[[ Read Online ]] Walking Home: A Woman's Pilgrimage on the Appalachian TrailAuthor Kelly Winters – Entrecielos.co

A travelogue of the author's time hiking the vast majority of the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mahoosuc Notch in Maine She recounts the travails of attempting to thru hike the entire trail and recalls the many characters she met who were also thru hiking the 2,000 mile trai

10 thoughts on “Walking Home: A Woman's Pilgrimage on the Appalachian Trail

  1. Marjorie Elwood Marjorie Elwood says:

    It was hard not to make comparisons between Wild (Cheryl Strayed) and this book, although this one was published in 2001, well before Wild (2012). Both women are somewhat broken, which is the impetus for them to commit to a long-distance hike. Both have important relationships with a parent.

    Winters, however, is insightful and self-reliant, a true outdoorswoman (I love how she regularly identifies plants while walking). She struggles through her search for her sexual identity while struggling through the many miles of trail. The ending is beautiful.

  2. Gpickle Gpickle says:

    I stumbled across this book at the library and picked it up. I thru hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1999 and I enjoy reading about it when I find a book on the subject. Now I can amend that to, "I generally enjoy reading about it when I find a book on the subject."

    It starts with what inspired this woman to walk the trail. It is believable enough with tales of family and the great outdoors but then, on page 11, takes a "WTF" turn when she catches her boyfriend masturbating outside some other people's tent while they were camping in Shenandoah. Too Much Information! She gives a good 15 pages of her relationship imploding and how angry she is. Some of it made me cringe...

    So I gave the trail stuff a try and it was more of the same. She struck me as a very unhappy person, and her descriptions of trail life were astonishing. In that, from my 4 months on the AT, I did not believe much of what she was telling me. Maybe she is prone to hyperbole, but I did not trust her. So I decided I could not read 300 more pages without trust and quit.

    Until I decided to read the last chapter to see if she had found herself out there and been reborn or whatever. Nope, it struck me as more of the same. I am glad that she reports to have indeed found herself and gotten to a good place in her life, but there are plenty of other books out there about the AT that were written by people with just packs on their shoulders and not chips, I will stick to those.

  3. Liralen Liralen says:

    Winters walked the Appalachian Trail for a number of reasons, not least to put some distance between herself and an unhealthy relationship—and to figure out what she wanted from relationships, and who she wanted to date, in the future. But she locked much of that inside herself for the trip, preferring to battle it out privately, internally. I want to have no past, no interesting history. I resolve not to tell anyone anything about my private life until I have it better sorted out (57). She's pretty direct in the book, though...and gradually, over the course of her walk, she made peace and let go.

    I read this and In Beauty May She Walk within a couple of weeks of each other (they were both available at the library...). Both place a fairly strong emphasis on being females hiking solo—I'm curious to see if that trend continues for female writers who hiked the AT, as it didn't seem a big deal on the Camino (or in Camino memoirs). As a safety precaution, Winters stayed in or next to shelters all along the route, making her hike in some ways more structured than it could have been; as time went on, though, her understanding of 'hike your own hike evolved' to include blue-blazing and yellow-blazing (I'm learning a whole new vocabulary!) and, eventually, figuring out that 'done' did not necessarily mean X distance or Y end point.

    I hope we'll meet again, but on the Trail you never know (66).

  4. William William says:

    Years ago (actually decades ago, before I even met my wife to be) I hiked a small portion of the Appalachian Trail. My accomplice in that adventure was a former Scout from the troop for which I was the Scoutmaster. Actually, we were only about 4 years apart. Jim had been the senior patrol leader when I took over the troop. Somewhat significantly, he was probably seven inches taller than me. This became important when we got out on the trail.
    Any way, I picked this up at the library at the beginning of the summer because they had a display of books on summer activities. The author was planning to thru hike the trail, meaning to do the entire length in one trip. Her experience largely mirrors others that I have read. (I'll exclude Bryson, because even he admitted that he started the trip cluelessly, even describing it as A Walk in the Woods, which the AT is definitely not.)
    Her experience also was similar to my very brief one, involving lots of physical pain, as well as some amazing experiences with the trail and the people on the trail.

  5. Jen Jen says:

    So, I read this knowing that others had complained about the "whiny" and "self-righteous" voice of the narrator. In fact, I didn't really find that to be the case at all. In comparing this book to Wild by Cheryl Strayed, I actually found this author to be less irritating and whiny. I really liked her descriptions of the other hikers, the rules of hiking, and how grueling and painful 6months in the woods can actually be. I'm starting my own small hike on the AT this week and I feel like her book has prepared me and provided some useful knowledge for my trip. I really did enjoy this memoir, especially from the point of view of a woman hiking on her own.

  6. Maura Maura says:

    I really enjoyed this memoir of Winters' experience as a solo thru-hiker on the Appalachian Trail. I found her honesty about the absolute train wreck of the relationship before she started out on the AT to be both refreshing and relatable - other reviewers who described it as oversharing and cringe-worthy are, I guess, lucky to have avoided such wreckage, but I could relate too well to it, and it created an instant connection for me to Winters' journey and quest.

    I found her details about trail life to be fascinating, and I think other reviewers' criticism of her decisions to blue-blaze and even yellow-blaze is unwarranted: the whole idea is to hike your own hike. If the joy you get in a solo hike as a white-blazing purist who never steps a foot off the trail or backtracks to not miss a foot is what is most significant, then great. If the joy you get is the freedom to take a side trail and have an unexpected adventure sharing a meal with interesting locals along the way, that's great, too. I appreciated how much Winters' valued the autonomy more than anything. Hiking her own hike meant just that.

    As a selfish observer, I would have wished for a different end to her quest, but (view spoiler)

  7. Gail Owen Gail Owen says:

    This is my least favorite of the books that I have read on hiking the Appalachian Trail. There were some details about her failed relationship with her boyfriend which shared too much information. I found it interesting that with the trail name of Amazing Grace that she could not have extended a little of that grace to the situation and gloss over those details. It also set a tone of skepticism for me as I read her accounts of other individuals. Would any these stories be shared in the same way if the individuals were present?
    It is clear that each journey on the trail is an individual journey. There were insights about traveling alone as a female hiker that were helpful and answered some questions. However, for me, they were nuggets in a story which plodded along. Perhaps it was ruined for me by my previous reading of Bryson's account of traveling the trail that same year.

  8. Tiji Tiji says:

    I enjoyed he narrative of this book, although I agree with others that the first part (re the boyfriend) was a bit too specific and unnecessary. I didn't find this author to whine like others, although I just finished Bryson, the king of complaining and judgment, and both of Davis' books, which are full of self-righteous judgment, especially the first book. I think the author's body was so broken down that the end devolved into what comes off as complaint, but was probably a sign for her to quit/take a break, rather than trying to keep up with her group.

  9. Mary Mary says:

    Good but intense read of a woman's struggle to find herself, and while the self exploration should stick with me more, it is the sheer physicality of the trail (and things like eating a stick of butter when she is starving) that I remember. I also learned a bit about the variety of people who set our on the AT. This is from 2001 and published well before Wild.

  10. Deb Deb says:

    These hiking books are so inspirational!