Halfway to the Sky Fact Checks
As I read Kimberly Brubaker Bradley’s Halfway to the Sky, a book about a 12 year old girl’s section hike on the Appalachian Trail, I kept my eyes open for inaccuracies, particularly when the girl reaches parts of the trail I was familiar with. For the most part I was thwarted. For example, when I got to the May 1st chapter, I read this line when the characters arrive at Pine Swamp Shelter which is under the jurisdiction of my beloved Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club.
Vivi said, “Any bunks left for us?”
Wait a second, there are no bunks at Pine Swamp Shelter! I thought I had busted the author! Then I read on.
The one I later learned was named Jake said, respectfully, “No bunks, ma’am, there’s just a floor in this shelter.”
But I did find one tiny mistake later in that chapter. The author refers to a Pearisburg, West Virginia. According to Google Maps, there is no such place. I believe the author meant the quaint town that rests below the beautiful Angel’s Rest view– Pearisburg, Virginia.
In the author’s defense, it is pretty close to the West Virginia border. And I can forgive that mistake– especially since one of my favorite, but often ignored, mountains made it into the book – Sinking Creek Mountain! The author was dead-on about a characteristic of the ridgeline:
“Sinking Creek Mountain is part of the Eastern Continental Divide,” I told her.
And it is a beautiful mountain at that. I’m thrilled it was included in the story. : )