A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (Official Guides to the Appalachian Trail)

A Walk in the Woods - Bill Bryson Okay, so he didn't actually hike the entire AT, but he didn't mislead the reader. The title is "A Walk in the Woods" and he sure did go for a walk in the woods. This book will make you laugh, especially if you've spent any time at all hiking.

The section on hiking in Vermont and NH made me homesick, especially when he described climbing Mt. Lafayette and Mt.Moosilauke as Lafayette was my first major hike ever and the latter my husband and I hiked with our dog.

I was disappointed that he never got to test his bear theories that he spent so much time reading about! But at least he came face to face with a moose. Although he didn't have to go all the way to Katahdin for that. My husband came nose to nose with a moose mountain biking in the power lines behind our house in suburban Derry, NH.

At first I was annoyed with Katz, wondering what on earth possessed him to want to join Bryson on his trek. He just didn't seem that into it, what with all his complaining and chucking stuff out of his backpack. What was with that? But, as Bryson, I came to love him, and I just wanted to give him a hug when he talked about all he had to look forward to night after night was his TV dinners.

Some gems:

All the books tell you that if the grizzly comes for you, on no account should you run. This is the sort of advice you get from someone who is sitting at a keyboard when he gives it. Take if frome me, if you are in an open space with no weapons and a grizzly comes for you, run. You may as well. If nothing else, it will give you something to do with the last seven seconds of your life.

At the local outfitters store:
"Are you saying, Dave, that I pay $250 for a pack and it doesn't have straps and it isn't waterproof?"
He nodded.
"Does it have a bottom in it?"

At about five o'clock, just to make our day complete, a group of six noisy people arrived [at their shelter:], three men and three women, dressed in the most preposterously Ralph Lauren-style hiking clothes- safari jackets and broad-brimmed canvas hats and suede hiking boots. These were clothes for sauntering along the veranda at Mackinac or perhaps going on a jeep safari, but patently not for hiking.

Oh, and Mary Ellen was priceless.