He was an iconic American folk hero best known as the first person to force a passage through the length of Grand Canyon National Park in one arduous solo journey. He was the world’s most famous long-distance walker.
He was the first thru-hiker.
Called the father of modern backpacking by Backpacker Magazine and others, Fletcher was the one who showed us the waymore than a million people followed his shadow into the green world.
Born in Wales, he was in the first wave of British Marines to hit the beachhead in Normandy on D-Day. After the war he farmed in Kenya, prospected in British Columbia, and then began his writing career in California where he wrote and published ten books.
Fletcher’s was a preeminent and powerful voice for environmental concerns on par with Edward Abbey and John Muir. He was to the outdoor world and its preservation, what Leonard Bernstein was to music, or Walter Cronkite to reporting. When Colin Fletcher had something to say, people listened.
The impact of his work, while unacknowledged, is seen far and wide today.
Although most of them don’t know it, the hordes of hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail today would not be there without Fletcher’s pioneering work.
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About the Author
Date of Death:November 1, 2008
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Emerging - Youth 1922-1943 1
Chapter 2 Hiatus - The War Years 33
Chapter 3 Searching - Africa 1946-1952 53
Chapter 4 Probing - Canada 1952-1956 77
Chapter 5 Finding - San Francisco and Tim 1956-1958 101
Chapter 6 Metamorphosis - The Walk Up California 1958 129
Chapter 7 Loss - Tim's Betrayal, The Walk Up England 1959-1962 159
Chapter 8 Waiting - A year spent dreaming about Grand Canyon 1962-1963 181
Chapter 9 Time - Grand Canyon 1962-1963 207
Chapter 10 Fame! - The Thousand-mile Summer, another Grand Canyon Trek 1963-1968 223
Chapter 11 Trouble - 1967-1968 259
Chapter 12 Next - Back to Africa, Winds of Mara, Finding Trunkman's Cave, Pearce Ferry to Hoover Dam 1968-1972 279
Chapter 13 Interlude: The Fletcherites - Fans and Emulators 1968-Today 315
Chapter 14 Barriers - Carmel Valley, Alaska 1972-1979 343
Chapter 15 Cavemen - The Trunkman Years, Tennis 1974-1981 369
Chapter 16 Challengers - Colin in his 60s 1983-1985 399
Chapter 17 OKYHOWL - Many Failed Ideas, New Friends: Pim Chavasant, Adrian Sanford, John Sexton, The River Journey 1985-1989 431
Chapter 18 Footprints - Writing River, Tennis Mania, Judy Tagg, Last Will and Testament, The Triumvirate, Chip Rawlins, The Complete Walker IV, The Unfinished Autobiography 1990-2001 455
Chapter 19 Withdrawal - The Accident, Fletcher's Last Years, Giving Up, Final Moments 2001-2007 481
Chapter 20 CODA- Man-Crud, Buried Treasures, CIA Connection, The Fletcher Collection, Legacy et at. 497
Appendix A Fletcherisms 509
Appendix B Colin Fletcher: Life Timeline 517
Appendix C 1963 Grand Canyon National Park Traverse Timeline 521
Appendix D Artifacts Found at Chuckawalla Bill's Cave 525
Garlands of Appreciation 527
About the Author 539