: New: #Book Report: Balancing on Blue

It's an account of walking the Appalachian Trail, hiking for months to travel 1000s of km along mountain ridges. Folks hike this if they're in great shape and want to get away from civilization for a few months. Some of these folks want to get away from civilization because they're tough to get along with. So as the narrative goes along and our reporter bumps into the same folks (who are keeping about the same pace), you sometimes think "oh I wonder how she's doing" but all too often think "oh no this @^*%head again?" I wonder what I'd do if I were seeking shelter in some tiny space with just this one obnoxious person to talk to for miles around… Oh gee whiz. Thank goodness you can talk about weather and injuries and hiking; these neutral topics might be the only thing keeping you from fleeing screaming into the night. So uhm yeah—there are people, but not many. There is also the exhilaration of tromping through woods, washing in streams… and non-human horrors of the trail: bears, crotch-rot, rockfalls. If you need something to figure out if walking the Appalachian Trail is for you, this book gives a pretty strong idea of what it's like. (I guess. I mean, I'm not going to hike the AT just to check the accuracy of this book, and this book sure didn't make me want to hike it. I mean, c'mon: if you get something called "crotch rot" and you have a choice between continuing to hike or going some place where you can carry out the basic hygiene to cure/stave off crotch rot, why would you keep hiking? Walking through civilization is interesting, and it's easier to stay clean.) Anyhow. I think I heard about this book from Piaw's blog.

Tags: book pedestrian

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