GALLIPOLIS — Outdoor enthusiasts from nine different states recently traveled to Bossard Library for a presentation with YouTube sensation and long-distance hiker Jessica “Dixie” Mills.
A large audience filled the library’s Riverside Room as Mills spoke about life on the trail, how she was introduced to long-distance or “thru-hiking,” as well as life lessons learned while hiking.
Mills, who completed the “Triple Crown” of hiking in 2018 after she successfully hiked the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail, is the host of the popular YouTube channel Homemade Wanderlust. The channel has over 383,000 subscribers where Mills posts weekly videos documenting her various hikes, as well as thru-hiking tips and gear reviews for her fellow adventurers.
In addition to discussing her own experiences hiking the Appalachian Trail, Mills also expressed her appreciation and admiration for Gallia County native Emma “Grandma” Gatewood, well-known as the first solo female thru-hiker of the Appalachian Trail who first took to the trail in the 1950s. Mills discussed Gatewood as a pioneer in long-distance hiking, as well as her own recent hikes along the Grandma Gatewood Trail and Buckeye Trail at Hocking Hills. During this hike, which is documented in a YouTube video published in September, Mills utilized only the gear Gatewood would have used during her hikes along the Appalachian Trail.
According to Bossard Library Director Debbie Saunders, the Library had to request that attendees register in advance for the event due to the interest the program garnered. Audience members hailed from states as far away as Arkansas, Wisconsin, and South Carolina.
For more information about Jessica “Dixie” Mills, view her videos on the Homemade Wanderlust YouTube channel. For more information on Grandma Gatewood, stop by Bossard Library to borrow a copy of “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail” by Ben Montgomery or to view Grandma Gatewood’s scrapbook.
For additional information about Bossard Library, including information about upcoming programs, visit bossardlibrary.org.
This piece submitted by staff of Bossard Library.