At age 51, Jean Deeds gave up a successful career and comfortable lifestyle and set out to hike the entire 2,155-mile Appalachian Trail alone, despite having never really hiked or camped before. She wrote a book, “There are Mountains to Climb”, about her experience thru-hiking the AT. After completing the journey, “Indiana Jean” became a popular motivational speaker, passing on life lessons of perseverance and personal growth to thousands of people around the country.
At the same time, Jean joined forces with Sally Brown Bassett and started leading the newly formed, Women for Adventure trips. Jean went on to summit 19,341-foot Mt. Kilimanjaro twice–at age 55 and 60, led a trekking group to Mt. Everest’s Base Camp in Nepal and other hikes all over the world.
Jean died in June 2020. She will be remembered always by those who loved her as a bright, energetic, passionate, loving, and funny spirit. Jean’s love of life and dedication to others had a tremendous impact on those who were blessed to know her. May her spirit continue to support and guide us to be our best and most motivated selves.