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Skywalker--Close Encounters on the Appalachian trail by [Walker, Bill]
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Skywalker--Close Encounters on the Appalachian trail Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 353 customer reviews

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Length: 248 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Walker's description of his fellow hikers is the best part of this fine book. He has a real talent for capturing human foibles."  Smoky Mountain Book Review, Jeff Minnick

"Ruthlessly self-deprecating. It's a winning tone." Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Tom Becnel

"I was surprised and frankly happy at his honesty. I respect his dealing with the subject of trail romance the way he deal twith it and not using graphic descriptions." Village Soup Republican Journal, Milton Gross

"This book is such a delight to read because of his fondness for people, his observation of their character, and his talent for capturing it all in words." The Appalachian Long-Distance Hiking Association, Linda Patton

From the Author

Some have joked that this book is as much about what NOT to do, as what to do. Skywalker couldn't agree more!

Product Details

  • File Size: 1420 KB
  • Print Length: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Create Space for paperback version; 2 edition (April 25, 2008)
  • Publication Date: April 25, 2008
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004Y6AGJ6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #747 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First, imagine being 6 feet, 11 inches tall.

You live your life above most people and some tree lines. People ask you "How's the weather up there?"

Maybe you can even get some classic one-liners, such as:

"You're so tall that the giraffes got jealous!"

Or...

"You're so tall that even in the summer time you still have snow on your head!"

That last one might actually be a little more relevant to the book I'm reviewing. See, Bill Walker is 6-11. But the difference is, he set out to hike the Appalachian Trail, a trail that runs more than 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine. A novice hiker at the start, Walker, whose trail name is Skywalker based on his height and his last name, learns so much on this trail during his hike. He's funny, witty and, at times, puts himself in situations that you can't help but feel a bit sorry for him.

After all, it isn't easy doing something like this in the first place. But being 6-11 and barely 220 pounds makes it even harder.

Skywalker -- Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail is his story about his hike.

Bill's quest takes him through all sorts of weather and tribulations -- including trying to stay warm or even fit into tents and set up tarps. It shows the hard side of the trail, but it also shows the light side. His interactions and descriptions of the people he meets on the trail are excellent and well-done. He holds no punches, either, which I liked. More on that later.

This book is a perfect book about the trail. History, personal stories and description make this a fine read.

Now for my thoughts...

THE GOOD

This book was a page-turner.
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Format: Hardcover
What is the proper protocol when confronting a bear in the wild? Does one run, play dead, or talk the bear into leaving? SKYWALKER leaves one convinced that Bill Walker could not only convince the bear to stick around, he could probably talk it into sharing a beer with him. This wonderful read is down-to-earth and connects the readers with the reality of what it takes to walk 2,200 miles through the Appalachian region in a summer.
His story is engaging and quite funny.
Mr. Walker sets out on this journey as most do, with little experience and way too much information. It seems everybody he deals with is an expert on how to hike the trail, even if they have never set foot in the woods.
His personal encounters with the variety of folks on the trail make for a very intriguing story, one that captivates the reader, right from the first page. Hikers get "trail names", or nicknames, and some of his friends can make you really wonder about the folks on the trail: "Nurse Ratchet, "The Gang Of Ten", "Mayfly", "Crucible", and "Colonel Mustard", just to name a few, give a "Disneyesque" atmosphere to the every day grind that is a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. As for Bill's name "Skywalker", at six-feet, eleven-inches, and a last name of "Walker", it was a natural!
Allow some time to sit down and really enjoy this adventure, you'll be glad you did.
Oh, and as for the bear, you'll have to read the book to find out for yourself!
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Format: Paperback
We encountered Skywalker early on in his 2005 Applachain Trail hike and enjoyed his company as we leapfrogged each other for about a week. We were delighted to later read his book. Skywalker's story telling is quite entertaining, factual, and a true-to-life experience all hikers go through don the trail. His account of the trail accurately describes the friendships made, the hardships endured and spiritualness discovered from long-distance hiking. It is worth reading for those interested in hiking all or part of the Appalachian Trail.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been reading first-hand accounts written by through-walkers of the Appalachian Trail for quite some time now and have quite a large stack of them. The trail and the folks who hike it rather fascinate me. There is an old saying that "Everyone should hike their own Hike," which is often used by through hikers. Well the same could be said about these hikers who write books about their experiences - "Everyone should write there own story." I say this because I am not one of those people who constantly compare one hiker's book to another. I feel it is not really fare to compare this author to say the work of Bill Bryson's, "A Walk in the Woods." Hey, Bryson is a best selling professional author. Bill Walker is a professional accountant. Each through walk is an extremely, and in many way, intimate experience and each account is written by folks with different writing skills, styles, thoughts, goals and dreams.

Anyway...I found this account, which is written by a middle age man with little to no hiking skills and who had never spent a night alone in the woods, to be absolutely fascinating. Walker, when he started his walk, was almost absolutely clueless. This takes guts. Granted, some might call it recklessness but still and all I had to admire the guy. This is a very long hike which starts in Georgia and ends in Maine. It takes several months for the average hiker to complete and the trail passes through a wide variety of terrain, most of it on the hostile side. To complete this hike; and few actually accomplish this goal, one must have an iron will and be extremely physically fit. While the hike is completed by people in many age groups, it is usually the younger hikers that complete the trail.

My wife and I have been hiking for over 50 years now.
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