- Paperback: 346 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (April 7, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1545166315
- ISBN-13: 978-1545166314
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 89 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #821,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Painted Blazes: Hiking the Appalachian Trail with Loner Paperback – April 7, 2017
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About the Author
Jeffrey “Loner” Gray, although born in Lowell, Mass, has made South Carolina his home for many years. Working as a flea market nomad most of his adult life has afforded him time to pursue other interests: Racing cars, kayaking, collecting Indian arrowheads, and producing hundreds of YouTube videos about diverse subjects.
Skateboarding competitively since ten years old, he later formed his own skateboard company and team. But hiking the Appalachian Trail has been his biggest accomplishment and Painted Blazes, about his trail experiences, is his first book.
After his mother passed away, he is continuing her independent publishing house, Shadow Archer Press, and hopes her name will live on by publishing books from a variety of authors.
Please see http://PaintedBlazes.Com
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89 customer reviews
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This is what amounts to a typical story of a social media hiker. "Loner" is hiking the AT on a shoestring budget. The book is mostly a running travelogue, with interspersed hiking tips and contemporary information about the trail. The tips will be useful for those interested in long distance hiking for the first time. It's fun to follow Loner's footsteps as he transitions to a hiking machine.
The writing itself is sometimes rough, with malapropisms and loose threads. The book could have used an editor to pull threads together and to help craft something more compelling. Be prepared for the rants and observations of a of thru-hiker.
If you like reading about the AT, you'll want to read this book, but unless you're a blogger it won't be your favorite.
_Painted Blazes_ retains that rough hewn charm. I give this five stars despite distracting (and easy to fix) textual errors, as they remind one of the home-made nature of the narrative. This is an AT hike story presented as itself, without any distortions added to make the tale more palatable or familiar to a reader. This just is how it was. The only convenience for us readers is the nature of the journey itself gives it a beginning, a long middle, and an ending that comes too soon; one almost wishes the story continued....
There are more polished AT narratives out there, and they too have their charms. What you'll take from this one is a raw sense of the sustained effort it takes to hike the AT. I've hiked enough of it to assure readers this is the real deal, warts and all. Loner shares the struggle, reveals great ultralight hiking tips, and provides his view of the AT in all its glory. His hike influences how I hike today!
Photo: near the AT, Shenandoah National Park, just short of the Hogback Ridge overlook (east of Rileyville VA)
My husband, son and I have hiked parts of the trail, including a Mount Khatadin summit in 1999.
Jeff is a genuinely good guy who will take you on a tour of all the interesting places along the trail and educate you with rich history of the area and lots of fun facts!
I enjoyed every page!
Thanks, Loner, for letting me hike the trail vicariously with you until we can hike another section again!
In between readings I watched Loner's videos on YouTube, which added a nice visual to the adventures written about in the book.