Amazing journeys begin with a single step, but only the determined keep hiking.
Short-listed for Outdoor Book of the Year by The Great Outdoors Magazine
Every year thousands of adventurers attempt to hike all 2,180 miles of the gruelling and unforgiving Appalachian Trail. Around five months later, beaten and bruised, those who finish are known as thru-hikers.
Keith Foskett weaves a true-life tale that’s as thought-provoking as it is entertaining. Accompanied by an array of eclectic characters – including a world-champion juggler, a drug dealer, and a sex-starved builder from Minnesota – he takes the reader on a compelling adventure that pushes the limits of both endurance and imagination.
During his five months living in the woods, Foskett’s psychological apprehensions are stretched to the limit against the wild elements of nature. By turns humorous and harrowing, his journey allows him to overcome his fears while reflecting on the man he’s meant to be. His adventure weaves a route through some of America's wildest landscapes and history, and is told with insight, humour and reflection.
Perhaps he too will tame the most renowned long-distance hiking trail in the world, and emerge as a thru-hiker.
Reviews for Balancing on Blue
"A highly anticipated Appalachian Trail memoir, and well worth the wait."
Daniel Neilson (The Great Outdoors Magazine)
"Long distance hikes are simultaneously life-affirming and total agony. Walking 2000 miles would be a phenomenal journey wherever in the world you did it. To tackle the legendary Appalachian Trail is a truly special experience, and one I dream of attempting sometime in my life. Amongst the bears, moose and rattlesnakes, climbing to 2000 metres, and countless aches and pains lives the memory of a special journey, the wonderful people who briefly share the experience with you, and the knowledge that lasts long after the final blister has healed. It’s a lifetime’s worth of adventurous memories crammed into one simple walk."
Alastair Humphreys (Author, adventurer and a National Geographic Adventure of the Year)
"With thru-hiking gaining in popularity, many look to the Appalachian Trail to test out their trail legs, and discover why it holds the reputation it does.
The wilds of this planet are serene, peaceful and offer the chance to break away from a normal existence. Keith’s wonderful perspective of the trail reflects this freedom."
Jennifer Pharr Davis (Author and previous record holder for the fastest ever thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail).
"An entertaining and inspiring account of one of the world’s longest walks and the people who walk it. Keith is a perfect walking companion for the ups and downs of the trail – his easy and understated style kept me turning the pages.
Essential reading for those contemplating their own big adventure."
David Lintern (Editor - Outdoor Enthusiast Magazine)
"This book is for anyone who's ever dreamed about a big adventure, as Fozzie spins a funny, thought-provoking and inspiring tale of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. You'll be handing in your notice and packing up your rucksack as soon as you've finished reading."
Jenny Walters (Country Walking Magazine)
"Long distance backpacking trips can be monotonous, and it’s often the same story for most books about them. Balancing on Blue is something completely different and once again, Keith invites you to the world that he calls home.
Be prepared for great story telling, unique and interesting characters, humour and insight."
Andrew Skurka (Long distance hiker, adventurer and National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2007).