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Just Passin' Thru: A Vintage Store, the Appalachian Trail, and a Cast of Unforgettable Characters Spiral-Bound |

Winton Porter

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Winton Porter shares tales of the cast of characters that pass through a mountain store and hostel on the Appalachian Trail.

Read the stories of several amazing characters as they pass through a mountain store and hostel on the Appalachian Trail.

Before he was an award-winning author, Winton Porter found success in the outdoor retail business. His family enjoyed living wherever his work took him: Atlanta, Chicago, Salt Lake City. But like so many others, he often stared out the window, wanting something different. Eventually, he cashed in his 401k and ransacked his bank account to become a backpack-purging, tent-selling, hostel-running, first-aid-dispensing, lost-kid-finding, argument-settling, romance-fixing, chili-making shopkeeper deep in the Georgia woods, smack on the Appalachian Trail.

Nowadays, Winton opens the door to strangers at midnight, doesn’t wear clean clothes every day, and sometimes eats Snickers bars for breakfast. He also meets amazing people every day and hears some incredible stories!

In Just Passin’ Thru, Winton captures the daily reality show of his family’s new life at the store, Mountain Crossings at Walasi-Yi. With humor and grace, he introduces an old man who liked to sleep on his roof, an man in his 80s who still hikes just to keep from getting bored, an ex-Navy SEAL who was sometimes mistaken for a homeless person, and so many others. Among the parade of people who are just passin’ thru, some show up once and others appear again and again. Either way, the author masterfully introduces them to you in the pages of this remarkable book.

Inside you’ll find:

  • 20 captivating true stories about real people
  • Photographs that help bring the stories and characters to life
  • Map that shows the location of Winton’s mountain store and hostel
Publisher: Ingram Publisher Services
Original Binding: Trade Paperback
Pages: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 0897328493
Item Weight: 0.7 lbs
Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.09 x 8.5 inches

“Winton Porter is one real character recounting many other real characters. That’s the true Appalachian Trail conversation, but he is a classic country storyteller. In his words you also get the sounds, the smells, and the scenes—smoothly crafted to get under your skin.”
Brian B. King, Appalachian Trail Conservancy

“I love, love, love this book. It’s funny, poignant, inspiring.”
Janece Shaffer, Atlanta Playwright

“This book is gonna fly, dear friend, it’s gonna fly!”
M. J. “Nimblewill Nomad” Eberhardt, author of Ten Million Steps

“For a guy whose job has him posted in the middle of nowhere, Winton Porter certainly draws a crowd.”
Bo Emerson, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Just Passin' Thru is a work of genius.”
Scott Ourth, former assistant secretary of state for the State of Iowa

Ever since starting his lawn-mowing business at age 10, Winton Porter has found it hard to stay indoors. At 21 he opened B. Bumblefoot and Co., producing hiking sticks for retailers throughout the southeastern United States. And for years he tried the corporate route—selling gear and managing operations at such retailers as REI in Chicago, Salt Lake City, and Atlanta. In 2001, at age 35, he ransacked his 401k and bought the venerable Mountain Crossings store, a hiker’s mecca deep in the Georgia woods near the southern end of the Appalachian Trail. It’s a blissful match for the lifelong outdoorsman and natural-born storyteller. Now called the Guru of the Appalachian Trail, Winton is famous for his “shakedowns” to help weary hikers lighten their loads. When he’s not busy selling boots and shipping hikers’ boxes home, he’s writing about the zany adventurers that populate the trail and his store. Winton’s memory for dialogue, eye for detail, compassion for those in trouble, and gift for humor come together in the 20 chapters that make up his first book, “Just Passin’ Thru.”