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The Appalachian Trail Stretches From Georgia To Maine And Covers Some Of The Most Breathtaking Terrain In America Majestic Mountains, Silent Forests, Sparking Lakes If You Re Going To Take A Hike, It S Probably The Place To Go And Bill Bryson Is Surely The Most Entertaining Guide You Ll Find He Introduces Us To The History And Ecology Of The Trail And To Some Of The Other Hardy Or Just Foolhardy Folks He Meets Along The Way And A Couple Of Bears Already A Classic, A Walk In The Woodswill Make You Long For The Great Outdoors Or At Least A Comfortable Chair To Sit And Read In Well, scratch the Appalachian Trail off my bucketlist Bryson sets off to walk the Appalachian trail with only an extremely overpriced backpack packed with equally ridiculously expensive gear , an old friend that he hadn t talked to in years and a will to find his next story He quickly realized that the months of preparation he conducted and the lack of months his friend prepared were not nearly adequate But on the plus side, he certainly found his story.As always, I absolutely enjoyed his signature sense of humor Despite wandering around half crazed with fatigue, he still took the time to pen his quirky musings Hunters will tell you that a moose is a wily and ferocious forest creature Nonsense A moose is a cow drawn by a three year old. Joking aside, this is a brutal trail no matter what Cheryl from Wild may say Her little pot shots against The Appalachian Trail were not justified The sheer willpower it takes to slog through ten to twenty trail miles a day simply boggles my mind Distance changes utterly when you take the world on foot A mile becomes a long way, two miles literally considerable, ten miles whopping, fifty miles at the very limits of conception. I was weary just reading it and he already most of the monotonous bits from his story I appreciate how reading this allowed me to adventure vicariously and decide most definitely that I will never hike such a trail Even part of it I m not touching that thing with a ten foot pole I ll stick to my wood chipped half mile paths in the local park, thank you very much.Audiobook Comments Am a smidge annoyed that he did not narrate his own autobiography well micro autobiography of a trail adventure are micro autos a thing Narrator Rob McQuay was great though No complaints other than it wasn t Bryson.Blog Instagram Twitter It s been a busy couple of weeks, so I thought I d spent the last of my holiday indulging in a witty travelogue to set my feet itching Unfortunately, I picked the wrong book Years of declining the advice of the Bryson worshipers, it seems, was not in vain.I m halfway through, and like the author on the daunting trail am unsure as to whether or not I can finish my task Bryson sounds, to put it mildly, a real jerk He s smug and superior, and spends most of the book complaining about his companions on the trail A common motif is how everyone one is but a weekend hiker, that he is a true back to nature type in comparison True, some of his encounters sound less than thrilling, but even the obnoxious woman he encounters should get credit for tackling the trail by herself Instead, she s unceremoniously ditched in real life as well as print by the man who couldn t stomach the thought of going alone He enlists the companionship of a long lost friend with whom he d proven incompatible on a previous travel experience Said friend is then derided throughout the book for his sloth, roughness in manner, and lowbrow tastes Meanwhile, Bryson paints himself as Guardian of the Trail, criticising the Parks Service along with all who venture through her woods.I m still waiting for even a glimpse of the much vaunted Bryson wit and charm to show itself At the moment, he s nothing than the stereotypical Blue Stater putting himself on a pedestal while looking down his nose at everyone else It s not attractive, and it makes for a very frustrating read I wish he d stayed home. I am what some might call a pussy hiker I do genuinely enjoy a leisurely stroll in the mountains of Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire I like the pretty views I always bring my conveniently sized L.L Bean backpack 39.95 from the Kittery Outlets so I have a place for my camera and cell phone But by early afternoon, I would like to be done, please I would like to be done and sitting at a booth in a pub with my burger and beer Camping is certainly worthy of consideration, but here s the deal I don t do rain In light of the fact that weather reports are unreliable beyond a 48 hour window and even that is pushing it in New England , it is unlikely I would ever camp for than a two night stay Oh, and if I were to camp, I would like it to be at a site that has free Wi Fi.What this amounts to is that the Appalachian Trail, endearingly referred to by those hiking it as the AT, will never be anything to me than a lovely little map click to enlarge BUT I am glad for gung ho people like Bryson and his chubby checker friend Katz who did walk the AT and are kind enough to let me know what I am missing As it turns out, I am not missing much This is not to downplay the extraordinarity of a 2,200 mile trail of wilderness running from Georgia to Maine, a trail that takes the average thru hiker six months to complete, but in terms of day to day variation, it is basically a shitload of trees followed by another shitload of trees For me, this book makes a better argument for the day hike There are many parts of the trail I would enjoy, including the Smoky Mountains, the Shenandoah Valley, and the Delaware Water Gap Like Bryson, though, I am a people person, and I enjoy my simple human comforts I would like to see these areas without having to make an extended departure from civilization Why can t I have both my nature and my nurture Fortunately for me, almost a full third of the Appalachian Trail is in New England, so maybe I can have it all because I think if there is one thing I ve learned from Bryson s experience, it is that I don t have to suffer through long days of cold rain and hungry nights to enjoy what the Appalachian Trail has to offer. I kind of surprised I liked this book at all, because a I read pathetically little non fiction b I ve never read a travelogue ANDc I m only a fan of the Great Outdoors as long as I m safely Indoors.So, color me shocked that I not only finished this, but giggled my way through quite a bit of it Bryson really is a pretty funny writer, and the way he captured his experience on the Appalachian Trail had me in tears a few times His fears about getting mauled by a bear among other things before he started off were especially hysterical, and maybe that s because I could see a lot of myself in his initial terror of spending so much time surrounded byNATURE Now, there was a decent sized chunk towards the middle of the book that I just had to grit my teeth and push on through Bryson s friend Katz wasn t with him during this portion, and the difference in the tone of the writing is really noticeable Lots and lots and lots of mind numbing details about the Trail, and very little of his experiences And while all of that sort of info is relevant to the book, it s also the main reason that I don t actively seek out non fiction or travelogues.Eventually, Katz comes back to finish out the hike, and the story vastly improves, but it never managed to recapture the humor or spirit that it had in the beginning.But that s only MY opinion.And I really did enjoy the last bits of the book a lot Especially the moments between Katz Bryson there towards the end.Overall, I d say this was a winner And even if the whole thing wasn t to my liking, the first half was an easy 5 star read for me.In fact, it made me want to call up my BFF to see if she wanted to take the kids camping this summer so we could poop near a waterfall You know, instead of meeting at a hotel on the beach and drinking ourselves silly while the kids play in the surf.And then I thought about that sentence Bwahahahahahahaha No Justno.See you in Florida, Jill I ll bring the blender