A story about this — 6 years ago
Wish I could write like Bill Bryson.
Great book. Highly recommended to just about everybody. I would love to hike the Appalachian Trail (so far, I’ve done maybe 2 miles of the trail somewhere in Virginia), but until I get myself in shape and am prepared to remove myself from the world for about 5 months, I’ll be content with Bryson’s account of the trip. There are some beautiful descriptions of the trail and the beauty of the American woods between Georgia and Maine, bits of trial humor, anecdotes about runins with other hikers, tiny towns along the way, and fuzzy critters of various sizes.
One thing I really like about Bryson’s writing is that he slips in a whole lot of informational/educational stuff almost unnoticed. A Walk in the Woods gives you history of the AT, the parks service, various small towns, American environmentalism, the state and health of the woods, the Army Corps of Engineers, all sorts of stuff. There were several parts that seriously depressed the tree-hugging environmentalist in me: stories of the incompetence of those charged with the care of the Trail and American Woodlands, stories of the disappearance of various species of flora and fauna, such as the American Chestut, from the woods…but overall a good happy story.