Fletcher, Colin 1922-2007

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Fletcher, Colin 1922-2007


See index for SATA sketch: Born March 14, 1922, in Cardiff, Wales; died June 12, 2007, in Monterey, CA. Outdoor enthusiast, hiker, and author. Fletcher is remembered as the author of the backpacker's "bible," The Complete Walker: The Joys and Techniques of Hiking and Backpacking, originally published in the late 1960s and periodically revised. According to his own accounts, Fletcher was happiest outdoors, away from the trappings of modern civilization, alone with his thoughts. He worked various jobs—as a hotel manager and road builder in Africa, a prospector in Canada, and a hospital janitor in California—until the success of his writings enabled him to retreat into the peace and quiet of the wilderness. Fletcher wrote several books over his lifetime; the first of these, The Thousand-Mile Summer: In Desert and High Sierra (1964), was based on a very long walk that he took while contemplating the life he should pursue back home. His second title was The Man Who Walked through Time (1968). After discovering a cave in the Nevada desert in which an old prospector had dwelled and left artifacts for posterity, Fletcher searched for clues about the man's life, a process that resulted in the publication of The Man from the Cave (1982). After a solo trip down hundreds of miles of the Colorado River at the age of sixty-seven, he wrote River: One Man's Journey down the Colorado, Source to Sea (1997). In old age, as the rural population increased around him and the popularity of outdoor adventures introduced thousands of others to the wilderness, Fletcher found it increasingly difficult to avoid contact with people and technology. At the age of nearly eighty, he was hit by a car on a country road not too far from his home. Severely injured, he never fully recovered, dying some six years later at the age of eighty-five.



Fletcher, Colin, The Secret Worlds of Colin Fletcher, Knopf (New York, NY), 1997.


Chicago Tribune, June 17, 2007, pp. 4-5.

Los Angeles Times, June 16, 2007, Valerie J. Nelson, p. B10.

New York Times, June 19, 2007, Dennis Hevesi, p. C11.

Washington Post, June 19, 2007, Valerie J. Nelson, p. B7.

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Fletcher, Colin 1922-2007

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