The Old Man Speaks


It is 1819 on Mt. Washington. Far above the treeline in the harsh wind, a father and son chop away the last gnarled dwarf firs. Ahead lies bare rock, all the way to the summit. Little do they know, but their hiking path is the first of its kind anywhere. In a young, robust America, people will soon flock to their strange invention. This is the dawn of outdoor mountain sports.

THE OLD MAN SPEAKS is the oral history of those first trail blazers, and the two hundred years of trail builders who followed.


Written and narrated by Odds Bodkin as The Old Man of the Mountain, here’s a 71-minute epic of American history, scored with original music on six- and twelve-string guitars and Celtic harp


71 minutes


If you’re a teacher, parent, student, history buff or outdoor enthusiast, here is a story that you’ll love, again and again. Meet Abel and Ethan Crawford as they build the Crawford Path in 1819. Glimpse wilderness America before paved roads existed. Imagine millions of now extinct Passenger Pigeons darkening the sky with flocks that took three days to pass. Learn how a moose’s bladder is a ready-made canteen. Hear how commerce developed in New England from paths to roads to railroads. Witness the founding of the Appalachian Mountain Club by professors from MIT. Get close to the White Mountain Trail Crew–the hardiest of elite young outdoorsmen, and women–and see what equipment they carry to maintain the trails. Watch them run up the mountains of a public park that is busier than Yellowstone, a place with the worst weather on earth.

In 14 chapters, master storyteller and musician Odds Bodkin narrates his original epic story, commissioned and edited by Robert White of the White Mountain Trail Crew.

Original acoustic music written and performed by Odds Bodkin.

71 minutes

112 mb

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