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Hiking can be pretty amusing and Bill Bryson takes my award for funniest published book about this outdoor activity. His plan was to hike one of our countries three main long trails, the 2,100 mile long Appalachian Trail, also known as the AT, so he put the word out to his friends and family looking for a companion. An old, out of shape friend of his named Stephen Katz agreed to accompany him on the trek.
When their journey starts, they soon find out how ill-prepared they are. Without giving too much away, it is clear that Katz was not only unsure what he was getting into, but also he was clearly making poor decisions on the trail.
When someone choses to take three to five months out of their daily life to hike a long trail like this, they have a lot of logistics and planning to do. Packages with food and gear need to mailed ahead to predetermined locations, and therefore many choices need to be made prior to setting out. These type of pre-calculations are some of the reasons for some mishaps that happen to the two main characters.
Anyone who has spent nights out in the backcountry, will relate to this story. I have not hiked the entirety of a long trail, but I have read this book twice so far! Do yourself a favor and read this for the humor and determination of both Bryson and Katz.
A movie was made in 2014 with Robert Redford as Bill Bryson and Nick Nolte as Stephen Katz. Here is a link to check it out - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1178665/
By Rudy Giecek