I first heard of Jeff Alt and 'A Walk For Sunshine' through another blogger's site and curiosity about this 2,160 mile trek for charity on the Appalachian Trail led me to read more about this intrepid hiker.
Since I know very little of the Appalachians I decided to look at a map and available resources and was immediately struck by the length of such a journey. 2,160 miles, more than 5 million steps and all in tribute of a brother? If this alone did not speak out to me, the fact his book is published by a company called 'Dreams Shared' was enough to reach me! I believe myself nothing more than a dreamer after all!
The next thing of course I had to do in order to understand what this trek was all about was to read the book.
As the wife of a Scoutmaster, Youth leader, Rock climber, Spelunker and Hiker (let's not forget virtual DC3 pilot), I thought this to be just another book about hiking challenges and camping experiences in the wilderness.
It is important to know this trek is not for amateurs! This magnificent trail attracts betwixt 2000 and 3000 hikers each year yet only about 10% actually complete the journey. Jeff Alt gives us an example of how little prepared some hikers are on page 218 but also speaks of Earl Shaffer who was the first person to finish the trail in 1948 and was again hiking at age 80 hundred of miles south on the trail!
It is amazing what one person will do for love and this is certainly the feeling you will receive when reading this incredible adventure. Jeff Alt speaks of his brother Aaron with respect and it immediately left me with the impression of a very special person.
Born with cerebral palsy and mental retardation, Aaron would not be able to live his dreams due to these challenges but his family cared enough to make sure his needs would be met.
The story of Sunshine, Aaron's home and the fundraiser Jeff Alt organized to purchase much needed equipment for Sunshine's residents is one that will stir your heart!
A Walk For Sunshine is nothing short of breathtaking and an absolute read for anyone! Since the original trek, Jeff Alt's family and friends have raised more than $160,000 and brother Aaron has not missed a walk! In fact most residents participates in the yearly 5K walk, some walking, some in wheelchairs!
In this inspirational book, you will meet a caring person who describes a land only God could have blessed in so many ways.
You will find Jeff Alt to be an excellent storyteller, a serious hiker and always a gentleman! In turns serious and funny (find out why his trail name is Wrongfoot on page 36!), this is a beautiful story you should not miss!
Humour can indeed spread a smile over difficult times. Dreams can be achieved through lots of small steps in the right direction and I am very glad I read this book!
I could not give anything less than 5 stars!
About the Author:
Jeff Alt received a Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Award. You can read more about him on this website (here)
Note: A DVD is also available at Amazon! Author, adventurer and story teller Jeff Alt, takes you along with him on a 2,000 mile hike along the Appalachian Trail, in this documentary, with hilarious and engaging tales, stunning photography, and music.
Just a reminder as always: I was not asked to review this book and received no compensation for it (only the satisfaction I shared a great story with my readers)!