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A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. 1998

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My wife bought this book for me. It's from my reading list which consists of any book from the eight feet of bookcases that line the west hallway wall of the town library. Used paperbacks sell for 50 cents, hardbacks, a dollar. She knew I have a weakness for good personal travel books.

The book is well-written, an enjoyable and humorous read once you get past the stereotypical put-down of rural southern life. It is a history and a description of  the Appalachian Trail as well as a general social commentary and a first-person account of walking 870 miles of the 2100 mile AT. Over one summer, sometimes solo, sometimes with a companion, Bryson hiked bits and pieces of the trail. The largest contiguous piece was at the southern end where he and his friend Stephen Katz walked from the beginning in Georgia through the Smokey Mountains to near Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

His opinion of the Gatlinburg area, you have to include Pigeon Forge, Dolly Parton's extravaganza, agrees with mine. On our visit to the Smokey Mountain National Park, Kathy and I passed through the area without stopping, preferring instead to use the sleepy little town of Townsend as our base. I enjoyed visiting the park although I can still recall, with some clarity, a terrifying experience involving wind, rain, hail, and lightning on a mountain-side while hiking a trail near Cades Cove.

That was twenty years ago; I suspect Townsend is no longer sleepy ... or little.
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On March 25th, 2009 04:10 am (UTC), paul_carlson commented:
Sounds like a great book.

There are quite a few Americana classics of the 'road trip' variety, and far fewer of the 'long walk' sort. I have enjoyed two different books by (western) people who walked the length of Japan.
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On March 26th, 2009 02:03 am (UTC), 7ony replied:
I've been reading Turkestan Solo by Ell Maillart, 1934 a bit at a time for over a year now. An all time favorite of mine is Miles From Nowhere by Barbara Savage, 1983.
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On April 24th, 2009 05:20 pm (UTC), seeing4sides commented:
Good Read
I suggest "In A Sunburned Country" by the same author!
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On April 24th, 2009 07:27 pm (UTC), 7ony replied:
Re: Good Read
Thanks
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