The book Walking Man: The Secret Life of Colin Fletcher by Robert Wehrman is finally out in ebook on Amazon Kindle and should soon be out in printed form. I know the author and had the privilege to read an early draft of the book. It tells the amazing story of a person often referred to as the father of modern backpacking. He backpacked the length of California long before the PCT was even a concept. He was the first person to backpack the entire length of the Grand Canyon National Park. In his late 60s he solo backpacked and rafted the Colorado River from its source to the end. He also wrote the popular the Complete Walker series.The book is more than a listing of his feats. It is the very personal look at an unusual and often very eccentric person who went from serving in the army in Wales to various adventures in Africa to his move to Canada and finally the U.S. He was also an outspoken environmentalist. The biography is based on Colin's personal notes that he kept almost daily plus interviews with his book agent and close friend plus other friends and neighbors. By the end of the book you will feel like you were there with him through his travels and adventures. I highly recommed this book to hikers, backpackers and those who have a connection to nature.
Loc: Portland, OR
I have no doubt this would be a fascinating book about an exceptional man.
I would quibble with your assertion that he hiked the length of California "long before the PCT was even a concept". The earliest proposals for a long distance trail from the Mexican to Canadian border date back as far as 1926, while Colin's epic hike was several decades later. This doesn't detract from his accomplishments. The PCT still did not exist as a continuous trail when Colin hiked his Thousand Mile Summer, and he chose a demanding route of his own devising.
I'm one of millions who pored over The Complete Walker, the rare balance of technique, gear and yarns aplenty, all written with a certain twinkle in his eye. Have always wondered whether he and Ansel Adams ever crossed paths. A pairing for the ages, that would have been.
Purchased it two nights ago, when I saw your post - I'm not disappointed yet. In fact, the biographer's writing style is quite reminiscent of Fletcher's. I'm not sure if that's intentional, or just something that happens when you read enough of Fletcher (yes, I drank the Fletcherade. )