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Three Hundred Zeroes [Kindle Edition]

Dennis Blanchard
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)

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Kindle Price: $4.99
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Book Description

Dennis Blanchard's Vietnam Era promise to his brother haunted him for over forty years. Finally, when there were no more excuses, he set out on the Appalachian Trail to fulfill that promise. He learned that walking in the wilderness can reconnect one with a Norman Rockwell America that at times seems long lost and forgotten. The difficulties encountered walking over 2,200 miles are easily underestimated and trouble can begin long before setting a first step on the trail. Blanchard's introspective demonstrates that bears, rattlesnakes and challenging terrain may be far less formidable than some of life's more subtle dangers.

Three Hundred Zeroes is a Finalist in the 2010 Next Generation Indie Books Awards Contest.

About the Author
Dennis Blanchard was born in Bristol, Connecticut. After a stint in the U.S. Air Force he moved to New Hampshire with his wife, Jane. Never living very far from the Appalachian Trail, there was always the seductive siren's call to hike it. To support his hiking habit he has spent most of his life working as an electronics engineer. Dennis is an avid ham radio enthusiast and has authored many pieces for magazines such as the amateur radio journal, QST and other technical magazines, as well as motorcycle adventure articles. When not off wandering in the woods he lives in Sarasota, Florida.


Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Dennis Blanchard's promise to his brother haunted him for over forty years. Finally, when there were no more excuses, he set out on the Appalachian Trail to fulfill that promise. As he walked the trail, Dennis reconnected with the Norman Rockwell America that seems lost and forgotten. He learned that not only are the difficulties of walking over 2,200 miles easily underestimated but that trouble can begin long before setting a first step on the trail. Blanchard's humorous introspective demonstrates that bears, rattlesnakes and challenging terrain may be far less formidable than some of life's more subtle dangers.
Alan Roddy, President, Appalachian Trail Club of Florida:
"Dennis tells us a quirky but endearing and ultimately inspiring tale, about not only the daily challenges that the Appalachian Trail throws down for hikers, but also the unexpected challenges of a life-threatening heart condition, and how he overcame both with the same persistence and positive outlook.  Along the way we find out just what to do when a bear visits us in the shower.  "
Grace Tyner, Mountain Marching Mommas:
End-to-end Appalachian Trail hiker K1YPP Dennis Blanchard, a real ham, never had to use that SOS signal in spite of daunting medical problems.  But he did contact many radio operators using his homemade radio (Dennis is this right? fragrantly stored in a mint tin. No cell phones for this electronics engineer who was often mistaken for Santa Claus minus the little round belly - he was always hungry!   
This was no "walk in the woods." Dennis tells of his many encounters with wild life on his 2,175 mile hike - even with exciting "bare" facts. What a page turner, especially if you are a hiker, but entertaining and educational for all.  Just makes you want to put on those boots to experience again the hike of a lifetime. 

About the Author

Dennis Blanchard was born in Bristol, Connecticut. After a stint in the U.S. Air Force he moved to New Hampshire with his wife, Jane. Never living very far from the Appalachian Trail, there was always the seductive siren's call to hike it. To support his hiking habit he has spent most of his life working as an electronics engineer. Dennis is an avid ham radio enthusiast and has authored many pieces for magazines such as the amateur radio journal, QST and other technical magazines, as well as motorcycle adventure articles. When not off wandering in the woods he lives in Sarasota, Florida.

Product Details


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story March 18, 2010
Format:Paperback
This was a great read. Having had some experience with the AT myself I felt this was a very accurate and humorous account of what it's like to be out there. I loved reading about some of the places I've seen myself and could completely empathize with the main character and his plight. Some of the situations were down right hilarious. I won't spoil it but bears can apparently be very curious creatures. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a humorous and inspiring book about overcoming obstacles and fullfilling a dream.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Account of an Appalachian Trail Throughhike March 2, 2010
Format:Paperback
Dennis (trailname K1) Blanchard's, '300 Zeroes' is a great account of his Appalachian Trail (AT) Throughhike in which he started his hike, had to go home for heart surgery and returned to finish in 2008 on the very first day that he could (after 300 zero's). It is a fascinating account of his hike, showing his humor and insight. His subtitle, 'Lesson's of the Heart on the Appalachian Trail' is doubly appropriate, referring to how it affected his physical heart and his emotional heart. It is a great book for anyone who has hiked the Appalachian Trail or is thinking about hiking it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Hundred Reasons to Read This Book April 6, 2010
Format:Paperback
I am not a hiker, but the inspiration this book brought me may very well change that. The humor the author shared was well placed and came about in unexpected places, but he did not rely on that to carry the story (which is truly inspirational). The author shared with the reader a desire to fulfill a commitment, and what it takes to fulfill that commitment, then shares the personal rewards (many of which were unexpected) he gained from undertaking a truly monumental task.
Upon beginning this book I pondered how nice it would be to have this in audiobook form so I could listen to it on my Mp3 player while going about my everyday tasks, or even bringing it along with me for a nice long "Walk in the woods", until I came to the realization that bears (Yes Bears!) are a common sight out on the trail, and not from a distance either, along with attack squirrels, rattlesnakes, and all sorts of other hazards that it is best to be on the alert for. With that being said, I guess I can honestly say the author saved my life by writing this book and making me aware of such dangers before attempting such foolishness.
What this reader took away from this book was inspiration, on many different levels, but most of all, a new found respect on what it means to fulfill a dream. That and to carry as light a load as possible, even if it means leaving the mosquito repellent behind.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A non AT hikers take. March 21, 2010
By Paul
Format:Paperback
I worked with the author for a number of years when he lived here in southern NH so I may be showing some prejudice but... I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I love nature and the outdoors but 3-4 mile nature hikes are about as much as this old body can take so I got to live vicariously through Dennis' exploits. A very enjoyable read. Filled with insight and humor I was reluctant to get to the last paragraph because I knew the hike was over. Whether a hard core hiker or just a short nature walker like me you'll enjoy the book. Lastly, all I can say is I've learned to beware of attack squirrels!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars one of the best AT books I've read June 13, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Appalachian Trail is been the topic of numerous books, many of which, like this one, are written by first-time authors. This book is one of the rare ones which had me looking forward to my daily allotment of reading time. Despite not being an avid reader, I had it finished very quickly. Unlike some AT writers whose train of thought I found difficult to follow and whose showcases of bravado off-putting, those was never an issue here. Just as the author, as he neared the end of the trail, started wishing his hike wouldn't end, I found myself wishing I could magically keep reading while never reaching the last page.

Being the first edition of a self-published work, the book could use a little polish, but that's coming from a very picky, self-anointed wordsmith so it's very doubtful the vast majority of readers make such an observation. Also, on just a couple of occasions, the author wonders onto editorial tangents which some may find a bit preachy.

But this is more than compensated by humor - loved the red squirrel story! - and first hand accounts of the goodness of strangers, even in these tough economic times. I found the author's spirit to be truly inspiring. It's a very enjoyable read and highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lucky to make it. December 28, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In short: a decent account of a through-hike of the Appalachian Trail by someone who is not just lucky to have made it, but lucky to be alive. In essence the hike gets interrupted when the author develops chest pains and has to have coronary bypass surgery, hence the three hundred zeros. The book would have benefitted from a good editing with the removal of all the needless exclamation points.

At length: the author is living in Florida when he decides to undertake a through-hike of the Appalachian Trail. He feels as though he is physically fit enough to walk two thousand some miles from Georgia to Maine. Except at some point his heart tells him differently. Here is where the story gets interesting/bizarre. Most people know that chest pains are to be taken seriously and most people would either go straight to an emergency room or call 911 to be transported to an emergency room if they develop chest pains; at least that is what numerous health-conscious organizations are telling us. However, when the author gets chest pains during his hike he correctly diagnoses his own coronary artery disease but instead of seeking medical care, he just swallows some aspirin and keeps on hiking to Maine. In the medical field we call that denial. On the Appalachian Trail and in most National Parks this would usually result in the transport of a corpse. Luckily, the author eventually seeks medical attention and one coronary bypass and three hundred days later he is back hiking northbound to Maine. If nothing else you have to admire his persistence.
The author used his engineering background to build himself a portable ham radio and set a goal of making contact with other ham radio operators in every state along the trail. Communicating by morse code, he does fulfill this goal.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Done
Wonderful book. Have read several AT books and, I think, this was the most enjoyable.
Published 17 hours ago by Kevin
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
This is the most upbeat Appalachian Trail hiker that I have read. 300 zeroes refers to the days he did not do any trail hiking. Read more
Published 9 days ago by crazywoman
5.0 out of 5 stars inspiring
Full of good humor , wise observations and the luck of the trail, a fine inspiring read of one man joy in each day he is granted on the trail.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Near-perfect mix
Dennis achieved a near-perfect blend in his description of the physical challenges, the emotional barriers he had to overcome and the rewards of finishing the AT. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gary Lockney
5.0 out of 5 stars the amazing trek through rough and steep terrain
Three Hundred Zeroes was a compilation of a gentleman's journey hiking The Appalachian Trail. His detailed list of what he carried in his backpack, the amazing trek through rough... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Marie Kleps
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard to get into this book
I've started and stopped reading this book several times over the past several months since buying it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by M. Voelker
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A very enjoyable book to read. He shared his hiking of the AT with lots of humor...well done, Dennis.
Published 2 months ago by Tom Snyder
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely read.
I have read many books about thru-hiking, Three Hundred Zeroes is one of my favorites. A well written and enjoyable read. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jessica Fox
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy and informative reading for anyone attempting the AT
Easy and informative reading for anyone attempting the AT. It fills in the blanks of Bryson"s "Walk In The Woods". Read more
Published 3 months ago by james michael luckett
5.0 out of 5 stars we'll written
Very good read. The author has a very humorous writing style. I very much enjoyed this boo and recommend it highly
Published 3 months ago by lonesome_day01
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More About the Author

Dennis Blanchard was born and raised in Bristol, Connecticut. He and his wife Jane moved to Hampstead, New Hampshire in 1980 where he continued to follow his passion for the outdoors. He was the 2002 Masters Division New England Mountain Bike Champion (EFTA), an avid hiker and traveler. When he comes indoors to dry off, or warm up, he pursues his interest in Amateur Radio. Sometimes he takes the radio along with him outdoors as well.

Never living very far from the Appalachian Trail, Dennis was always aware of the seductive siren's call to hike it. In the sixties Dennis made a promise to his brother that haunted him for over forty years. Finally, when there were no more excuses, he set out 2007 on the Appalachian Trail to fulfill that promise. As he walked the trail, Dennis reconnected with the Norman Rockwell America that seems lost and forgotten. He learned that not only are the difficulties of walking over 2,200 miles easily underestimated but that trouble can begin long before setting a first step on the trail. Blanchard's introspective demonstrates that bears, rattlesnakes and challenging terrain may be far less formidable than some of life's more subtle dangers.

Dennis is a retired electronics engineer who has freelanced for amateur radio, technical and motorcycle adventure magazines. He now lives in Sarasota, Florida.

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Hikers with heart surgery?
Are you the first heart attack surviver who later hiked the AT? Did you thru hike?
Mar 31, 2012 by David E. Harrison |  See all 5 posts
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