read online books A Walk in the WoodsAuthor Bill Bryson – Autowiringdiagram.co

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


10 thoughts on “A Walk in the Woods

  1. says:

    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.


  2. says:

    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.


  3. says:

    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


  4. says:

    I m no city mouse I m a country mouse who lives in jeans and who often has a thick layer of soil under her nails from gardening But, when compared to my brother, I feel like Beyonc.My brother is like Inman, from Cold Mountain A man who walks and walks, all over Appalachia.He knows how to forage for food and how to identify what is good and what is bad, out in nature I can point to anything within the plant kingdom, and he knows its name He composts all of his own waste and leaves a very faint footprint on our planet.He s also you know, a little crazy, when it comes to the whole walking thing.My brother has thru hiked the Appalachian Trail once, in its entirety, and has section hiked than 900 miles of favorite parts of it, at other times He walks or hikes 5 25 miles a day, and he s currently on the Pacific Crest Trail, somewhere in Northern California, at the time of this writing.He s a walker, and even though I ALSO walk and hike, my habits apparently look like small potatoes to him When he was here in May, at our house, preparing to head out to hike the PCT, he was nudging me, emphatically, to hike the Appalachian Trail soon.He was doing this nudging as all three of my kids were in the kitchen with me, and one of them was literally hanging on to my leg Both dogs were starving, staring at me as we talked, our cats were walking in and out of the house, yowling for food, and my husband was outside, pulling weeds.I must have looked at him like he was an idiot I sputtered out something in annoyance, like, I have responsibilities Maybe someday, like, when we re retired And, maybe not then, either The compromise we reached was that, instead of starting the AT on that day, I would commit to reading Bill Bryson s A Walk in the Woods while he was out on the PCT Fair enough I finished it today.Here s what I have to say I love Bill Bryson when he s funny, like when he s making social observations, or, in the case of this story, out hiking with his friend, Stephen Katz, and the hilarious commentary that ensues.I don t love Bill Bryson when he bores me to bits, breaking off from the funny story to describe geological phenomenons or maps or the National Park system in the United States Be humorous OR be didactic, Bill, but please don t be both I would never hike one of these trails without an entourage, bear spray, a billy club and or a baseball bat and an INCREDIBLE SENSE OF HUMOR.After reading Bryson s book, I would like to hike at least part of the Appalachian Trail someday, if only to write about it I believe that my desire to pepper spray any strange looking man on the trail, without a moment s hesitation, may make for some interesting writing Plus, I d be sure to scream at every snake, and I d probably be stupid enough to play with a bear cub They re so cute Personally, I wanted to know a LOT about these freaks in the shelter at night, and way details on where and how they all went to the bathroom shudder , and I felt completely let down that Bryson and his companion hiked so little of the actual trail.Honestly, the book was so boring in the middle when they gave up on the trail the first time , that I could barely summon the interest to read it again.I think I need to stop thinking of Bryson as a humorist, like Dave Barry He does make me laugh, but he does drone on, too, about things that interest me not I ve reached a weird point with him, where I m not sure I want to continue reading .Four stars for some memorable descriptions of a few of the hikers and several hearty laughs And fingers crossed for the safe return home of my brother


  5. says:

    I wanted to like Bill Bryson s A Walk in the Woods Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail Not sure what I was expecting from this perhaps about hiking on the actual AT and the reasons Bryson made this trek but I was mostly disappointed It read like a series of travel brochures here s the history of the region on this section of the trail, and now another There was much attention devoted to towns along the route than hiking the actual trail It was also disappointing that Bryson noted the historical stereotypes of Appalachian people and casually confirmed their stupidity without any real interaction not once but many times The smugness of his remarks was irritating I still would like to hike the AT, but Bryson did little to illuminate what it s really like to hike the trail except to offer that it s not what most people expect.


  6. says:

    Bill Bryson calls the Appalachian Trail the grandaddy of long hikes, but for me, this book is the granddaddy of hiking memoirs I first read it sometime around 1999, and I enjoyed it so much that not only have I reread this multiple times, but it also inspired me to read at least a dozen other hiking adventures None have matched Bryson s wit Before he started writing long books on various aspects of history, Bryson was known for his entertaining travelogues A Walk in the Woods was his humorous take on attempting a long distance hike of the Appalachian Trail, which spans than 2,100 miles from Georgia to Maine Here were his reasons for trying It would get me fit after years of waddlesome sloth It would be an interesting and reflective way to reacquaint myself with the scale and beauty of my native land after nearly twenty years of living abroad It would be useful I wasn t quite sure in what way, but I was sure nonetheless to learn to fend for myself in the wilderness When guys in camouflage pants and hunting hats sat around in the Four Aces Diner talking about fearsome things done out of doors, I would no longer have to feel like such a cupcake I wanted a little of that swagger that comes with being able to gaze at a far horizon through eyes of chipped granite and say with a slow, manly sniff, Yeah, I ve shit in the woods And so Bryson plans his trip, gets indignant over the high cost of outdoor equipment, and recruits an old friend, Stephen Katz, to walk the trail with him Katz, an overweight, out of shape, recovering alcoholic, adds much hilarity to the adventure The first day on the trail, Katz falls behind and has a fit, throwing away a lot of supplies in an effort to lighten the load of his pack Later he gets lost during a stretch when they were dangerously low on water But he s so pathetic and funny that you forgive him.Meanwhile, Bryson was having his own problems that first day It was hell First days on hiking trips always are 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 hill The elusive summit continually retreats by whatever distance you press forward, so that each time the canopy parts enough to give a view you are dismayed to see that the topmost trees are as remote, as unattainable, as before Still you stagger on What else can you do After a few days on the trail, they met another hiker named Mary Ellen, who leeched onto them She was from Florida, and she was, as Katz forever after termed her in a special tone of awe, a piece of work She talked nonstop, except when she was clearing out her eustachian tubes which she did frequently by pinching her nose and blowing out with a series of violent and alarming snorts of a sort that would make a dog leave the sofa and get under a table in the next room I have long known that it is part of God s plan for me to spend a little time with each of the most stupid people on earth, and Mary Ellen was proof that even in the Appalachian woods I would not be spared I m not going to retype entire pages, but trust me that the conversations with Mary Ellen are one of the highlights of this book Bryson and Katz spend several weeks on the trail, hiking 500 miles in their first section Then the two take a break and return home for a few weeks, and Bryson resumes with some shorter hikes in New England Katz and Bryson reunite in Maine to hike a particularly daunting section of the trail called the Hundred Mile Wilderness The Appalachian Trail is the hardest thing I have ever done, and the Maine portion was the hardest part of the Appalachian Trail, and by a factor I couldn t begin to compute Exhausted, filthy and hungry, the two abandon their trek in Maine and hitchhike to a small town, where they re able to make their way home again I have regrets, of course I regret that I didn t do Mount Katahdin though I will, I promise you, I will I regret that I never saw a bear or wolf or followed the padding retreat of a giant hellbender salamander, never shooed away a bobcat or sidestepped a rattlesnake, never flushed a startled boar I wish that just once I had truly stared death in the face briefly, with a written assurance of survival But I got a great deal else from the experience I learned to pitch a tent and sleep beneath the stars For a brief, proud period I was slender and fit I gained a profound respect for wilderness and nature and the benign dark power of woods I understand now, in a way I never did before, the colossal scale of the world I found patience and fortitude that I didn t know I had I had discovered an America that millions of people scarcely know exists Best of all, these days when I see a mountain, I look at it slowly and appraisingly, with a narrow, confident gaze and eyes of chipped granite One of the things I especially like about this book is the history that Bryson includes along the way He shares interesting stories about the areas he s passing through and about how the trail was built He also looks at America s unique relationship with nature, which includes some backwards policies of the U.S Forest Service and the Parks Service It s really a delight to read.This memoir has been criticized because Bryson doesn t hike the entire trail, but regardless of the distance, it s still a damn fine travelogue This was his experience on the AT, which he shares with much humor and insight I don t care that he hiked only 870 miles out of 2,100 the point was that he attempted it.


  7. says:

    Undoubtedly an amusing, breezy read, full of the kind of fun and hilarity all the blurbs lead you to expect For instance, 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 That had me laughing on the train.I can t say I liked this book quite as much as some of my friends seem to On the one hand, I ve had at least 1 semi grueling backpacking experience with a companion who was wholly unprepared for a rigorous day hike, let alone several of them on consecutive days, weighed down by tents, bags, and water, except my experience was less hilarious and infuriating even in retrospect, though there was certainly some hilarity I also found Bryson fairly amusing, his fears and hijinks recognizable and diverting On the other hand, he s kind of an ass Seemed like every person he met was a subject for mockery He also went off on these long jeremiads over the ecological devastation we ve wrought on the Eastern forests, without citing any sources whatsoever, or recommending solutions Obviously I agreed with the substance of those rants, but the dripping sarcasm in his indignation was just so annoying Good researchers cite sources, and good crusaders at least try to find answers to the world s problems Bryson seemed like of a gadfly buzzing, bothersome, but impotent In the end, what I really wanted was just depth More analysis of what the trail means to Americans, what it symbolizes, a informed and documented record of the Park Service s transgressions, comparisons to similar trails in other parts of the world.


  8. says:

    Going into this book, I really had no idea of what to expect from Bill Bryson Even though I picked this book up based on Diane s terrific review , I had never read the author before and let s face it blurbs on the cover only tell you so much You have to read and live with an author s prose to get a feel for it As far as travelogues go, I don t read many Paul Theroux, Mark Twain and Steinbeck s Travels with Charley are the only ones that come to mind So I plunged in and I m happy I did.Finding a rich source of humor Monty Python, Archer, S.J Pearlman, Deadpool is always like Christmas Day For me, humor has always been the fuel to motor through tough times and Mr Bryson delivers it by the tank full This book has a score of laugh out loud moments all weaved into Bryson s cultural and historical insights.Bryson lived abroad for years and upon returning to the United States decided to hike the Appalachian Trail The trail is over 2000 miles long and extends from Georgia into Maine Along the way, Bryson discourses on subjects that range from the history of the Appalachian Trail, the neglect and incompetence of the Forestry and Park services, pre Colonial botanists, the potential flame ball that is Centralia, PA, the temperature extremes of Mount Washington NH , trees, the constant threat of getting eaten by bears or hogtied by hillbillies and, of course, the hike itself The long, long hike.My experience with hiking and outdoorsy stuff begins and ends with the Boy Scouts For me, it was about smoking cigarettes in the woods, being able to indiscriminately pee on the local flora, fauna and the occasional fellow scout the latter, accidently, of course wearing the same clothes and not bathing for three days You packed extra underwear and socks, Ma I hadn t noticed The tooth brush is green because I dropped it in the creek Don t worry, I used it anyway If I were to go hiking today, I don t think I would have picked the guy Bryson ended up with Stephen Katz was overweight, needy, impetuous but funny Kind of like hiking with my brother in law, minus the funny The two are an unrivaled comic pair and their hiking adventures are a highly recommended read.


  9. says:

    A Walk in the Woods Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail pressed all my favorite buttons Humor Adventure Danger Storytelling Nature Local personal interest Et cetera.I even liked that the author Bill Bryson is a American Brit ex pat transplant and thus an outsider giving his opinion as a stranger in a strange land Bryson s humorous, well researched, yet relaxed writing is what I always hope for when embarking upon a book like this.A trek upon the Appalachian Trail is supposed to be relaxing, if strenuous, and if a bit of history and humor get mixed in then all the better For those like myself who grew up in New England, the lure and legend of the trail was spoon fed us from an early age, right along with Johnny Appleseed and the ride of Paul Revere Those of us too lazy to make the actual hike can sit back and read Bryson s book while thinking about how swell a jaunt would be While I enjoyed hearing about the local spots I m familiar with like Mt Washington in New Hampshire a hiker from Pepperell, MA the tiny town my mom is from is even mentioned, woohoo , it s Bryson s relationship with his friend Katz, a larger than life character who joined him periodically on the trail, that really ties this whole book together The hijinks are raised when Katz enters the scene, making a normal hike in the woods into an adventure, perhaps than it needed to be, but I m grateful either way Bryson s writing and the personality that comes through made palatable his occasional soapbox tangents The guy loves nature preservation and he s not happy when man fucks with it, so every once in a while the reader must wade through a lecture on why the trail is essentially lucky to be alive For all that, I loved this book just about in its entirety and look forward to reading by Bill Bryson, a writer who I ve taken an immediate shine to, a reader writer bond strengthened by my own private pleasure at discovering we share December 8th as a birthday.


  10. says:

    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