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AWOL on the Appalachian Trail by David…
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AWOL on the Appalachian Trail (2006)

by David Miller

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Miller's book kept me entranced from the first chapter and I read non-stop for a couple of hours. Not only was the description of the sometimes colorful characters he ran into on his sojourns amusing and poignant but his thought process appealed to mine as it bought to mind my own thoughts while I was out there. The first three chapters were particularly appealing to me as I had been out there in the same region and it seemed, like just yesterday that I too had walked this way. When he says "Alone, cruising serenely through the woods, is a situation that nurtures emotional liberation. In the bustle of everyday life there is no time for frivolous thoughts", I recalled the stressful time that I was going through with my divorce prior to my hike and remember how the AT was my head clearing mission.

As his journey along the trail we feel the distance he has put between him and the distant outside world, and how satisfying it is to sometimes put all our worries aside, and just live for today when he confides "In suburbia the din of traffic, machines, and the voices of other people were the norm. I didn't feel harassed by noise. In the forest I appreciate the quiet and the clarity of thought that it induces. It is a welcome unanticipated benefit. I feel unstressed, fit, alert and invigorated ..." He goes on to reiterate these thoughts a little later when he adds "...I have come to recognize that most of what is memorable and pleasing about my time on the trail are ordinary moments in the outdoors......It is fulfilling to be saturated with the sights, sounds and smells..."

For those uninitiated in the AT, and for those that have hiked on it themselves, the book captivates and enthralls, and we are as excited as Miller is when he reaches his goal at Mt. Katahdin and completes his 2170 mile thru-hike from Georgia to Maine. ( )
  MarkPSadler | Jan 17, 2016 |
Miller's book kept me entranced from the first chapter and I read non-stop for a couple of hours. Not only was the description of the sometimes colorful characters he ran into on his sojourns amusing and poignant but his thought process appealed to mine as it bought to mind my own thoughts while I was out there. The first three chapters were particularly appealing to me as I had been out there in the same region and it seemed, like just yesterday that I too had walked this way. When he says "Alone, cruising serenely through the woods, is a situation that nurtures emotional liberation. In the bustle of everyday life there is no time for frivolous thoughts", I recalled the stressful time that I was going through with my divorce prior to my hike and remember how the AT was my head clearing mission.

As his journey along the trail we feel the distance he has put between him and the distant outside world, and how satisfying it is to sometimes put all our worries aside, and just live for today when he confides "In suburbia the din of traffic, machines, and the voices of other people were the norm. I didn't feel harassed by noise. In the forest I appreciate the quiet and the clarity of thought that it induces. It is a welcome unanticipated benefit. I feel unstressed, fit, alert and invigorated ..." He goes on to reiterate these thoughts a little later when he adds "...I have come to recognize that most of what is memorable and pleasing about my time on the trail are ordinary moments in the outdoors......It is fulfilling to be saturated with the sights, sounds and smells..."

For those uninitiated in the AT, and for those that have hiked on it themselves, the book captivates and enthralls, and we are as excited as Miller is when he reaches his goal at Mt. Katahdin and completes his 2170 mile thru-hike from Georgia to Maine. ( )
  MarkPSadler | Jan 17, 2016 |
Miller's book kept me entranced from the first chapter and I read non-stop for a couple of hours. Not only was the description of the sometimes colorful characters he ran into on his sojourns amusing and poignant but his thought process appealed to mine as it bought to mind my own thoughts while I was out there. The first three chapters were particularly appealing to me as I had been out there in the same region and it seemed, like just yesterday that I too had walked this way. When he says "Alone, cruising serenely through the woods, is a situation that nurtures emotional liberation. In the bustle of everyday life there is no time for frivolous thoughts", I recalled the stressful time that I was going through with my divorce prior to my hike and remember how the AT was my head clearing mission.

As his journey along the trail we feel the distance he has put between him and the distant outside world, and how satisfying it is to sometimes put all our worries aside, and just live for today when he confides "In suburbia the din of traffic, machines, and the voices of other people were the norm. I didn't feel harassed by noise. In the forest I appreciate the quiet and the clarity of thought that it induces. It is a welcome unanticipated benefit. I feel unstressed, fit, alert and invigorated ..." He goes on to reiterate these thoughts a little later when he adds "...I have come to recognize that most of what is memorable and pleasing about my time on the trail are ordinary moments in the outdoors......It is fulfilling to be saturated with the sights, sounds and smells..."

For those uninitiated in the AT, and for those that have hiked on it themselves, the book captivates and enthralls, and we are as excited as Miller is when he reaches his goal at Mt. Katahdin and completes his 2170 mile thru-hike from Georgia to Maine. ( )
  MarkPSadler | Jan 17, 2016 |
Another great book about hiking; my third in two months. This one is by a man and his solo adventure of five months on the AT. It convinced me that I'm not interested in doing such a long and arduous hike myself, although I would like to do a much less challenging one myself someday. David Miller had an incredible supportive wife, as he quit his job and left her and their three young daughters in order to do this hike. I liked his writing style and thoroughly enjoyed myself as I vicariously hiked along with him, lol, the length of the trail. I recommend this book, especially if you enjoy travel adventure as I do. ( )
  sandra.k.heinzman | Apr 2, 2015 |
Another great book about hiking; my third in two months. This one is by a man and his solo adventure of five months on the AT. It convinced me that I'm not interested in doing such a long and arduous hike myself, although I would like to do a much less challenging one myself someday. David Miller had an incredible supportive wife, as he quit his job and left her and their three young daughters in order to do this hike. I liked his writing style and thoroughly enjoyed myself as I vicariously hiked along with him, lol, the length of the trail. I recommend this book, especially if you enjoy travel adventure as I do. ( )
  sandra.k.heinzman | Apr 2, 2015 |
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"In 2003, software engineer David Miller left his job, family, and friends to hike 2,172 miles of the Appalachian Trail. 'AWOL on the Appalachian Trail' is Miller's account of this thru-hike from Georgia to Maine. On page after page, readers are treated to rich descriptions of the Appalachian Mountains, the isolation and reverie, the inspiration that fueled his quest, and the rewards of taking a less conventional path through life. While this book abounds with introspection and perseverance, it also provides useful passages about hiking gear and planning. This is not merely a travel guide; it is a beautifully written and highly personal view into one man's journey..."--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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