Just before the new millennium, artist Jared Manninen went on a 2,160 mile hike through dense forests and over rugged mountains. He carried only what he could fit inside of his backpack. MEGA '99 is the story about that experience. It is the story of an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker.
Jared began his journey at the Appalachian Trail's northern terminus (Mount Katahdin, ME) on July 1st and traveled south to the southern terminus (Springer Mountain, GA) on December 15th, 1999.
MEGA '99 is 172 pages and contains over 150 pen illustrations. The print (PDF) book is laid out like an artist's travel journal and chronicles Jared's 167-day journey along the Appalachian Trail. Order this version of the book (PDF) if you want the closest experience to a print copy. For more information about the story and to see sample pages of the book, read some brief reviews, and to buy a print version, visit MakotoPress.com.
***Please note that MEGA '99: Adventures of an Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker was originally designed for print and published on November 30, 2011. The EPUB and MOBI versions have been modified significantly to accommodate digital readers. The visual format has changed, but the content is essentially the same as the print version.
Jared Manninen has been a US Marine Corp infantryman, marathon runner, thru-hiker of the Appalachian Trail, professional massage therapist, college graduate (BA in Communications and AA in Business—yes in that order), and an artist and writer. Along the way, he’s discovered that he has a particular knack for breaking things apart and putting them back together.
South Tahoe author brings Appalachian Trail through-hike to life
Who are Rockhopper, Peachy Keen, Green Bean and Numbnut?
They are much more than characters in a book. These are
trail names for some of the people who were hiking the Appalachian Trail when
Jared Manninen was making the through hike in 1999. In 2011, Manninen published
a graphic novel of his account of this 167-day, 2,160-mile journey. Manninen
lives in South Lake Tahoe and operates Makoto Press… While many graphic novels
are often more like a comic book in nature, this would not be the way to
describe Mega '99: Adventures of an
Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker. The black and white sketches complement the
words in a way that photographs would not have been able to. It keeps the feel
of the ruggedness of the trail. While plenty of books have been written about
this famous trail that goes from Maine to Georgia, this book gives an
interesting twist in large part because of it being a graphic novel. But don't
let the word novel fool you either. This is not a novel. It's really Manninen's
journal. However, the journal has 110,000 words (which required the use of
eight pens) and the book has been condensed to 46,000 words. It's the good, the
bad, the funny, the lonely times on an expedition of this type.
For anyone who likes the outdoors, has thought about doing a
major hike or likes to live vicariously through others, Mega 99: Adventures of an Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker is
definitely worth a read.
--Lake Tahoe News (Kathryn Reed)