New Release SUMMONING THE MOUNTAINS: PILGRIMAGE INTO FORTY- a Modern Odyssey Explores the Mundane life Transition of Turning Forty as Viewed From the Appalachian Trail

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Seeking more out of life than what home and security have to offer, author and backpacker, Amy Allen left her human resources job to hike the Appalachian Trail seeking hiatus from demands of single parenting and the multi-tasking of the corporate world.

As a society, our day-to-day interactions have become so complex that humans are increasingly demanding sabbatical, time for personal reflection and growth outside of modern structure. More often than not, this search leads the individual back to our original relationship with our world, that of interaction with nature. For a century, our city environs have been bereft of natural spaces, but today we see the human community desperately trying to change that on a grassroots level. Vegetables are grown on rooftops, abandoned lots are transformed into community gardens, reclamation projects include green spaces and at-risk-youth programs foster outdoor skills as a path toward healing. The Appalachian Trail offers wilderness to those seeking refuge from civilization.

This trend in the American search for meaning is subtlety reflected in the author's hike as she comes to terms with forgiveness for a failed marriage, the continued demands of motherhood even as she seeks solitude, and those large life-questions that haunt each of us. Amy brings the "armchair hiker" the Appalachian Trail experience directly from the thru-hiker perspective through journal entries woven with narrative. We hike with her through storms, floods, dizzying climbs, hunger, injury, sickness and the ever-present pain that accompanies ten hours a day of hiking, all endured with understated and self-depreciative humor. From the cubicle to the forest, her odyssey ushers in the very modern life transition of turning forty and offers new possibilities for viewing the second half of adulthood.

An inspiration to anyone in life transition, Amy's story testifies that motherhood and adventure go hand in hand and that limitation can always be re-framed as opportunity.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Amy Allen holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Appalachian State University with a concentration in Anthropology and an English minor. Amy has been a backpacker for over 28 years. She has journaled her life experiences since age 12 and won the NC Federation of Women's Clubs District 5 Poetry Award at age 16. This is her first book. She lives in Western North Carolina with her husband Karl Allen, her sons, Joseph and Grayson, and Pachinko, the cat. Her latest adventure has been long haul trucking with her husband. Amy continues long-distance hiking and has completed the Foothills Trail and parts of the Benton MacKaye Trail.

SUMMONING THE MOUNTAINS: PILGRIMAGE INTO FORTY (ISBN 9781936214839, Saille Productions, a Wyatt MacKenzie Imprint, 2012) 250 pages, 8 x 5, Trade Paperback, $13.95, Kindle and Nook, $9.99 Available for purchase through local and online bookstores. For more information visit For interview with the author or review copies contact saille (at) wyattmackenzie (dot) com

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