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flyfisher
2003-03-28, 14:56
full title:

Appalachian Trail: A Journey of Discovery by Jan D. Curran

12.95 Rainbow Books 1991

ISBN 0-935834-66-4

This is a nice read. Col Curran writes as a retired Army Colonel, fresh out of the service. This is the story of the first year of his hike, from Springer to PA. Next year he hiked from PA to ME. It is contained in a separate book, Onward to Katahdin.

Col Curran is a careful observer of nature and of his feelings while on the trail. He hikes heavyweight and complains of the weight. Too bad that ultralite hiking had not been popularized yet.

The "spiritual journey" recorded in the book is not my favorite part of the reading. It is nice to see him growing, but as a mid 50 year old, watching him struggle with spiritual awakening is a little like watching a 50 year old trying to understand algebra for the first time. It all begs the question "why is he getting around to his spiritual life so late in life?"

Other less than favorable parts involve his seemingly endless preoccupation with alcohol. Pretty sophmorish stuff. I guess everyone dreams about different things on the trail. Many dream of ice cream, Jan seemed to have dreamed about beer.

But all in all, Jan writes well enough and communicates much of what he learned while hiking over 1000 miles on the AT... an experience which I have yet to experience at all. I was sad to end the book and looked for the second volume in a bookstore when I came to its end...

Curran does not write nearly as well as JR Tate (On the happy side of misery) but this book is also almost all about the trail. Worth the read, in my opinion.

chief
2003-03-28, 19:13
Originally posted by flyfisher
Other less than favorable parts involve his seemingly endless preoccupation with alcohol and pretty girls. Pretty sophmorish stuff for a retired colonel. I guess everyone dreams about different things on the trail. Many dream of ice cream, Jan seemed to have dreamed about beer. On the positive side, though he mentions over and over how this and that girl has a nice figure, he never called one ugly.

I've been dreaming of pretty girls since I was 12, about 40 years now. after a few months on the trail, retired colonels aren't immune to dreams of beer and babes, two of my favorite subjects. just proves he's not dead! enjoyed the book.

flyfisher
2003-03-29, 17:34
Good point! I took out the stuff about girls... Left the critique about beer.

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steve hiker
2003-04-01, 23:59
I'm always dreaming about pretty girls. Whether I'm on the trail or not. Does that mean I shouldn't write a book?