“Anyone that dreams of the AT, either of past or future experiences, will appreciate this short but enjoyable read. Raiden introduces you to the trail by sections with enough details to be interesting but not so many as to be overbearing. His blossoming relationship with fellow thru-hiker Chilly Bin offers a refreshing and different perspective on a thru-hike and the common observation that “the trail provides.” After celebrating their successful finish atop Mount Katahdin, Raiden further offers advice for those contemplating a thru-hike, thus making this book an interesting personal memoir read as well as a mini-guide for future hikers.” -Jeff Blum, Author of Thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, A Complete Guide.
Sauntering Thru follows the true story of the author, Raiden, a scientist who escaped to the mountains and found humility, simple living, and a lifelong partner (Chilly Bin) whom he met, against all odds, while hiking through the woods covered in dirt. Together, they traveled from Georgia to Maine on foot – a 2192 mile thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. That summer, they experienced the immersive natural beauty of one of North America’s great long trails – alongside the mental lows of walking endless miles over ankle-breaking rocks; being swarmed by biting insects; and narrowly escaping numerous adventure-ending pitfalls such as dangerous hitchhikes, nearly shattering kneecaps, and barely avoiding hypothermia, twice.
These low points anchored this grand adventure, drew the couple together, and proved that together they could overcome any obstacle. It was the perfect experience, and it changed everything. This story aims to share both the euphoria and the harrowing difficulties of walking the Appalachian Trail while providing insights on minimalism and the other lessons taught by a summer living the simple life.
Join Chilly Bin and Raiden on their journey to Katahdin!
About the Author
Raiden is a successful Appalachian Trail thru-hiker and lifelong nature enthusiast. He has since been inducted into the “2000-miler club” for those who have walked the entire trail. Prior to hiking the AT, he completed a PhD in Neuroscience and published widely in academic journals. Now, he seeks to use these two distinct experiences to give back to the trail community. In 2021, Raiden will be traveling New Zealand with his wife Debra (Chilly Bin), a multi-trail thru-hiker he met on their second day hiking the Appalachian Trail.
You can contact Raiden, and keep up with his ongoing projects, by following him on his Facebook author’s page at Facebook.com/CodyJamesHowellAuthor or by emailing RaidenATnineteen@gmail.com