Saturday, March 26, 2016

Book Review: "Becoming Odyssa: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail," by Jennifer Pharr Davis

I loved reading "A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail," by Bill Bryson. And also "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail," by Cheryl Strayed. Both were made into pretty good movies, too.

But I hope this one is not made into a movie. It's a book you need to read in bites and enjoy. A book that has things to teach you about hiking and faith (without being preachy) and being willing to accept help and give help. 

Jennifer Pharr Davis went on this solo hike right out of college. It's a perfect time to do such an adventure, before the work world, bills, family and other cares take over your life. I guess another time to do something like this might be when you retire, or when you accumulate enough weeks of vacation to take extended time off. 

In the book, Pharr Davis is kind of hard on hikers who are not thru-hikers...people who tackle the Trail a section at a time, or who just hit a part occasionally for a weekend. Actually, she's a bit unfair. But you must remember she is only 21 in this book, and she did run into some self-absorbed lawbreakers during her experience. She has a blog on her website, Blue Ridge Hiking Company, and she does have an entry there where she expresses her regrets about some of those comments. I'm glad she did that, because it was wrong to paint everyone with a broad brush. 

This book allowed me to dream about hiking long distance, and to walk alongside Jennifer in spirit. That's what a good book is to that allows me to live the story vicariously.

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