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A Walk for Sunshine: A 2,160 Mile Expedition for Charity on the Appalachian Trail

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  472 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Jeff Alt takes you along every step of his 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail adventure filled with humorous, frightening and inspirational stories including, bears, bugs, blisters, skunk bed mates and hilarious food cravings. As Alt walked through freezing temperatures, driving rain and sunny skies, he was constantly buoyed by the knowledge that his walk was dedicated to his br ...more
ebook, Third Edition, 304 pages
Published September 12th 2009 by Dreams Shared Publications (first published 2000)
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Generally now I rate books now with 1 to 5 stars without any comment but felt I needed to take the time to write this review.

I appreciate what Jeff Alt was trying to accomplish, and I know giving a book that is based on a charitable act, less than a glowing review, is unpopular. But I feel taken in by this book (my own fault) by the out of this world reviews and touted “awards” garnered by it. I shelled out $9.99 for the book and I guess I’m a bit irked.

I have read most of the books on the AT an
I generally love books about hiking the Appalachian Trail. This one sucked. I'm sure that Jeff Alt is a spectacular human being, and he came across that way in the book, but he desperately needed an editor to keep him on the straight and narrow. In one chapter gnats was spelled knats, and in the next it had morphed to nats. And he 'nawed' his food in one place. His pronouns needed help, too. "My thoughts and prayers were with he and his nephew." Every paragraph had a dangling participial phrase. ...more
I don't want to trash this too much because the guy did something amazing (thru-hike the AT) and raised a lot of money for charity and it just seems mean to critique this honestly in light of that. Basically I give this 2 stars for his drive and intentions but he is not a writer and stretches of this were painful to read. There are definitely some seeds of good stories in here, but he does not cultivate them properly. It's like reading a middle school essay. He includes every detail regardless o ...more
Aug 18, 2008 Runnergirl rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This is a well written account of a man that walked the 2160-mile Appalachian Trail dedicated to his brother, born with cerebral palsy. A Walk for Sunshine is an award-winning finalist of three book award contests and has received high praise from top reviewers with positive comments such as: Highly Recommended, gripping, inspiring, entertaining, humorous, motivating, and hard to put down. This easy to read book is an incredible adventure full of refreshing anecdotes as the author navigates the ...more
Todd Lentocha
“A Walk for Sunshine,” by Jeff Alt. Jeff takes the reader on his six- month adventure of walking the Appalachian Trail. He through-hikes from Georgia to Maine, completing the 2160-mile journey as a labor of love. Jeff’s brother was born with Cerebral Palsy and is mentally handicapped. As a result he lives in a facility that is properly able to care for him. Jeff, after stints in the Army and college, decides to hike to raise money for this facility. He raised over $16,000 dollars!
It is said th
P.J. Wetzel
(4 1/2 stars, but I always round up)

Jeff Alt hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1998 for a cause near to his heart. His severely handicapped brother, unable to communicate or care for himself because of cerebral palsy, had to be institutionalized when the family could no longer care for him. The institution they finally settled on, Sunshine Inc. of Maumee, Ohio, proved to be a first class resource, and Jeff sought to help raise money to support their work.

He tirelessly worked toward a goal of raisin
Thebestdogmom Stiner
Awesome book. A guy hikes the Appalacian Trail for charity. The charity is the home where his handicapped brother lives in Toledo, OH. The author is so real, he could be someone that you know. Sometimes funny, sometimes serious, but always honest. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others.
*** I emailed the author to tell him I enjoyed his book. He wrote back within 2 days to say hello and he was glad I enjoyed his book. Very nice!
I love reading about AT through hikes. The downfall of this book for me, however, was the incessant cheerfulness of the narrator. I wish he had told us more about the ways in which the trail truly challenged him. It seemed superficial. On content alone, I might have given this 3ish stars. But as a grammar geek, the many, many glaring spelling and editorial errors in this book really just distracted me away from the plot.
A good light read with the author sharing a lot for those considering a long-distance hike. His portrayel of the challenges and joys of this outing interwoven with his interactions with other hikers and the mainly friendly people in communities along the trail keep you interested once the hike commences.
Maria U
The book is informative,especially for someone, like me, who would love hike the Appalachian trail but never will. The writing is horrible, but the information is valuable and interesting.
Well written, and uplifting this story takes the readers along the AT for the highs and lows and really helps to inspire you to want to get outdoors. There aren’t a ton of laugh out loud moments (like Bill Bryce’s “A Walk in the Woods”), but there are enough real movements to connect you to the author trail and other hikers you meet along the way. In addition I like that this is a story about doing the trail for a reason other the self-development. I personally find those types of stories (such ...more
Rosalind Gallaspie
Jeff Alt needs a new editor/proof reader. Nominative and objective case.... can it be that difficult!
A friend recommended this to me and I'm glad he did. I thoroughly enjoyed Jeff Alt's story of his hike on the Appalachian Trail in 1998, for a few reasons. First, I enjoy hiking, so I love hearing others's stories. But in this case, the author tells us of the myriad challenges he faced which includes a broken pair of boots! It was awesome to see his endurance and fortitude.

Going beyond the simple mechanics of the hike, it was awesome to see the motivation behind both the book and event. Sunshine
Lenore Webb
Did you overindulge like most of us during the holidays? I set a New Year Resolution to lose weight and get in shape? I know it is my all the time resolution. I have tried diet plans before only to find myself back to my old eating habits? How do you keep your waistline in check when you overeat? Take A Hike! So says outdoor enthusiast extraordinaire and author Jeff Alt. I just finished reading 'A Walk for Sunshine' and watched the DVD this weekend with Dear Hubby. I was hoping this would help m ...more
This is a very engaging and uplifting account of an amazing accomplishment. What most struck me about this particular story is the way it illustrates how we can each use our own talents and interests to make the world a better place for others. I was really disappointed in Leslie's criticism of "hiking for causes" - "we hikers are really tired of hiking for causes--blah!" How anyone could find something negative in Jeff taking on a great personal, physical and financial challenge in order to ben ...more
This a memoir about Jeff Alt who walked the entire length of the Applachian Trail (2,160 miles long from Georgia to Maine)from the beginning of March until the end of July 1998 in order to raise money for the Sunshine Community in Toledo, Ohio. Jeff's brother, Aaron, lives there with cerebral palsy (he ended up raising $16,000, and that was only the beginning). The book is full of information about what it's like to walk the trail - the physical, emotional, and spiritual endurance it takes. His ...more
Sandra Stiles
I can remember when I was younger doing walk-a-thons to raise money for various things at our schools. The longest I had walked was 20 miles. I believed that was a lot until I read this book. Jeff alt walked 2,160 miles to fulfill a dream and raise money for a worthy cause. When I walk today I complain if I have to walk in a little bit of drizzle or if the weather is too hot. Jeff walked in downpours, snow, extremely cold weather or extremely hot weather and still kept on going. His dream was to ...more
Shellys♥ Journal
Jeff Alt is on a mission. He decides to walk the Appalachian Trail as a fundraiser for the group home that his handicapped brother lives in. Alt has just gotten has Master's degree and has worked in marketing for a few years, so his experience makes for a very prepared AT hiker and charity fundraiser. Alt shares his journey in small pieces - showing detailed maps of his progress and giving his final destination for the end of each chapter. He's an early season hiker - and on a mission, so he mis ...more
This is an inspiring memoir of Jeff Alt's arduous completion of the Applachian Trail (AT) by hiking from Georgia to Maine to raise money for Sunshine, the group home where his brother affected by cerebral palsy lives. His positive attitude, determination,friendliness and support from family and friends all contribute to his success. Only a small fraction of people who attempt this hike complete it; afterall, hiking through several feet of snow, weeks straight of rain, and huge blisters can be a ...more
Jeff Alt sets out on an amazing 2,160 mile adventure on the Appalachian trail. His goal: to raise money for the home his brother lives in, a home for the disabled, called The Sunshine Home.
He begins his quest at the beginning of course, Springer Mountain, Georgia and after going through 14 states, 147 days later he reaches his goal! Along the way he tells of his experience with the gear, the people he meets, the places that he stays. He also tells of his experience with critters and injuries. H
A charming, sweet & fun book about one man's adventure on the AT while raising money for his disabled brother. There were a few minor grammar & spelling issues, but the writing really came from Mr. Alt's heart & I found his enthusiasm contagious.
Jason Stein
Great story

Really enjoyed this. I've done one section hike but ready to return for more. This book helped re-energize me. The trail magic seems to come alive.
David Spencer
There's nothing wrong with this book; it's an easy read detailing his motivation for hiking the AT and some of his experiences over the six months it took him to do it.

But it's hard to recommend it, just the same. There's nothing that special about the book; the personal growth is missing. It's very much a story about the trail, and about hiking it for charity, and not a story about himself. I just have trouble getting emotionally invested in a story that doesn't let me in, at all.

I'm glad I rea
Excellent read. Yes, the prose wasn't amazing, and there weren't exactly "plot twists", but this wasn't that kind of book. When it first started, I thought, "How on earth is an entire book about one (dog-less) hike going to be interesting?" But it was. All kinds of things happen on a 2,000+ mile trek. And most of all, it was an inspiring read. Doesn't quite make me want to hike the entire AT, but I'll likely be doing something similar (on a tinier scale) in the future. The best part is, he did i ...more
Well, I've been obsessed with Apalachian Trail memoirs lately, so I read this one. Coming right after The Barefoot Sisters Southbound to which I gave 5 stars, there is just no comparison. It's very impressive that he hiked the trail as a fundraiser for charity, and he's probably a very nice person, but it's just not the best trail memoir I've read. It's certainly not the worst either! That would be Timber! Which was just awful! My favorites so far were Becoming Oydasa and the The Barefoot Sister ...more
Oct 07, 2008 Lesley rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nature lovers and those wanting to be inspired
Recommended to Lesley by: a friend
Jeff Alt is an outstanding author and did a tremendous job taking us along on his inspirational journey. There is humor sprinkled throughout from his trail name to his night out with a skunk. You truly feel as if you are on the trail beside him in the good and the tough times. This book makes you want to get out your backpack and hit the trails. With the stresses of every day life this book is truly motivational and walking for his brother is inspirational. What a great read, now I am off to buy ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed it. Quick read and you know what to expect
Donna Pelletier
I enjoyed this book. I have read so many thru-hiking books lately that it is hard to distinguish one from another. I am looking for one that I can crown "the best". This one was good and worth the read but I am still looking for more.
Kathleen Richards
Well written and inspiring: I thoroughly enjoyed reading "A Walk for Sunshine" from the first page to the last. This book makes you want to go out and pursue all your dreams. It is not only an excellent, funny and inspirational tale of the trail but applies to life in general. It is inspiring to dream a dream, plan to follow that dream and have the confidence to complete that dream; whether walking or attaining any other goal. It is especially meaningful that Jeff dedicated this journey to his b ...more
I loved this book and devoured it in just a couple of days. I had the pleasure of meeting Jeff Alt in New York recently, and he was a very nice, engaging man. He told me about his hike on the 2,000+ mile Appalachian Trail as a fundraiser for the home that his disabled brother lives in. His story was so interesting, and I was fascinated by all of it. In fact, even though I can't be there for the 15th anniversary 5K walk in September, I'm looking forward to offering my donation. Kudos to Jeff for ...more
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Bio: Alt has been presenting his Appalachian Trail show to Shenandoah National Park visitors for over six years as well as other parks and groups. Alts hike was dedicated to his brother who has cerebral palsy. This adventure inspired an annual fundraiser which has raised over $100,000 for the disabled home in which his brother resides. Alt has been featured regularly over the past few years on rad ...more
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