Called Again: A Story of Love and Triumph details Jennifer Pharr Davis’s journey to become the fastest person to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. Reeling from a breakup, Davis looks to speed hiking to help salve her soul. Immediately, she set her sights on the AT as her goal. A friend convinced her to start with Vermont’s Long Trail where she started her journey. After her Long Trail hike, she started her own hiking company because she was “convinced that the trail was the best and cheapest therapy” possible.
Her first AT speed attempt, aided by her husband Brew, landed her the women’s supported speed record. Several years later, she was back on the trail attempting to set the overall AT record.
In just over 46 days of intense effort on her part with help from Brew and a cast of supportive friends, friends of friends, and more, Davis battles shin splints, weather, exhaustion and more in achieving her goal.
If you enjoyed Wild, read this to get a glimpse of an outdoors woman learning how much she can accomplish. If you hated Wild, you’ll probably like Called Again. As a lover of most thru-hiker accounts, especially ones where an experienced hiker has a unique experience, I devoured this book in the space of a couple of hours.
This morning started with a nice leisurely breakfast with Chris before hitting the road bound for the Blue Ridge Parkway. We had a long coffee break at Doughton Park complete with yummy buttermilk biscuits (the cafe was really old complete with retro lunch counter in front of the grill). Leaving the cafe we were pretty excited to check out the music center but as has been typical of our Parkway experience it was closed. This left both of us feeling quite fed up with the park service (again).
A quick jaunt to the west on I-77 brought us to Pulaski (BFE). The first thing we saw driving into town was the home field of the Pulaski Mariners–the short season A-club for Seattle! This made my first order of business finding out whether they were in town. Sadly, their season won’t start until next week. Another bag of dog food and we were on our way to Virginia 730 and the lovely community of Eggleston. Further north, along highway 42, we crossed the Appalachian Trail where Sprocket and I took a short walk (F rested his calf) then we drove through Mayville. Just past the booming metropolis of Sinking Creek we spotted a turn off for a road into Jefferson National Forest. After the longest three miles ever there was a road to something knob (the sign was broken off) in 4 miles–we followed that over an even longer four rocky miles to our campsite for the night. When it’s really quiet we can hear the banjos.