Howland resident Charles Anderson hiked the entire Appalachian Trail in sections starting in September 1992 and completing it in September 2001 and is sharing his experience in his first book ''Beyond My Limits: Adventures with God along the Appalachian Trail.''
The book was published in April and will be available during a book signing from 2 to 4 p.m. June 18 at Borders on Niles-Cortland Road.
The Pegotty Court resident said he wanted to walk the entire 2,160-mile trail through 14 states from Springer Mountain in Georgia north to Mt. Katahdin in Maine and did it in sections, with this year marking the 10th anniversary of his completing the trek.
Charles Anderson of Howland is shown in September 2001 when he completed hiking the Appalachian Trail through 14 states and various rugged terrain and weather conditions. Here he is in Maine at Katahdin. The Pegotty Court resident has written a book ‘‘Beyond My Limits’’ which tells of his experience of hiking the trail in sections from 1992 to 2001. He will be at a book signing from 2 to 4 p.m. June 18 at Borders in Howland.
''I have written articles on the Appalachian Trail for magazines and had the desire to share my hiking experience with others who would like to hike the trail but likely will not be able to ,'' Anderson said.
He said he enjoys writing and had kept nine journals with daily entries about what happened and what he encountered along the trail.
''The journals helped me when I sat down to write the book,'' Anderson said
His first year was 38 miles starting in Georgia which he completed in four days.
''I wanted to try it first to see how it was. I was intimidated since I had a heavy pack on my back but prepared through my walking and running at Howland Park before I started,'' Anderson said.
After the first 38 miles, the next trip he took was 500 miles over a few months.
He said his book focuses on his faith with Christ on his journey along the trail. Anderson said he had a special fellowship with the Lord on the journey and got to know him better.
When able he would contact his family to let them know how he was doing at some of the towns near the trail.
''I could not have done this without the support from others and from the Lord,'' he said.
Along his journey, he shared Christ with his fellow hikers in shelters and on the trail.
Anderson said his three sons and his wife accompanied him in some sections of the trip when they were able to. Sixty percent of the trip he hiked by himself.
''I got to know each of my sons better when each walked with me on sections of the trail,'' he said.
His sons, Chad, David and Mark, walked when able and then returned to their work.
Anderson said his wife, Babs, hiked with him for seven miles i Virginia's Shenandoah Mountains.
Anderson, who has been a missionary church planner with Mid-Missions in France, said when you get into the wilderness you feel part and have less fear of the wildlife.
He said he did encounter a few rattlesnakes on the trail which he simply stepped back from and avoided.
At a three-sided shelter in Maine, he encounter a large bull moose.
''It was early in the morning and I heard a noise. When I looked out there was a moose 10 feet from me. I had read where more people are killed by moose than bears. The moose looked and then backed away from the shelter,'' Anderson said.
The weather also was at times a challenge, including in Virginia when he dealt with the effects of Hurricane Floyd, which forced many hikers off the trail or to hide in shelters along the trail.
Anderson said there were challenging rugged terrain sections to walk through along the trail including 650 mountainous regions. Through the walk he lost more than 20 pounds.
''It was quite an experience walking this beautiful trail,'' Anderson said of the trek.
He completed the journey three weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and found out what had happened a few days after from another hiker on the trail.
He has also hiked with his sons the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming
Since the books release, Anderson has been on talk shows, spoken at churches and attended book signings.
The 200-plus page book is $16.95 and it available at Borders, Lion / Lamb in the Eastwood Mall in Niles and amazon.com.