In Beauty May She Walk; Hiking the Appalachian Trail at 60
- Author: Leslie Mass
- Publisher: Rock Spring Press
- Year Published: 2005
- Number of Pages: 416
In 2000, inspired by her father, Leslie Mass decided she would turn a lifelong fantasy into reality. At the age of 59 she began to train for a grueling journey a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.
In Beauty May She Walk chronicles Leslie’s struggles and triumphs during her hike. On the trail, Leslie struggles with how to balance the needs of her family and friends while making the trail a priority; how to shed years of social conditioning that dictate how a woman should act; and how to know when to ask for help, while understanding that sometimes, help has to come from within.
For the first few weeks, Leslie learns how to pitch a tent in the rain, keep animals out of her food, and lighten the load on her back. As the terrain toughens, she struggles to physically keep up with the trail community she depends on socially to keep going, and realizes the difficulty of maintaining her obligations to family and friends while focusing her efforts on putting one foot in front of the other, every day. And after September 11, 2001, she copes with being seemingly the only hiker on the trails for miles, eventually forcing her to change her definition of “hiking her own hike.”
A suburban college professor, Leslie is just like any other woman you might pass on the grocery aisle. Her story is an inspiring physical and mental journey to reach the goal of a lifetime.