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The Things You Find on the Appalachian Trail: A Memoir of Discovery, Endurance and a Lazy Dog Paperback – January 27, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

<B>Kevin Runolfson</B> is a Marine Corps veteran and rock climber. He is a police officer in Seattle, Washington.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland (January 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786447672
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786447671
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,178,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Took this book along on a hiking trip to southwest Virginia for evening reading. It was so appropriate considering I was there hiking with my dog who used to share some of the same opinions as Rufus and has now become a fellow hiking machine. Gotta love that Rufus! It was an enjoyable, entertaining, easy-to-read book that made a great trip even better.
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Format: Paperback
Over the past several years I have been reading books dealing with the personal adventures of individuals who hike the long trails; most of these books dealt with the Appalachian Trail. For shear reading pleasure I must put this work by Kevin Runolfson at the top of that growing list of reads. Due to several factors; old age leading the list, I am no longer able to take long hikes so I have become a sort of armchair hiker living the trail life through authors like Runolfson.

In this work I not only had the pleasure of a very well documented hike (Kevin was a through walker), but I also was treated to a very nice love story and a most wonderful dog story. Hiking, love and dogs...it does not get much better than that for me.

Kevin Runolfson had just been discharged from the Marine Corps and had just gone though what was apparently a pretty rough ending to a marriage. He made the decision to become one of the people who hike the Appalachian Trail from the southern end all the way through Maine. Unlike many hikers of this trail he chose to take his dog Rufus along on the trip. This canine companion added a new dimension to this difficult endeavor and we readers reaped the benefits of Kevin's decision.

Along the trail the author met a young lady and they became hiking companions; Kevin, Teresa and Rufus...quite a team. Of course as the miles went by it became quite evident that Kevin and Teresa were falling in love. What you are getting here is really three stories in one.

Trail life is well documented by the author and I must tell you that this guy has an acute sense of humor...is actually quite funny in a quiet sort of way.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading about the trail experiences, but the dog didn't seem lazy to me. He just didn't seem to want to be outside on the trail. As telling as anything was when he left the trail and was found on a porch looking in the window there. Not wanting to walk for miles in heat and cold isn't a sign of laziness. And then when the poor dog's pads were all hurt and he gamely kept going, I felt even more sorry for him.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Near the beginning of this book the author mentions, very briefly, meeting a woman named Teresa. He writes of meeting lots of other people too, before and after, but from the first encounter I could sense that he would hook up with her or at least try really hard. I don't know what gave me that impression and there were long pages when I feared the two would not meet again. But they do, more frequently as the miles accumulate and more intentionally. How does it all play out? It plays out very well indeed.

This is a book about a hike more than a love story, yet the love interest adds a wonderful extra dimension, especially is handled with taste and few words wasted. This is one of the best of the Appalachian Trail Books, nicely written and paced. When you read it you may fall in love with Teresa as I did, but I'll bet you'll fall for Rufus, the dog, first.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I picked up this book for my Kindle during a summer sale. I am a memoir junkie, and this is right up my alley - a regular person sharing a portion of their life that is extraordinary.

Kevin is in a transitional moment of his life. Having just been discharged from the marines and also freshly divorced, he seeks the trek on the Appalachian trail before starting the next chapter of his life. Little does he realize that the trail is the next chapter of his life.

I loved every bit of this tale, and was sad to see it end. I loved learning more about the trail (have walked on a few sections) and what it takes to make this journey. The trail etiquette, names, angels and other rituals are quite fascinating, along with the general variations from segment to segment. Where will they stay? What will the terrain be like? What will the weather be? What will the obstacles be? Every day was a new challenge, and the people were awesome. And of course, Rufas rocked! Love that dog. Kevin does a great job of telling this whole story.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love hiking and I love dogs and I was looking forward to this marriage of both. It was hard for me to get through the book because of the way the author treated or should I say mistreated his one year-old puppy. It was obvious when the dog had gained 20 pounds and didn't want to leave his friend's house, that he had been very unhappy trudging along behind his ex-marine master, who seemed to have no concern for his dog's welfare. Thank God his girlfriend had a bit more compassion for his dog. I sure hope they're still together so the dog can be treated as he should be.
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By Deedles on October 10, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is not only well-written, in a simple narrative style that is refreshing to read, but it is also a candid look at some really decent and kind people.

It is about growth and endurance and friendship. It is also about putting with some pretty
significant discomforts and inconveniences with good humor and stoicism.

I highly recommend it.
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