Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Hike for Mike

Jeff Alt
Dreams Shared Publications

On July 29th, 2003, Jeff Alt and his wife, Beth, embarked on a hike along the 218 mile John Muir Trail to raise awareness of depression. After losing Beth's brother suicide, they decided to launch the Hike For Mike campaign - designed to help families recognize the signs of depression and prevent the common end result of suicide.

Hikers and non-hikers alike will enjoy this adventure filled journey through three national parks and some of the most dramatic scenery in the United States. Alt gives a detailed and accurate account of the challenges involved in carrying a 50-pound pack for eight to ten hours a day. The couple dodged lighting storms, bears, shady trail folk, and injuries before reaching the end of the trail high atop Mt. Whitney—the highest point in the United States. Humor is central to Alt's storytelling - a lost bag of clothing, the smells of the trail, and the lack of bathroom facilities are all described in a way that is sure to get a chuckle out of the reader. The book also provides a wealth of facts and information about depression and the land naturalist John Muir describes as “mountains of the sky, solid-looking, finely sculptured, their richly varied topography, wonderfully defined.”

Most importantly, this book is incredibly inspiring. Jeff states that his mission is to entertain and inspire you to go after your dreams, get outside, and bring your family along for the ride hike. His writing really does make you want to strap on a pack, hit the trail, and conquer the incredible challenges of Mother Nature. A Hike For Mike also inspires the readers to become activists in issues close to their hearts.

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