A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

Bill Bryson

Language: English

Pages: 397

ISBN: 0307279464

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Soon to be a major motion picture starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte.

The Appalachian Trail 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 Woods will make you long for the great outdoors (or at least a comfortable chair to sit and read in).

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of white hair; he was always available in his later years to say a few words at ceremonies on sunny hillsides. Avery, on the other hand, died in 1952, a quarter-century before MacKaye and when the trail was still little known. But it was really Avery's trail. He mapped it out, bullied and cajoled clubs into producing volunteer crews, and personally superintended the construction of hundreds of miles of path. He extended its planned length from 1,200 miles to well over 2,000, and before it was

comparatively craggy mountains, steeped in haze and nudged at the distant margins by moody-looking clouds, at once deeply beckoning and rather awesome. We had found the Smokies. Far below, squeezed into a narrow valley, was Fontana Lake, a long, fjordlike arm of pale green water. At the lake's western end, where the Little Tennessee River flows into it, stands a big hydroelectric dam, 480 feet high, built by the Tennessee Valley Authority in the 1930s. It is the biggest dam in America east of

my look of wonder. "Snickers," he explained. "Lots and lots of Snickers." We drove home by way of Dunkin Donuts. My wife and I sat with him at the kitchen table and watched him eat five Boston cream doughnuts, which he washed down with two glasses of milk. Then he said he wanted to go and lie down a while. It took him whole minutes to get up the stairs. My wife turned to me with a look of serene blankness. "Please just don't say anything," I said. In the afternoon, after Katz had rested, he

desk looked at our tickets to Atlanta and our packs and said--quite alertly, I thought, for a person wearing a shortsleeve shirt in winter--"You fellows hiking the Appalachian Trail?" "Sure are," said Katz proudly. "Lot of trouble with wolves down in Georgia, you know." "Really?" Katz was all ears. "Oh, yeah. Coupla people been attacked recently. Pretty savagely, too, from what I hear." He messed around with tickets and luggage tags for a minute. "Hope you brought some long underwear." Katz

improbable, endearingly hopeless creature ever to live in the wilds. Every bit of it--its spindly legs, its chronically puzzled expression, its comical oven-mitt antlers--looks like some droll evolutionary joke. It is wondrously ungainly: it runs as if its legs have never been introduced to each other. Above all, what distinguishes the moose is its almost boundless lack of intelligence. If you are driving down a highway and a moose steps from the woods ahead of you, he will stare at you for

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