September 2016 Environmental Spotlight Article in Natural Awakenings Magazine
Environment Spotlight: Shell Mounds Share Secrets to Area's History by Jacqueline Bodnar


What a wonderful afternoon! Over a year ago, I read the book "Grandma Gatewood's Walk," about Emma Gatewood. She's a hiking legend, who has thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail three times by herself (the first time being at the young age of 67). She did it with minimal supplies and no maps. She also did several other long distance hikes, including the Oregon Trail. She's amazing!

I've been waiting six months to hear Ben Montgomery, the book's author who is a journalist in Tampa at the Tampa Bay Times, to come speak in our county. It was great! I got to meet Ben and hear stories about Emma, who is his great, great aunt. Awesome! It's an amazing book, Emma's an amazing woman and hiking legend, and Ben is a fantastic researcher and writer, who lived and breathed putting Emma's story onto paper. He has helped to tell and preserve her legacy for many years to come. Awesome!

You can read my full review of "Grandma Gatewood's Walk" here. Next, I'm looking forward to reading his new book, "The Leper Spy: The Story of an Unlikely Hero of World War II." Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm an avid hiker and a history lover, so his books are right up my alley. Oh, I realized after I left that I forgot to show him my hiking tattoo, darn. Maybe next time!

- Jacqueline Bodnar