On the Bookshelf: Hiking Through by Paul Stutzman

An admission. The very first thing I did when I received Hiking Through: One man’s journey to peace and freedom on the Appalachian Trail was flip to approximately the center of the book to see if Stutzman mentioned any local trail landmarks or towns.

Of course, he did. There in black and white was the tale of eating the traditional half-gallon of ice cream at Pine Grove Furnace State Park, just to the south. And a mention of the beautiful village of Boiling Springs, where I went to school. Several pages were devoted to Duncannon, a town just north that’s about to be designated an Appalachian Trail community.

But, I soon discovered Stutzman’s journey was about much, much more than the landmarks a hiker passes on the great trail from Georgia to Maine. Along the path of the trail, Stutzman found comfort and peace and he experienced God through the people he met, the beauty of the trail, and the “coincidences” that marked his 2000 mile journey.

Hiking Through is a book about a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, but that adventure is not just about putting in mile after mile through difficult terrain and dangerous weather. It’s also about opening your mind and heart to God’s guidance, understanding that every choice influences the path ahead.

And that’s an adventure any of us can take.

Available May 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Thanks to Revell for providing me with a copy of this book for review!