- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (November 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0547745524
- ISBN-13: 978-0547745527
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 2,476 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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AWOL on the Appalachian Trail Paperback – International Edition, November 1, 2011
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From the Back Cover
In 2003, David Miller left his job, family, and friends to fulfill a dream and hike the Appalachian Trail. AWOL on the Appalachian Trail is Millers account of this thru-hike along the entire 2,172 miles from Georgia to Maine. On page after page, readers are treated to rich descriptions of the valleys and mountains, the isolation and reverie, the inspiration that fueled his quest, and the life-changing moments that can only be experienced when dreams are pursued. While this book abounds with introspection and perseverance, it also provides useful passages about safety and proper gear, showing a professional hikers preparations and tenacity. This is not merely a travel guide, but a beautifully written and highly personal view into one mans adventure and what it means to make a lifelong vision come true.
David Miller is the author of The A.T. Guide, a guidebook for hiking the Appalachian Trail that is updated annually. He has worked as a software engineer, handyman, and writer. He lives in Titusville, Florida, with his wife and three children. For more information about hiking the Appalachian Trail, please visit www.theatguide.com.
About the Author
David Miller is the author of The A.T. Guide, a guidebook for hiking the Appalachian Trail that is updated annually, as well as AWOL on the Appalachian Trail, a narrative of his own journey hiking all 2,172 miles of the famous trail. David has worked as a software engineer, handyman, and writer. He lives in Titusville, Florida with his wife and three children.
Top customer reviews
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I sometimes walk portions on the AT while on day hikes in Virginia and Maryland. I have toyed with the idea of doing the whole thing. One thing the book convinces me of is, no, I don't want to do the whole thing. At least not as a thru-hiker.
I appreciated Mr. Miller's story and his experience will help me on the trails. His personal insights will help me as well.
Of course there are a lot of choices of first-person AT through-hike testimonials. I chose this one because I could identify with the author in a couple of ways - my work life is one of corporate / office-centric work that feels restrictive and locked-in, and I am at an age where one might begin to question, do I still have the vigor to take on such a challenge (a bit older than the author was when he started)? Or might I five years from now?
I did really enjoy the book. The author has a dry humor that just rarely shows through, and at least once I wondered, is he messing with the reader? I do wish he would have deployed it a bit more often. More than that, I was hoping for a bit more discussion on the practical side - cooking meals, filtering water, climbing steep sections, setting up tents in wind and rain, battling bugs, sleeping near noisy, smelly strangers, not showering for days at a time, and yes, going #2 in the woods. There are some mentions on these and other practical matters, but mostly they are not discussed in detail. Some might appreciate that, but I was looking for the nitty gritty of "This is what it's like living in the woods for months on end". One aspect that did get a good detailed treatment was foot maladies, foot leg/health, and footwear (all very important). Another was the more general topic of 'food acquisition' shall I say (as opposed to cooking).
The book was laid out very well. The organization and chapter-heading maps did a good job of helping me understand the flow of the walk and the length of sections. The chapters did a good job of helping me understand some of the personality and relative difficulty of different sections of the trail, and a few of the many interesting towns, hostels, inns, trail waypoints, landmarks, and people. I appreciated the author's personality and how he discussed his motives, and aligned his dedication to his family to the ultimately somewhat self-centric decision to go on a hike alone for months. No offense intended to any through-hikers. I think it's also a grand way to show your family what is possible, and hopefully inspire them not to limit themselves. Along with friends, co-workers, and strangers on Amazon.
I envy Miller for having tea courage to pursue his dream. I salute his wife for supporting him. I feel privileged to have been able to hike vicariously on both coasts by reading the books. I've been on tiny (more like miniscule) sections of each trail. I thank Miller and Strayed for letting me experience more of them.
It probably was one of a few events (and a VERY encouraging wife) that influenced me to decide to pursue one of my lifelong goals to retire early, buy a sailboat in France to sail across the Atlantic. No question it's one of the best life decisions the both of us ever made!
My thanks to the author for this gift of joy, recollection and encouragement!