By Bill Bryson
Again in the United States after 20 years in Britain, invoice Bryson determined to reacquaint himself together with his local nation by means of jogging the 2,100-mile Appalachian path, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. The AT bargains an spectacular panorama of silent forests and glowing lakes--and to a author with the comedian genius of invoice Bryson, it additionally offers never-ending possibilities to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings.
For a commence there's the gloriously out-of-shape Stephen Katz, a blood brother from Iowa alongside for the stroll. regardless of Katz's overwhelming wish to locate comfortable eating places, he and Bryson ultimately settle into their stride, and whereas at the path they meet a strange collection of hilarious characters. yet A stroll within the Woods is greater than only a laugh-out-loud hike. Bryson's acute eye is a smart witness to this gorgeous yet fragile path, and as he tells its interesting heritage, he makes a relocating plea for the conservation of America's final nice barren region. An experience, a comedy, and a party, A stroll within the Woods is destined to turn into a contemporary vintage of shuttle literature.
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Extra info for A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (Official Guides to the Appalachian Trail)
This is the sort of advice you get from someone who is sitting at a keyboard when he gives it. Take it from me, if you are in an open space with no weapons and a grizzly comes for you, run. You may as well. If nothing else, it will give you something to do with the last seven seconds of your life. However, when the grizzly overtakes you, as it most assuredly will, you should fall to the ground and play dead. A grizzly may chew on a limp form for a minute or two but generally will lose interest and shuffle off.
The work camps and chalets, the schools and study centers, were never built. Still, quite a lot of the original impulse behind MacKaye's vision survives. All 2,100 miles of the trail, as well as side trails, footbridges, signs, blazes, and shelters, are maintained by volunteers-- indeed, the AT is said to be the largest volunteer-run undertaking on the planet. It remains gloriously free of commercialism. The Appalachian Trail Conference didn't hire its first paid employee until 1968, and it retains the air of a friendly, accessible, dedicated outfit.
I was hopelessly out of shape-hopelessly. The pack weighed way too much. Way too much. I had never encountered anything so hard, for which I was so ill prepared. Every step was a struggle. The hardest part was coming to terms with the constant dispiriting discovery that there is always more hill. The thing about being on a hill, as opposed to standing back from it, is that you can almost never see exactly what's to come. Between the curtain of trees at every side, the ever-receding contour of rising slope before you, and your own plodding weariness, you gradually lose track of how far you have come.