First & Only Blind Person To Hike The Appalachian Trail Alone
About Bill Irwin
In 1990, Bill Irwin, with his Seeing Eye dog Orient, became the first and only blind person to have completed the 2,168 mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine without human assistance or companionship. He had no maps, no GPS, no compass back then. Hiking alone with his amazing dog guide Oreint. When people wanted to hike with him he had them hike way in front or behind him because the sound of "oh no" was too stressful, not knowing what they were seeing that he could not see.
His historic hike began at Springer Mountain in Georgia and ended almost nine months later at Mt. Katahdin north central Maine, where he and his wife Debra live and they can see Mt. Katahdin from the new timber frame home they are building on their 72 wooded acres of land on a mountain.
This amazing odyssey was the single most publicized human endeavor that year, and an inspiring example of overcoming the odds for all!
Bill inspired millions of persons his message of perseverance and the will to survive, tantalizes very diverse audiences throughout the world as he inspires his listeners to achieve their impossible dreams!
His home spun, self deprecating humor and life experiences, (over thirty years in corporate America, recovery from alcoholism, the Appalachian Trail experiences and encounters as a family counselor) allowed him to make life-changing observations which translated into eventual life changing decisions in the lives of every person in his audiences! Punctuated by his humorous stories, Bill's presentations stole the hearts of everyone in each audience!
Bill's book Blind Courage, the account of Bill's life and of overcoming the odds and his incredible journey, was released nationally in 1992, now in it's thirteenth printing, and has been a best seller. He has appeared on television programs such as" The Morning Show" on NBC, "Sonya Live" on CNN, "Heart to Heart" on CBN. He is also the subject and cover of many magazines. Blind Courage is published in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Taiwan.