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American Discoveries: Scouting the First Coast to Coast Recreational Trail Hardcover – October, 1996

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Under the aegis of the American Hiking Society and Backpacker magazine, Dudley and Seaborg set out on an eight-month, 4000-plus mile journey seeking links between long-distance trails on public lands across 12 states. They kept detailed notes in preparation for guidebooks to the trail, which are to be available in 1997. Here, they tell their stories alternately, achieving a nice balance. A third member of the team (the personnel changed) drove the support vehicle. We get a refreshing view of the countryside and the people the authors met, as well as a hiker's reaction to varied terrain. To their surprise, they found Nevada and Kansas favorite places. They faced extremes of temperature, a forest fire, poachers, poison oak; on occasion, they got lost. They began on California's coast (June), went through the heart of the country and ended on the coast of Delaware (late July). Some 3000 miles are now marked. This is fine adventure, superb Americana. Photos not seen by PW.

Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Backpacker magazine and the American Hiking Society joined together to sponsor the scouting and mapping of a cross-country hiking trail. Christened the American Discoveries Trail, it is meant to connect the East Coast to the West Coast with a trail that can be traversed by foot or on bicycle. Written in diary form by the three entrusted with scouting out the project, this book covers in minute detail their journey across America and the triumphs and failures they encounter along the way. Though rather lengthy, the account does paint a colorful picture of America's backroads. Not a necessary purchase, it is nonetheless recommended for public libraries.?Sandra Knowles, Univ. of South Carolina Sch. of Medicine Lib., Columbia
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 301 pages
  • Publisher: Mountaineers Books (October 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898864372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898864373
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,902,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Seaborg and Dudley have made an incredible journey, and done a great service to the hiking community. They had an audacious mission, to link the nation's great long-distance trails with the cities in between and lay out a way to get from coast to coast under one's own power.
To many of us, this sounds like a dream assignment. But Eric and Ellen faced many challenges-finding a route through a maze of mountain ranges, urban parks, farm roads, rail trails and river crossings; securing the cooperation of local hiking clubs and wary landowners, enduring a cold winter, networking with the media, writing a guidebook, and taking their case to Washington to gain designation as a National Scenic Trail. It was hard, often frustrating work, yet their good humor, physical strength, and boundless enthusiasm saw them through and got the job done.
We're all the richer for it. The book is a real page-turner. Eric and Ellen take turns telling their story, and they make you feel you're right there with them. Especially compelling are the times they get separated. You'll experience first-hand the fear of a woman alone in the wilderness, and the grim determination of her partner to find her. In the end, they'll have you cheering as they accomplish their task.
An adventure for the ages. Don't miss this book!
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By A Customer on April 18, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Finding routes for hikers to cross against the grain of this country's physical geography is this book's ambition. Seaborg and Dudley succeed admirably. This is no Sierra Club/Appalachian Traiil Club guide (trail 26: Old Rag to Shiflett Hollow...). This is the chronicle of an ambitious attempt to chart a way to walk across America.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of those books whose real storytelling power sneaks up on you. It's a case study in Americana, in the guise of a travelogue. Dudley and Seaborg met a remarkable group of characters on their journey -- a cast few novelists could dream up -- and they share their new friends with us in a delightfully readable way. The writing is so crisp and the imagery so vivid that you can practically hear the crickets chirping as you read!
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