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Skywalker: Highs and Lows on the Pacific Crest Trail Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 203 customer reviews

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Length: 282 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

The Pacific Crest Trail is the best way for an average person such as myself to deeply immerse himself or herself in the famed American West.

About the Author

Bill Walker was a commodities broker at the Chicago Board of Trade and London International Financial Exchange for fourteen years. Walker then sharply reversed course and spent three years in four Latin American countries as a Teacher of English as a Second Language. Walker hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2005 and the Pacific Crest Trail in 2009. In 2010 and 2011, he hiked the most popular trail in Europe--El Camino de Santiago. This is an 1,100 year old medieval trail that is variously considered a spiritual pilgrimage, or "the European Divorcee Trail." He recently completed a narrative on that journey, 'The Best Way--El Camino de Santiago'.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1471 KB
  • Print Length: 282 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 1, 2010)
  • Publication Date: November 1, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004HZXYX4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,354 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Bill Walker attended the University of Georgia where he received a Bachelor's Degree and Master's Degree in Accounting. He spent the two most boring years of his life as a tax accountant at Arthur Andersen in Atlanta.

Walker then became a commodities broker for the next fourteen years, first at the Chicago Board of Trade, then at the London International Financial Futures Exchange. That was anything but boring. But in 2001, the entire business was computerized. It was again time to sharply change course.

Walker became a VISTA volunteer and was the welfare-reform coordinator for the South Texas region. He then moved to Latin America where he taught English as a Second Language in five different countries.

In 2005, he thru-hiked the 2,175 mile Appalachian Trail. Upon completion, he wrote Skywalker--Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail. This book has sold steadily on In 2009, Walker hiked the 2,663 mile Pacific Crest Trail. He recently published a narrative of that journey called, Skywalker--Highs and Lows on the Pacific Crest Trail, which is the number one selling book on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Walker, who is 6'11", is currently working on a book on the subject of height. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a 2009 alum of the PCT, I was excited to hear that Skywalker had written about his experience on the trail. I first bumped into Skywalker at the hostel in Big Bear City when he was trying to figure out what to do with his feet. When I arrived, nearly every person I met during my brief stay greeted me by asking, "Have you met Skywalker? The tall Georgia boy?" I ended up seeing Skywalker on several occasions throughout California and Southern Oregon. I never did see him in Washington. For obvious reasons, Skywalker was one of the most identifiable people on the trail, and it was always a pleasure to bump into him along the way and swap war stories from the previous section of trail. I vividly remember part of the conversation that he had with No Pain as NP was headed south and the rest of us were headed north because I caught up to Skywalker as they were having it. For me, it was at least as depressing a prognosis as Skywalker recounts in the book.

I mention the No Pain conversation because Skywalker has a great talent for capturing the human side of the trail. The PCT is so much more than 2600+ miles from Mexico to Canada. It has a lot of protagonists and antagonists, depending on your perspective. It's not just about getting up and over Forester Pass or taking the side trip to the top of Mt. Whitney. It's also about the decision-making process. Do I have the time? Do I have the resources? Will this add to the trip or contribute to the difficulty of making it to Canada before winter? Those are the conflicts that jumped out at me as I read Skywalker's book.

I recently took a cross-country flight and read the entire book from start to finish in the air because I just couldn't put it down.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bill Walker is a likeable enough guy, and he's done things most of us haven't and never will. Kudos to him. We really want to hike this trail with him vicariously, but he makes it so hard.

I first read his AT story, and as it progressed, I thought I detected the telltale signs of self-publishing -- chaotic commas and hyphens, stories, instead of their audience, described as "incredulous," etc. No great stigma attached; it's just a fact that most people do not write in perfect prose. Publishers know this, and they hire editors and proofreaders to run interference so neither they nor the author will be embarrassed by the finished product.

So I was more than a little surprised to read at the end of the AT book that Bill actually had a publisher; now that's embarrassing. Did the publisher have either an editor or a proofreader?

But I enjoyed the story enough to continue on to the PCT. Wow. This book is a genuine festival of editorial error, and not just of the low-grade, misplaced comma variety. There are rampant, random italics, there are typos, there are missing words, and so many hyphens are missing it's almost like reading a foreign language at times. It took me nearly a minute to tease out what "heightrelated" meant -- kind of like seeing the bird in the Escher painting. Then there are the endless misused words and phrases: "wit" for "whit," "shear" for "sheer," "delicatessens" for "delicacies," "flee" for "flea," "tortuous" for "torturous," a hiker who "bought (rather than bit) the dust," and my personal favorite, a windstorm that was so bad the author had to "take umbrage" in his tent. Maybe he was deeply offended, and maybe he did appreciate the shade, but I'm guessing his intended meaning was "take shelter.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read Bill Walkers 1st book, (Skywalker - Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail). Bill Walker was a relatable character and it didn't take long to finish the book. That said, the writing was poor and the book didn't always have a great flow to it.

Despite this, it was a very personal account of life on the trail and I felt connected enough to the writer to want to read about his next adventure; "Skywalker: Highs and Lows of the Pacific Crest Trail."

Bill Walker did an absolutely tremendous job on this book. For one, the writing is much better! I had read complaints about errors in earlier releases. This latest release I downloaded to my kindle seemed to be cleaned up. Some occasional errors still exist, but as a hole, the writing was VERY improved.

The book goes back and forth between Skywalker's experience on the trail and the history / personal observations about the different regions he hiked through. In his first book (Skywalker - Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail), Walker's efforts to intertwine historical facts and observations with his day to day hiking felt forced. It just didn't seem to flow. In this book however, Walker was masterful.

Skywalker is very open and honest about himself and his own thoughts and feelings. He writes with no Ego, and gives a fair assessment of his own abilities and shortcomings. He does a wonderful job contrasting the many hardships of life on the trail (From his foot issues in the desert to freezing in Washington State) w/ the great beauty and personal accomplishments that accompany such a journey.

I found the book to be entertaining, educational, and interesting. The historical commentary appears to be well researched and the book itself flowed along nicely. Overall, it was very well done!
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