In my grandfather’s footsteps…

My mother’s father owned this book and inscribed his name inside the cover in 1924. He was too busy as an attorney and in his other pursuits to spend a lot of time hiking with us in the summers on Mount Desert Island; however, I do remember a few.

photo of a book

After his death in 1980 and then my grandmother’s in 1994, his seven children and numerous grandchildren were able to select a few items as keepsakes. This book appealed to me then, and it does today. It covers a dizzying array of outdoor sports, from golf to sailing to riding a horse and also includes a brief chapter entitled, “Points on Camping Out.” There are two: how to build a fire in the woods on a rainy day, and how to tie a Diamond Hitch plus a Homemade Cinch. Not a word about titanium tent stakes. (See “A Weighty Matter.“)

Hancock Griffin, Jr., circa 1930’s.

There is also no mention of backpacking, which makes sense. The Appalachian Trail was just an idea in 1921 and not begun until 1923. (Trail completion was in 1937.)

Nonetheless, a picture fell out of the book that I didn’t put there and neither did my mother. It is from a winter hike in Acadia National Park in 1977. Since then, I’ve logged hundreds of miles on that stunning island.

If you haven’t been, lace up your boots, drive to Maine, and follow my grandfather’s footsteps.

Mom and me, December 1977

About Malcolm W Campbell

Father. Husband. Writer. Teacher. Outdoorsperson. And something else... Forgetful?
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3 Responses to In my grandfather’s footsteps…

  1. First of all, your grandfather was very handsome, just like you. Second of all. I never realized how much older than you I am. Your mom and I looked exactly the same age in 1977. I was 26 in 77. I was in the Berkshires. Two years later, I started grad school at Wesleyan.

  2. Jewel Beth Davis says:

    It’s funny to see your grandfather smoking a cigarette, although everyone did then. If you see a photo of my Dad, or me for that matter years ago, we always have a cigarette in the picture.

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