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Called Again: A Story of Love and Triumph [Kindle Edition]

Jennifer Pharr Davis
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In 2011, Jennifer Pharr Davis became the overall record holder on the Appalachian Trail. By hiking 2,181 miles in 46 days -- an average of 47 miles per day -- she became the first female to ever set that mark. But this is not a book about records or numbers; this is a book about endurance and faith, and most of all love. The most amazing part of this story is not found at the finish, but is discovered through the many challenges, lessons and relationships that present themselves along the trail. This is Jennifer's story, in her own words, about how she started this journey with a love for hiking and more significantly a love for her husband Brew. Together, they were able to overcome rugged mountains and raging rivers, sleet storms and 100 degree heat, shin-splints and illnesses. They made new friends and tested old friendships; they shared together laughter, and tears -- a lot of tears. But, through it all, they fell more in love with one another and with the wilderness. By completing this extraordinary amateur feat, Jennifer rose above the culture of multi-million dollar sports contracts that is marked by shortcuts and steroids. This is the story of a real person doing something remarkable. Jennifer Pharr Davis is a modern role-model for women -- and men. She is an authentic hero.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jennifer Pharr Davis grew up in the North Carolina Mountains, where she developed a love for hiking at a young age. At age twenty-one, Jennifer hiked the entire Appalachian Trail as a solo female and fell in love with long-distance backpacking.

Since then, Jennifer has hiked more than 11,000 miles on six different continents, with North American hikes including the Pacific Crest Trail, Vermont's Long Trail, and the Colorado Trail, and completed three thru-hikes on the Appalachian Trail. She has hiked and traveled on six continents; some of the highlights include Mount Kilimanjaro, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and the 600-mile Bibbulmun Track in Australia.

In the summer of 2011, Jennifer topped her own 2008 Women's Endurance Record for the fastest thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail, making her the overall record holder for both women and men. Jennifer is the first woman to hold the overall title.

Jennifer hiked from Katahdin, Maine to Springer Mountain, Georgia. Her goal was to hike the entire 2,180-mile faster than the current overall speed record of 47 days, 13 hours and 31 minutes, which she did in 46 days.

To break the record, Jennifer hiked an average of 47 miles a day, camping along the trail. She had trail support from legendary ultra-runner and former AT and Pacific Crest Trail speed record holder David Horton, as well as veteran AT expert Warren Doyle and Davis' husband, Brew Davis. Her hiking and backpacking accomplishments, as well as her influence as an outdoor role model, are remarkable and momentous.

Jennifer is a 2012 National Geographic Top Adventurer of the Year nominee for her record-breaking thru-hike, has been on CNN, The Early Show, NPR numerous times, and was featured in Fitness Magazine and Shape magazine, among others. Jennifer has also written for Trail Runner magazine, Away.com, is a frequent contributor to Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, and has written three guidebooks. Jennifer lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband, and is the owner and founder of Blue Ridge Hiking Co.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1734 KB
  • Print Length: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Beaufort Books; 1 edition (June 10, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CRLS1HY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,569 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an amazing journey! April 1, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A remarkable adventure story and a mind-boggling athletic feat. Having hiked the Trail myself, I can appreciate the author's accomplishment: I got out my trail journal and discovered that each day that she describes generally corresponds to about four days of "normal" hiking. Some people look askance at attempts at speed records on the trail; Warren Doyle, the author's mentor, is a rather controversial figure. But (for many of us, at least) the AT is an opportunity for challenge. For me, just completing it was challenge enough; for the author, the challenge took the form of a record-setting time.

This isn't a book just for people interested in the Appalachian Trail. The author's description of her spiritual and emotional feelings will resonate with anyone. And she doesn't present herself as a plaster saint: she gets grouchy at times (as who wouldn't, after hiking a sixty-mile day, or when being confronted by an importunate paparazzo!) My partner (an occasional hiker and frequent one-man support crew) clipped out a cartoon from The New Yorker a while back and it's on our refrigerator door: two hikers are in the woods and one says to the other "It's a good thing this is a leisure-time activity, because you couldn't pay me to do it." Yes, indeed! As Ms. Davis says (p. 177): "I may not be having fun, but I feel a sense of joy and purpose. When things are this difficult it causes you to change and grow."

People hike the trail for various reasons: to get in touch with nature, for a 2000-mile party, or for a personal challenge.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Incredible athlete, okay book June 1, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"Called Again" is the memoir of the author's record-setting, second thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. It is, as expected, mostly a story of emotional and spiritual endurance, even though she certainly pushed her body to its physical limits as well. I suspect most thru-hikers have similar internal ups and downs, although most certainly to a significantly lesser degree and over a longer period of time. The Appalachian Trail is, when all is said and done, just a long walk, but each hiker brings something different to it.

The athletic achievement certainly deserves accolades but overall, what would make a wonderfully fascinating trail journal makes just an okay book. The writing is, at best, serviceable, and at times it was difficult to get through it. It also seemed a little too personal and specific sometimes and after a while, I simply didn't care what she was thinking or how she felt because a lot of it had nothing to do with hiking and would be more suitable for a diary. Furthermore, the illustrations would be more appropriate for a shelter log than a published book—although they did make me chuckle at times, as with the bear family peeking around the tree or the close-up of the kangaroo.

I would definitely recommend this book for endurance athletes to gain an understanding of the internal struggle to succeed. For average hikers and Appalachian Trail aficionados, there are more informative and entertaining books available.

*** = "it's okay"
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Jennifer Pharr Davis is an incredible athlete. As an endurance athlete she is surely world-class. This book is about her attempt to walk the entire length of the Appalachian Trail. Her trip would entail every single foot of the 2181 mile national pathway, no short cuts, no detours or days off and when she missed even the smallest portion of the course she backtracked to ensure she hiked the official designated trail because this was an official record attempt.

If you are thinking about getting this book for the equipment reviews and recommendations, don't do it, there aren't any in this book. If you are looking for hiking techniques, tips you can use, secrets about completing the trail that a record holder would hopefully know, Jennifer doesn't share any of those in this book either, maybe the next one. And lastly, if you think you are going to gain some sound practical backpacking knowledge or profound insight that would surely be part of supreme test of endurance, you would be mistaken again.

What clearly comes out in this book is how hard the hike was for Jennifer. If you aren't familiar with the Appalachian Trail then Jennifer's description of her perseverance adds gravitas to her achievement. There are a couple things that her storytelling doesn't do. It doesn't inspire me and it doesn't portray Jennifer in a positive light. Her husband is a saint and her friends make incredible sacrifices to support her but she doesn't really treat them with equal generosity, so this book is disappointing in that regard.

I have a library of hiking and backpacking books that goes back over 40 years to the first edition of Colin Fletcher's Complete Walker and I am proud of each and every book. I was initially going to toss this book when I finished it, but I thought better. Maybe I'll read it again in a couple years and discover something useful the second time around. For now, I can't recommend it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring love story June 25, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When Jennifer Pharr Davis was 24, she decided to return to the Appalachian Trail where she'd met her first love (now in the past tense) to hike and attempt to break the current record. Also "to heal." Responded a mentor: "You think physically hurting and reaching new levels of discomfort is going to be healing?"

Uh..surprisingly, yes; otherwise there wouldn't be much of a book in "Called Again," Davis' account of how she took on the A.T. with a support crew, including her husband Brew and other friends and seasoned "thru-hikers." Though she would be the first woman to succeed at this, Davis thought of her goal in non-gender terms. Before she was thorough, she'd deal with perpetual physical pain (shin splints, a sprained ankle, dehydration, etc.), as well as the desire to quit (of which she is commendably honest in portraying). She'd hike through electrical storms, snowfall, rivers with heavy currents, black fly-filled paths and other ordeals (sometimes fuming that her crew was enjoying hot baths in a nearby hotel or in someone's home meanwhile). She'd also deal with feelings of insecurity (at one point she describes feeling like the man who held the current record is one of the "cool kids"), an obnoxious journalist/photographer, logistical mixups, and sheer exhaustion. However, she comes to realize the impact her act will have on others. When one of her companions tells her that Davis is her daughter's role model, she realizes that a true role model inspires others to be their own personal best, not to simply aspire to be like her.
Despite some "diva-like" behavior on the trail when fatigued, Davis finds humility among her other benefits from the experience. At the end, she tells us how her relationship with her husband deepened, and how her victory is a group one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the read
I really enjoyed this book. I admit that I agreed with some of the other reviews that the authors behavior isnt always pretty, but neither was what she was attempting to do. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love reading all hiking stories
Published 6 days ago by Paul R. Thibault
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great book!
Published 9 days ago by Carlos Araujo
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible story of an incredible journey!
I just finished reading this fantastic book! It was an incredible story of an incredible journey. This was the highly engaging story of Jennifer's 2011 record for the fastest... Read more
Published 1 month ago by W. Craig Henley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I loved this book. It made me want to get outside and hike.
Published 1 month ago by Amy S. Hoggard
3.0 out of 5 stars More than a hike
Jennifer Pharr Davis has written a report on her initial attempt to get the record for women doing a through-hike on the Appalachian Trail, and then her commitment and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by L Walker
4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed this book
Really enjoyed this book. Having hiked on the AT myself and having heard Jennifer Pharr Davis speak I knew what the book would be like. I was not disappointed! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Debbi
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing lady
An excellent and well-written book about Jennifer Pharr Davis' record-breaking hike on the Appalachian Trail. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nebushwacker
3.0 out of 5 stars The easy way to experience the trail
The easy way to experience the trail. Quite an accomplishment for her and her hubby and friends.
Published 1 month ago by Martha Cox
3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe the chicks will like it. I would not recommend it for guys
Way too much crying. Maybe the chicks will like it. I would not recommend it for guys. She needs to get a grip.
Published 1 month ago by Gary Hart
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More About the Author

Jennifer Pharr Davis grew up in the North Carolina Mountains, where she developed a love for hiking at a young age. At age twenty-one, Jennifer hiked the entire Appalachian Trail as a solo female and fell in love with long-distance backpacking.

Since then, Jennifer has hiked more than 11,000 miles on six different continents, with North American hikes including the Pacific Crest Trail, Vermont's Long Trail, and the Colorado Trail, and completed three thru-hikes on the Appalachian Trail. She has hiked and traveled on six continents; some of the highlights include Mount Kilimanjaro, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and the 600-mile Bibbulmun Track in Australia.

In the summer of 2011, Jennifer topped her own 2008 Women's Endurance Record for the fastest thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail, making her the overall record holder for both women and men. Jennifer is the first woman to hold the overall title.

Jennifer hiked from Katahdin, Maine to Springer Mountain, Georgia. Her goal was to hike the entire 2,180-mile faster than the current overall speed record of 47 days, 13 hours and 31 minutes, which she did in 46 days.

To break the record, Jennifer hiked an average of 47 miles a day, camping along the trail. She had trail support from legendary ultra-runner and former AT and Pacific Crest Trail speed record holder David Horton, as well as veteran AT expert Warren Doyle and Davis' husband, Brew Davis. Her hiking and backpacking accomplishments, as well as her influence as an outdoor role model, are remarkable and momentous.

Jennifer is a 2012 National Geographic Top Adventurer of the Year nominee for her record-breaking thru-hike, has been on CNN, The Early Show, NPR numerous times, and was featured in Fitness Magazine and Shape Magazine, among others. Jennifer has also written for Trail Runner magazine, Away.com, and is a frequent contributor to Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine. Jennifer lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband, and is the owner and founder of Blue Ridge Hiking Co.

Jennifer is the author of two memoirs about her experiences on the Appalachian Trail, "Becoming Odyssa" and "Called Again," and has written three guidebooks.

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