Hiking Through: One Man's Journey to Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail  -     By: Paul Stutzman
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Hiking Through: One Man's Journey to Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail

Revell / 2012 / Paperback

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Product Description

After the devastating loss of his wife to cancer, Stutzman was challenged to hike the entire 2,176 miles of the Appalachian Trail in search of peace and a renewed sense of purpose. What he learned during the next four months changed his life---and could change yours as well! 360 pages, softcover from Revell.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 336
Vendor: Revell
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0800720539
ISBN-13: 9780800720537
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

After Paul Stutzman lost his wife to breast cancer, he sensed a tug on his heart--the call to a challenge, the call to pursue a dream. Paul left his stable career, traveled to Georgia, and took his first steps on the Appalachian Trail. What he learned during the next four and a half months changed his life--and will change readers' lives as well.

In Hiking Through, readers will join Paul on his remarkable 2,176-mile hike through fourteen states in search of peace and a renewed sense of purpose, meeting fascinating and funny people along the way. They'll discover that every choice we make along the path has consequences for the journey and will come away with a new understanding of God's grace and guidance. Nature-lovers, armchair adventurers, and those grieving a loss may not be able to hike the AT themselves, but they can go on this spiritual pilgrimage with a truly humble and sympathetic guide.

Author Bio

Paul Stutzman is a former restaurant manager who left his career after his wife's death from breast cancer. He hiked the Appalachian Trail in search of peace, healing, and freedom. His passion and mission is to share what he learned on that remarkable journey. Paul grew up in the Mennonite church. When he is not hiking or on a cross-country bike ride he makes his home in Berlin, Ohio.

Publisher's Weekly

Stutzman, a former restaurant manager and now first-time author, has rendered an engaging account of his dramatic response in the traumatic aftermath of loss. His 32-year marriage ended when his wife died of cancer just as they were planning their golden years. This precipitated a crisis that landed him in the mud, cold, wet, and filth of what it takes a human being to complete—in less than five months—the “thru-hike” on the Appalachian Trail. For those unfamiliar with the physical, psychological, and spiritual demands of the Trail, the book will be eye-opening, digressions into sentimentality notwithstanding. Despite the details about what a thru-hiker endures day-to-day putting one foot in front of the other, the narrative describes a greater leap. The biggest step he took was the day he resigned at the restaurant. “Could I change my mind?” he asks rhetorically. Nope, he can’t. In places the book lacks what it implicitly cries out for: in-the-gut details of the unrelenting struggle (“The climb... is rocky and strenuous”). Even so, Appalachian Trail enthusiasts, hikers, and dreamers will find this story a compelling account of the physicality of coming to terms with life and its sadnesses. (May) 2012 Reed Business Information

Product Reviews

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  1. wisconsin
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    bought extra copies to give away!!!
    October 19, 2012
    danusia
    wisconsin
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Loved this book! Bought extra copies to give away to my Hiker friends!!
  2. Decatur, GA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Mountains to Ascend: Ups&Downs of the AT & Life
    September 3, 2012
    Janice Garey
    Decatur, GA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Have you been in awe of those among us who have the willpower and perseverance to hike all 2,176 miles of the Appalachian Trail? Well, meet Paul Stutzman who did it. On the trail he was known as Apostle Paul. Not only did he hike it, but he also journaled his physical, emotional and spiritual progress over those miles.

    Paul had an emotional mountain to ascend as he faced the grief of losing his wife to cancer. He hiked alongside others who were meeting life goals and some, like himself, were putting their physical body to the extreme test while healing emotional wounds from extreme loss.

    Another dimension revealed within the grandeur of beauty pierced by hardships of storms along the way was Paul Stutzman's feeling of the divine unseen companionship of God. A formerly shallow acknowledgement of God's part in his life was replaced with recognition of God's protection. Paul discovered the depth of God's love and care for him and others through serendipidous encounters.

    My husband liked this book so much that he read it aloud to me while we commuted to and from work. He, like Paul Stutzman, has hiked the AT from Georgia to Maine. Much was familiar to him except for the use of cell phones for making arrangements and the level of amenities available at some points. Things were more basic or primitive when my husband hiked it in 1973.

    This was such a good book for us to share on so many levels. It is the hike of a lifetime realized even by sitting through the story. It feels like being there on the trail with all the humorous situations and painful slips and falls. It gives a new perspective to the ups and downs of life. Thankfully, by reading the book you do not have to sweat or get blisters. Your marriage will be helped if you choose to read this with your spouse.
  3. Cushing, Ok
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    June 13, 2012
    page turner
    Cushing, Ok
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I really enjoyed this book. If you are curious about the Appalachian Trail, this book tells alot of things about it. I was impressed with the detail he took the time to include. I like true adventure stories like this and would like to read his next book Biking Through. He is very God-conscious and that was very appealing to me, plus the honesty about himself, about the trail and the people he encountered. I pass alot of my books on to my mother and I am going to encourage her to read it.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Never thought I would enjoy a book like this!
    May 22, 2012
    Booklover10
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I'll be honest with you. I fully expected to hate this book. In fact, I was fairly certain that I would open the pages of this book and find it so extremely boring that I wouldn't even be able to finish it. I was actually hesitant in reviewing this book, but then decided to do it because you never know what books you will end up liking. Then when I got it, I was not enthused about reading it and kind of dreading it. Now, are you ready for the shocker?! I loved it! This book was not a book of facts. It was not a bunch of random stories about the AT thrown into a book. It was not a book about some deep philosophical thing learned on the AT.

    First off, I love anything about the Amish/Mennonites, so you can imagine how enthused I was after reading the chapter on his family and how he grew up Amish and then left to go to a Mennonite church. When I flipped the book open to start what I through would be endless ramblings causing my eyes to cross, I actually found myself hooked from page 1 and so curious about his hike that I stayed up 2 hours past my bedtime each night to finish it. I couldn't believe that reading someone else's story about the AT would be so wonderful.

    My heart hurt for him as he walks through the death of his wife. I can't imagine the pain and loneliness he must have felt some nights on the trail. I laughed so hard in the chapter about how miserable and rainy it was. I thought it was hilarious that someone from a church group had made a bowl of chili, so as people were going to sleep, endless noises were making him stay awake thanks to the snoring and well...other things.

    Paul was honest about how he just needed to hear from God during this time of solitude. He went from Georgia to Maine on the AT and completed his dream of hiking through the AT.

    Even if you aren't normally into reading books on hiking or nature, I think you'll find yourself as shocked as I was that you actually like this book. Give it a try, even if it's not what you normally read. Paul writes in such a way that you journey along with him through the highs and lows of the AT and of life.

    _______________

    I received this book free from Revell Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    A journey of more than just miles
    May 19, 2012
    Christy Lockstein
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Hiking Through by Paul Stutzman is the story of one man's journey on the Appalachian trail, through grief, and to understanding about God. Stutzman spent his life working at a restaurant to make enough money for he and his wife to enjoy when he retired. Unfortunately, his wife, Mary, died of breast cancer, and he was left along and struggling with guilt, grief, and depression. He decided to fulfill a life-long dream of hiking the entire Appalachian trail, all 2,176 miles and fourteen states as a way to find God and to spread his message to husbands to cherish their families and take time to enjoy them. God hijacked Stutzman's journey and gave him a very different message, one that the author shares with readers about hope and trusting in God. I've always had a fascination with the Appalachian trail, and as my illness keeps me from ever fulfilling it, I enjoy reading about others' experiences on it. Stutzman's writing is part travelogue, part journal, part devotional. He does a great job of allowing readers to see through his eyes the beauty he witnessed in God's creation: the storms, the butterflies, the majestic mountaintops. He doesn't just stop to smell the flowers; he tastes them! Stutzman shares many stories about small miracles on the trail, strange coincidences that have God's fingerprints all over them, and he encourages readers to seek out God on their own journey and see what He has to tell them. One of the most powerful messages Stutzman has for readers is that of trusting God in the midst of grief. Here's my own coincidence: I signed up for this blog tour months ago, never knowing that I would need to read a book on grief. But last week Saturday, my dog Cooper was hit and killed by a car. I would never consider weighing the loss of a dog with that of a spouse, but my grief and pain is very real, and I've been struggling all week with the question of "Why, God? Why?" Toward the end of the book, Stutzman stops writing about the trail and for a few paragraphs addresses this very question in such a way that I couldn't help but sob, and then began to feel some peace. He's a great plainspoken writer with a gift for detail and self-deprecation that keeps readers hooked for mile after mile. God gave Stutzman a mission on that trail, and he fulfills it well with this book. I hope he decides to take another journey someday and take the rest of us along with his again.
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