by Diane Spicer
Come along as I review Nancy East's book entitled Chasing The Smokies Moon.
The subtitle gives it away just a bit:
An audacious 948 mile hike, fueled by love, loss, laughter and lunacy
The author contacted Hiking For Her and offered a free copy of the book to read and review.
She also graciously offered to provide three copies for the Hiking For Her current giveaway (December 2021 - January 2022).
This is an unpaid review.
There is no affiliation between Hiking For Her and Nancy East, beyond the fact that we are both female hikers.
All comments and opinions belong to Hiking For Her.
Every author has her own deep motivations for writing a book.
Nancy East had several reasons to share her experience, which include:
Although there are approximately 800 miles of trails which are open at any one time in this park, it takes over 900 miles of hiking to complete them.
Blame these factors:
So what may sound straightforward is anything but!
Nancy and her hiking partner Chris had their share of frustrations and setbacks as they tallied up their 948 of miles. And that makes for a compelling story.
This is a tale of what happens when a woman with nearly grown children and a supportive spouse plans something a little "out there" with a long time trail buddy.
It's never a straight line to a hiking goal, and this book tells you just how arduous it was to cross that magic finish line of mileage in the Smokies.
And to do it faster than anyone else to date.
There are expected tales of woe regarding the damage thirty-plus miles a day does to a body.
The impact of weather related problems, logistical challenges and trail closures are well described.
There are mental battles to meet and surmount in the Smokies, too: missing her family, a muscle injury early on that causes her to reexamine her abilities, and more.
This book provides a crystal clear window into how a female hiker thinks about what happens on the trail: self doubt, second guessing, what ifs can gang up on a fatigued hiker.
Nancy also shares what motivates her to keep.going.no.matter.what. (Cheetos may or may not be involved).
This is important:
This book is a testament to Nancy East's physical and mental strength, in depth planning, supportive friends and family as well as her intrepid trail companion Chris.
There are many types of hikers who will enjoy this well written tale.
If you're already hiking in this area of the United States, you will love all the name dropping of campgrounds, trails and towns.
If you're planning to hike in the Smokies, this book can help you put together some ideas for a backpacking trip or string of day hikes.
Any hiker who needs inspiration and motivation to tackle a big hiking goal will enjoy traveling along with Nancy as she chips away at her goal.
I love the privilege of vicarious hiking given to me in books like this one. I deeply appreciate the chance to explore trails I will never visit in real life.
In this book, there are two clear messages that I fully support as a female hiker:
Nancy is a woman with heart.
Her story will inspire you.
So will her SAR background and positive attitude toward life.
If you'd like to purchase the book, visit Nancy's website Hope And Feather Travels.
Thanks for reading this Chasing The Smokies Moon book review!
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