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Dances With Marmots - A Pacific Crest Trail Adventure Paperback – November 10, 2005


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Dances With Marmots - A Pacific Crest Trail Adventure + Skywalker: Highs and Lows on the Pacific Crest Trail + The Trail Life: How I Loved it, Hated it, and Learned from it
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 263 pages
  • Publisher: Lulu.com (November 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1411656180
  • ISBN-13: 978-1411656185
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

George Spearing was born and educated in the UK, spending two years as a cadet at the shore based naval training school HMS Conway before going to sea at age sixteen.
Emigrating to New Zealand six years later, he worked at a variety of jobs before joining the New Zealand Fire Service in which he served for twenty seven years in the Auckland Brigade, retiring with the rank of Station Officer. He now lives in Oamaru, South Island, NZ. 'Dances With Marmots' is his first full length book. He has had several outdoor magazine articles published plus a fictional short story published in Air New Zealand's flight magazine.

George continues his adventures and has since crewed on a 40ft yacht to New Caledonia and Australia, hiked the length of New Zealand's North Island and has also recently walked the length of Great Britain.


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Customer Reviews

Great book and author has a good sense of humor and adventure.
J. Barton
I've read dozens of books and journals on hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, and Dances With Marmots is by far the best!
Perry P. Perkins
I shot right through the book and finished it off in short order.
Old Goat

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Lauralei on June 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
Although I commend the author for his courage and humor, some things about the book distracted from reading pleasure. This read like a self-published book (maybe it is) that had not been edited at all. There were no paragraph indents, and many sentences were run-on (strung together with commas when there sould have been a period). I'm not a stickler about grammar, but this was distracting and made it hard to read. There was also a problem with tense and scenes suddenly switching. For example, in a camping scene, the author would suddenly mention that he saw 3 bears while camping, but it turned out that this was referring to something that would happen several chapters later, so that during the present scene I would wonder, "Where are the bears?" Often I would hope for an interesting scene only to be disappointed by a blow by blow of each day and night on the trail (including the days where nothing really happened). If you can deal with the amateur style, you may enjoy this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Perry P. Perkins on August 16, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Read this story several times before it was available in book form and was thrilled to find it had been published. I've read dozens of books and journals on hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, and Dances With Marmots is by far the best!

Spearing's gift for description and humor make this a fun read. The author has a gift for putting the reader on the trail beside him and his anecdotes of trail buddies, town stops, and dealing with customs at both ends of the trail are a delight.

Dances With Marmots makes you want to strap on a pack and hit the trail. A must for anyone who loves the outdoors and needs a chuckle.

Blessings,

Perry P. Perkins
Author
"Just Past Oysterville"
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By sgt. pepper on January 22, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My favorite aspect of this book is how the reader sees America (and the PCT) through the eyes of a humorous New Zealander. George's writing is a pleasure to read. I especially enjoyed the passage where he describes exactly why he hiked the PCT. He had obviously done a lot of thinking over the many miles he walked and had come up with a beautiful way to express the exact reasons as to why he would walk 20+ miles a day for five months.

The only aspect of the book I didn't like was that, towards the end, Spearing seems to be a bit tired of writing a book and resigns to simply listing the names of the wilderness areas he visits. This is in stark contrast to the excited, witty and funny tone taken earlier in the book.

Regardless of this, I thoroughly enjoyed Spearing's book. If you are at all interested in hiking the PCT, I'm sure you will like his book too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sabrina1340 on August 31, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like his writing style it is easy to read and he seriously makes it fun. I'm hiking the PCT a little bit at the time myself and find his story inspirational to do the whole thing at once. I like his humor in the book, it is an easy read or an adventure when you can't get away yourself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Old Goat on October 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
I shot right through the book and finished it off in short order. The reason, of course, was that I found it to be very interesting, humorous to the point of frequent guffaws and snickers, and inspirational. I truly believe that only those with physical and mental toughness have a chance to actually complete a thru-hike in one season. Add to that the perils of heat, cold, rain, snow, lack of water, scrapes, bruises, sprains or broken bones, loneliness, missed food drops, leaking canteens, dried-up water sources, high-altitude problems, indistinct trail markings, wildlife (bears and rattlers, e.g.) and a host of other perils, and it becomes apparent that one also has to be very fortunate and resilient to get through. I believe the odds are really stacked against success, and that is why stories such as George's are so uplifting. Add to all that, the fact that he was half a world away with very limited resupply support, and it became an incredible undertaking. I had originally thought that perhaps the next edition should include a dictionary of terms, so those of us unfamiliar with his particular way of expressing various words would be able to zero in on the meaning. In retrospect, however, I also believe that having to guess at the meaning adds to the magic, entertainment and humor of the story. Thanks again, George, for the great read. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves the outdoors, adventure, and human triumph.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Belle Starr on June 8, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Dances With Marmots" is essentially a diary of a New Zealander's hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, starting in Campo CA (on the Mexican border) and ending when he reached Canada.

The nice thing about this book is even if you are not a hiker, the author being a New Zealander adds facets of interest to the book because he is new to hiking and new to the United States. His comments about Americans and their land are very amusing.

I initially caught sight of this book online, where the first two chapters were published, and they mentioned Warner Springs, CA. I live near there, and had to laugh out loud at an incident he told of an encounter with a local at a little country bar, the Log Cabin. I bought the book at Amazon.

Spearling's humor carried through in the book, I enjoyed it and passed it on to family members who enjoy hiking and a good story too.
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