As part of the Downeast Lakes Land Trust’s (DLLT) ongoing Book Series, “A Child’s Walk in the Wilderness” was the featured topic of discussion this past Tuesday evening at the Grand Lake Stream School Building. Written by acclaimed author and journalist, Paul Molyneaux, and illustrated by his son, Asher, “A Child’s Walk in the Wilderness” is the account of the father-and-son duo’s thru-hike on the famed Appalachian Trail (AT).
In 2010, after being inspired by the film “Last of the Mohicans” and the writings of Benton MacKaye, the founder of the Appalachian Trail, then 7-year-old Asher asked his father if they could hike the entire trail. With a little bit of research and planning and a lot of help from Paul’s wife, Regina, the East Machias, Maine residents were on their way. They told humorous stories of bad weather, wildlife encounters, and the colorful characters they met on the Georgia-to-Maine walk. Paul and Asher carefully planned their route to avoid the risk of Lyme disease and bad weather, and completed their trip on October 9th on the snowy summit of Mount Katahdin. Upon completion, Asher became the second youngest thru-hiker in the history of the AT.
“The main thing that I took away from the trail was how often we take things for granted,” said Asher, now 13 years old. “We have a fridge full of food and hot water out of the faucet and you have none of that on the trail.”
Both Paul and Asher highlighted the many valuable life lessons that were learned along the 2,168 mile footpath. Through a slideshow of images and video clips, the pair gave a very realistic glimpse into “life on the trail.” The audience had numerous questions and were grateful to hear all about their tale of the Appalachian Trail.
DLLT regularly hosts speakers, community forums, work parties, and workshops, and leads outdoor adventures that highlight the natural and cultural history of the Maine woods and waters. Visit our website to discover what is happening next!