Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Healing Grief: Hiking Through book review

Hiking Through

By Paul Stutzman


ISBN: 978-0-8007-2053


May 2012

Inspirational Memoir

Healing grief is different for everyone: some try, some don’t, some make rash decisions or none at all. Paul Stutzman through-hiked the Appalachian Trail one summer two years after his wife’s death from cancer.

Leaving his career as a restaurant manager and taking the hike, Stutzman says he needed a greater purpose than simply making a drastic change in his life. His goals were twofold: “to remind men to appreciate what they have today—don’t take your family and your wife for granted.” Secondly, he wanted to write a book showing “that the Christian life doesn’t have to be boring.”

And boring this book is not. From the prologue where the author states he uses only trail names to identify his trail brothers and sisters so they can claim plausible deniability if ever accused of any of the stunts, to the rain, sleet, festivals, and fear, Hiking Through is a great journey book that’s more than a guide; it’s a quest for peace.

Taking the trail name Apostle, Stutzman begins his journey with a photo op, then hiking north from Georgia to Maine over four and a half months. Starting in April with thirty-five pounds of tent, bear bag, and notebook, Stutzman hoped to walk a thirty-mile leg one day, one of the few goals he never met. I’ve become addicted over the past few years to follow Interstate highways and freeways ever since accidently driving the entire length of I65, and I enjoy hiking, but Stutzman’s pictures helped me decide to continue to enjoy “through drives.” More photos are available on his web site He’s begun a “biking through” adventure as well.

Walk with the author as he meets wonderful and exotic hikers with names like Sailor, Bubbles, Sir Entity, and Litefoot as they walk through fourteen states in all kinds of terrain and weather, beautiful scenery, and dangerous overnight conditions as well as enjoyable ones such as old stagecoach stops and hotels. I’m a sucker for the history and details Stutzman shares about the various places along the trail, such as Civil War sites, and general early Americana. The life-lessons Stutzman shares? Well, I’ll let you discover those as you read.

Available May 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


  1. Interesting . Found you via an interview on another blog!