5-Stars!  “A Great Book about People Hiking the Appalachian Trail

If you were ever a Boy Scout, Girl Scout, or just like the outdoors, download a copy of AWOL on the Appalachian Trail. It is a fascinating chronology of doing a “through–hike on the AT ─ the whole thing, all 2,172 miles of it, from Georgia to central Maine, for five months, up and down the rugged spine of the Appalachian Mountains, alone, in one very, very long hike.

In my earlier days, I had the pleasure of hiking a number of short sections on the AT in Virginia shepherding various groups of Boy Scouts up and down the hills for several years, but there is no comparison of weekend hiking with an AT “through–hike.” To say that is a physical challenge is putting it mildly. It is physical, mental, medical and a touch of zen. None of that explains why David Miller quit his job, leave his wife and three young daughters to take on this five-month physical and spiritual challenge? Rain, pain, knee and ankle injuries, bears, snakes, and even the occasional moose really make you wonder. However, “through-hikers” are a small fraternity, and he introduces us to many memorable characters he meets along the way. It is a fascinating story and a great solo quest. Since his hike, Miller has set up an excellent website on the AT www.AwolOnTheTrail.com with maps, guidebooks, and advice on equipment.

While I came away from the book with great respect for anyone with the perseverance to take on a challenge like the AT, I am reminded of Stephen Ambrose’s most memorable book, Undaunted Courage about the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804-06. It is of the great adventures of all time, where 33 men spent 2 ½ years traveling 7700 miles from St. Louis to the Oregon coast with no maps, across the Rockies and Wasatch Mountains and back without losing the man. True, they were usually riding in boats and on horseback, but it is a phenomenal undertaking nonetheless. After you read AWOL On The Appalachian Trail, pick up Undaunted Courage.

William F. Brown is the author of 5 thriller novels with over 300 Five-Star Reviews: The Undertaker, Amongst My Enemies, Thursday at Noon, Winner Take All, and now Aim True, My Brothers. They are all available on Kindle and now on Audible Audio Books.