Becoming Odyssa : Adventures on the Appalachian Trail Kindle Edition
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It's refreshing. [Jen]'s very enthusiastic and she inspires other people. She's good for the outdoors. --- Gary Eblen, Diamond Brand Outdoors
"Many books have been written by thru-hikers, but none measure up to Jennifer Pharr Davis' epic. The Appalachian Trail speed record holder describes her journey from college graduate to a student of the trail in stunningly beautiful detail. Her tales from the trail are full of adventure and inspiration, and her writing is as lyrical as her Odyssey-inspired trail name. She offers concrete, trail-tested advice for aspiring thru-hikers, and she candidly shares her failures and frustrations along with her successes. If you're searching for the one A.T. book that best captures the spirit of the trail, follow in the footsteps of Odyssa." --Bro Staff, Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine
"This is the best AT book I have ever read. It doesn't matter if you are male or female, skinny or fat, outdoorsman or couch potato, if you've ever thought about doing a long-distance hike, then read Davis' book. I would rate this book as more essential to the mental preparation for a long-distance hike than anything else you could do." ---Dr. David W. Powers, The Coffee Scholar blog --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B004I8VGYO
- Publisher : Beaufort Books; 1st edition (November 15, 2010)
- Publication date : November 15, 2010
- Language : English
- File size : 1275 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 347 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #464,529 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Based on the reviews, I expected the worst. Most of the books I've read about the AT have been good ones, so part of me was willing to read Becoming Odyssa so that I'd have a bad one to balance things out. I dove in looking for the preachy, overly-naive, judgmental, girl-power, entitled young woman that so many reviewers here complain about, but I couldn't find her.
Preachy? I can recall 5 or 6 times when she mentions her faith in God and/or explains how her faith influenced her in a given situation, so maybe that qualifies somehow.
Naive? Yes, but no more so than most other authors who wrote about their first thru-hike of the AT.
Judgmental? Only if you consider someone judgmental who views strangers in the wilderness with initial skepticism. I seldom backpack these days, but I spent a lot of time in the woods when I was younger. I crossed paths with a number of weirdos. When you're alone in the woods, I'd argue that it's better to be considered judgmental than be a victim. I wonder how many nights the negative reviewers have spent alone in the woods.... Several times she does share her opinion of others' behavior on the trail. Spoiler: There were inconsiderate people on the trail. Some were incredibly inconsiderate. If you believe being on the AT gives you the freedom to do whatever you want regardless of effect on others, you'll find her to be judgmental. If you think it's inappropriate to smoke pot in a shelter you're sharing with others including a 12-year old weekend hiker, or if you think it's inappropriate to copulate in a shelter where there are other hikers spending the night, you probably won't find her as judgmental as everyone else.
Girl-power? Not a bit.I kept waiting to hear her talk about how her journey was harder/more meaningful/empowering/etc. because she's female, but she didn't treat her story like that at all. Her few mentions of gender were well-placed (and subtle) reminders that men and women will experience some things differently on the trail.
Entitled? This didn't come through either except, for example, when she reached a shelter after hiking 20-30 miles and found it full of weekenders who wouldn't make room and who treated their outing like a frat party. I'd say thru-hikers are entitled to some entitlement given their circumstances.
Instead of all those things, what I found was well-written, engaging story of a person hiking the AT on her own who had to learn how to hike the trail, who she could trust to hike with her, and, basically, what she wanted her experience to be. A solo thru-hike is a very individual experience, and it's sad that so many who will never undertake an adventure like this have chosen to nit-pick things that they didn't like about the way she chose to experience and, yes, conquer the AT.
I would've done things much differently had I been in her place (no external frame pack or mop handle, as two examples), but she tackled the AT solo, her way, and safely, and she conquered it. And later she went back for more.
This is a great read, and if you accept her story with the honesty in which it is offered and with a little understanding that solo thru-hiking is different than sitting in your living room reading about it, you'll really enjoy the book.
At the same time, she was completely unprepared for the trip, did not educate herself on basic safety or supplies she would need, and basically came across as a someone who should not undertake that kind of challenge.
If you stick with it, her knowledge of the trail and ability to make a couple of friends did improve but, all in all, skip this one because there are so many better sagas available to read, with the writers being actually pleasant people.
Well that's me. I ride and hike four times better than I used to and I owe it to my family and friends who provide my support and motivation. Two of those very good friends told me about this particular authors accomplishments on the trail and her subsequent book. I promptly downloaded and started reading the book on their referral but... I could have and would have stopped reading if the book, on its own merits, was not a compelling page turner that drew me deeper and deeper into her relentless quest for personal challenge and growth.
I highly recommend this book to hikers who dream of facing the ultimate test and to parents and friends of hikers who wonder why?
I thought this book was great. I feel that it was honest accounting of Jennifer's adventure on the trail.
When Jennifer was feeling down or depressed she expressed her negative feelings in her writing.
This seems perfectly normal to me, I'm sure there are a lot of times when you don't feel like smiling
and skipping down the trail.
While I'm not a religious person, the religion injected in the book didn't do me any harm and I don't fault her for it.
I've noticed especially on these hiking books that reviewers want to rate the authors experience (or lack of),
their gear choices, their methods and preparedness. (This gal was 21 on this hike!!)
That is not what should be reviewed, they should be reviewing the book itself and the authors ability to relate their
experiences and capture the readers attention and make them want to turn the page.
I salute Jennifer and her long list of accomplishments!