Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Walk In The Woods

The past several nights, on the way off to slumber, I have been reading "A Walk In The Woods", by Bill Bryson. It's a travel diary of him and his friend hiking the Appalachian Trail. It is litered with facts, history, ecology of the region encompassing the trail, as well as being funny as hell. The back cover blurb is what sold me on reading the book. It's absolutely true.

Bill Dyson could write about dryer lint or fever reducers and make it funny
--Chicago Sun Times--

There are many funny anecdotes, some obviously exaggerated for effect, but reading this travel diary does give one appreciation for America's beauty through the eyes of an immigrant. Bryson is from England.Bryson has lived in England the past 20 years. Here is a small passage from where Bryson was convinced he was about to be attacked by bears as they set up to camp for the night after a long hike.

I cautiously shouted at it: "Hey! You There! Scat!" The creature blinked again, singularly unmoved.
"You shout," I said.
"Oh, you brute, go away do!" Kats shouted in merciless imitation. "Please withdraw at once, you horrid creature."

"Fuck you, I said and lugged my tent right over to his. I didn't know what this would achieve exactly, but it brought me a tiny measure of confort to be nearer to him.
"What are you doing?"
"I'm moving my tent."
"Oh good plan. That'll really confuse it."

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail