Bill Bryson: Should He Be Considered An Appalachian Trail Hiker?

784 words - 3 pages

Should Bill Bryson be considered an Appalachian Trail hiker? Most thru hikers believe that the only type of AT hiker is a thru hiker. Critics even talk about how Bryson just hiked a portion of the trail. “[…]-- although he doesn't meet that many, because in the end he hikes less than half the route. The book is subtitled "Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail," but Bryson doesn't seem to have discovered very much at all.” (Friedman, Vanessa V. Book review of A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. June 19, 1998 ) The thru hikers are one sided and narrow minded. Even though critics and thru hikers say Bryson is not a real Appalachian Trail Hiker, he should be considered an AT hiker because he wrote A Walk in the Woods to inform everyone of his devotion to hiking most of the trail.
One of Bryson’s main reasons to hike the AT was the fact that he was scared global warming was going to destroy all of the beautiful nature the AT has to offer. Throughout the book Bryson connects with nature. He gets familiar with the woods and becomes a true hiker. Bill would rather be on the trail than in some busy overpopulated town, but like all new AT hikers he has many encounters with nature and his hiking partner, Katz, that test his ability to press on along the trail. In the early days of Katz and Bryson’s hike, Katz threw out most of the food supply. “It was hard to get the full story out of him in a coherent flow, because he was so furious, but I gathered he had thrown many items from his pack in a temper.” (Bryson 56) Bryson did not lose his spirit and quit after most of the good food and necessary supplies got tossed which makes him a better hiker than most Americans. He stayed devoted and pressed along one mishap after another.
Bryson should definitely be considered an Appalachian Trail hiker because he still hiked while he was supposed to be taking a break from the trail. ”It was clear I had to get back on the trail-properly back on, far from home, somewhere at least reasonably proximate to northern Virginia- if I was to have any pretense of hiking the trail with anything approaching completeness.” A real...

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