3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2010
Unlike the previous review, this one actually deals with the book, and not its price!
Books about the Buckeye Trail are far and few between, and books on hiking the BT as a thru-hike are nearly non-existent. Therefore, after finding this title from another online dealer for a far cheaper price, I was very eager to crack open its pages and read about author's thru-hike of the BT that he completed in 2000.
(Side note - The book came with a clear plastic cover that is separate from the book, which is fortunate because the pages have already started separating from the spine. The printer should be ashamed of such shoddy work)
Back on track - John Merrill (at the time he wrote this book) had already completed over 170,000 miles of hiking and walking all around the globe. He completed the Appalachian Trail as a warm-up to the Pacific Coast Trail. The amount of miles he completed each day on the BT was simply amazing. He has fifty titles published on his various walks and hikes. So, needless to say, he knows a thing or two about walking.
The book is a day by day account of Mr. Merrill's sixty day hike of the then 1310 mile BT (it is now 1444 miles). He gives a bit of info of the sights and sounds he sees along the way. Alas, the book is rife with typos, run-on sentences, and some factual inaccuracies - at one point, upon reaching Lake Erie, the author was disappointed in not seeing the CNN Tower in Toronto sixty miles away...of course he would not see Toronto because Toronto is across Lake Ontario, not Lake Erie - and, he mentions that Ohio has 80 counties when it actually has 88 - but overall the read is very enjoyable and the author exudes enthusiasm (and a contagious positive outlook) every step along the way. His encounters with locals during his hike gives me the hope that there are still friendly and helpful people out in this world, something I hope to experience myself as I hike the BT (in sections, I can't take two months off of work).
At first I was put off a bit by Mr. Merrill's hiking techniques - he seems to eat at restaurants and stay at motels on a daily basis on his journey, but in hinsight this is the best method of completing the BT, there are few places to camp and very few shelters (ala the AT) along the trail. Still, I was surprised that Mr. Merrill did not carry more food to make his own meals with and use his tent more often than he did.
Overall, this is a pleasurable read and a must title for Buckeye Trail enthusiasts. A better produced book which has been edited would make this title more attractive, but in this form it is still a great title about the Buckeye Trail.