only their feet along the way but their souls too. It is a journey of mental discovery as well as a grueling physical challenge by two of the most talented and smartest women you will ever come across. Way to go girls!