Balancing on Blue – Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail

By Englishman Keith Foskett 

I’ve read a number of AT books, my favourite being A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson.

But this may be my second favourite. Foskett does a superb job of explaining the big question: WHY are you doing a thru-hike. 

I enjoyed too the brief entries written by some of his thru-hiking friends.

‘Be prepared for great story telling, unique and interesting characters, humour and insight.’
Andrew Skurka – National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.

I’ve now downloaded his earlier PCT book – The Last Englishman.

 

Turkey’s Lycian Way – a book

Canadian Michelle Savigny published an entertaining book called Breaking the Fourth Wall: An Uncertain Journey on Turkey’s Lycian Way. (2016)

I read it in preparation for doing some hiking there myself.

After researching long-distance coastal routes, she prepared to solo hike the 509-kilometre Lycian Way. The journey doesn’t take her where she planned, but as she camps in the wild, gets lost without water and confronts charging sheepdogs, the path guides her to exactly where she needs to be. …

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Unfortunately I didn’t get much information on the hike itself: best sections, highlights, etc.

Her journey was more internal than physical. I’m not sure it mattered where she happened to be walking.

Click PLAY or watch some of her photos on YouTube.

AWOL on the Appalachian Trail

I enjoyed this trip report. It’s basically his trail diary.

In 2003, David Miller left his job, family, and friends to fulfill a dream and hike the Appalachian Trail. …

While this book abounds with introspection and perseverance, it also provides useful passages about safety and proper gear, showing a professional hiker’s preparations and tenacity.

 

This is not merely a travel guide, but a beautifully written and highly personal view into one man’s adventure and what it means to make a lifelong vision come true.

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GoodReads reviews.

If you want to hike the A.T. this is a good read. Very systematic and well organized information. He was a 41-year-old computer programmer at the time.

David Miller went on to publish Appalachian Trail guidebooks.

That said, I’d recommend you hike the Pacific Crest Trail instead. It’s a better thru hike. 🙂

Colorado Trail Fest

Backpacker Magazine:

In partnership with Mountain Hardwear, the state of Colorado, and the Colorado Outward Bound School, we launched the first annual Colorado Trail Fest in September 2016.

Nearly 40 BACKPACKER readers gathered for a four-day trek in the San Juan Mountains, followed by a train ride to Durango and a music-beer-food-prizes celebration. …

Backpacker

Click PLAY or watch 2016 highlights on YouTube.

The 2017 Colorado Trail Fest is scheduled for mid-September. Leave a comment if you have final dates for that.

Pete Brook on the PCT

I liked Carrot Quinn’s PCT book for her honesty. And I like this interview.

Pete Brook is an independent writer who covered his Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike for Outside Magazine last summer.

 

Along the way, Pete documented his experience through a handful of articles, and more closely through his social media. Pete’s honest take on the hike ran counter to the overly romantic versions of outdoor pursuits that have emerged in recent years. …

 

The Clyme

Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart …

An Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail by Carrot Quinn 

I’ve read a number of books on the PCT. I believe this is my favourite.

thru-hiking-will-break-your-heart

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Carrot Quinn was raised in Alaska on welfare by a schizophrenic single mother. A rough life. In fact, she became a hobo riding the rails.

This book reads as a blog. That’s because it started as blog posts from the trail.

reaching the Canadian border

reaching the Canadian border

If you are one of those who disliked Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild … because it had too little actual hiking … know that this extended trip report is all about the hiking. 🙂

It’s funny. It’s real. It’s surprising. Carrot makes no apologies.She’s a big advocate of trail romance. Even sex.

I’ll certainly buy any of her other books that get released on audio.

related – Carrot did not love the Continental Divide Trail. She did love the Hayduke Route.

Summit by Harry Farthing (2016)

Even if you have zero interest in alpinism or Nazis, I highly recommend this book. It’s very entertaining throughout.

In the autumn of 1938 Germany’s Reichsführer, Heinrich Himmler, is growing frustrated at the British using their regional power in India to block passage of an SS expedition to Tibet. Determined to spite them, he plots to steal something the British hold dear and have failed for the seventh time that spring to achieve – a first summit of Mount Everest.

Seventy years later, seasoned mountain guide Neil Quinn’s ninth visit to the top of the world’s highest mountain in the charge of the sixteen-year old son of a Long Island billionaire begins to unravel. As a desperate fight for their lives begins in the freezing air high above Tibet, Quinn stumbles across a clue to a story that questions everything he thinks he knows about the great mountain. …

GoodReads
summit

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The author reads the audio version. That always adds something for me.

Farthing was inspired by 11 other mountaineering books. I’ve read at least 3 of those.

Watch an interview with the author.