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.
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.“)
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.