[Reading] ➿ A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail Author Bill Bryson – Loufanet.info

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail 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 Bill Bryson is extremely annoying I started out liking this book, but the further I went along, theobnoxious I found the author s smarter than thou attitude And that s a shame, too, because I was very interested in the subject matter and had the impression that Bryson wrote with a comedic edge However, his sense of humor turns out to be quite bland, and consists mostly of making fun of everyone he meets Get ready for adjectives like stupid and fat very high brow And don t worr Bill Bryson is extremely annoying I started out liking this book, but the further I went along, theobnoxious I found the author s smarter than thou attitude And that s a shame, too, because I was very interested in the subject matter and had the impression that Bryson wrote with a comedic edge However, his sense of humor turns out to be quite bland, and consists mostly of making fun of everyone he meets Get ready for adjectives like stupid and fat very high brow And don t worry, you ll hear the standard inbred jokes as he hikes through the South.Like hypocritical rants You ll get plenty here he eviscerates the National Park system, but that doesn t stop him from taking full advantage of all its amenities He rips tourists who just stop by the AT to do quick hikes, eat cheeseburgers at fast food restaurants, then hop in their cars and move on, and yet he spends much of the middle section of the book doing just that He also rips unprepared hikers who don t know what they re doing much like the time later in the book when he leaves his windbreaker at home while hiking in the Presidentials also, he sets out to hike the entire length of the AT, but gives up when he looks at a map in Gatlinburg and realizes gasp the AT is really long Seriously You didn t look at a map BEFORE you started hiking Needless to say, he gave up immediately.Not that there s anything wrong with giving up I guess this writer s just not for me he comes across as having a littledisdain for the rest of the world than he has a right to 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 co 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 nothingthan 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 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 forthan 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 anythingto 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 befor 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

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