AWOL on the Appalachian Trail

AWOL on the Appalachian Trail (2011) by David Miller is an account of Miller’s thru hike of the Appalachian Trail (AT). On the walk Miller got the name AWOL. The AT is a 3500 km trail along the Appalachian range and beyond from Georgia to Maine.

The book is very matter of fact. Much of the book reads like:

“I got up, my feet were saw, I hiked ~20 miles, I met hiker Y,J,K and L. Most were great. I walked along the dramatic trail near M”.

Almost all the hikers are good folks, maybe two or three aren’t. AWOL’s feet get really messed up. But he makes it. If a detailed account of the trail and the tribulations appeals to you then this book will. There is surprisingly little about how his wife put up with his 4 month disappearance and why he decided to do the AT rather than, say, take a month off a year and hike it or hike the Camino or something else.

This book is quite a contrast to Wild by Cheryl Strayed which is really mostly about Strayed with a little about her hike. Ideally a blend between the two that managed to express a bit more of the wonder of what must be beautiful hiking and the achievement of such a long hike would be great.

Still, the book is quite enjoyable. It’s not a masterpiece but it is clearly inspiring for a lot of people


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