Just Passin' Thru instantly became one of my favorite books about the trail This book is quite a bit different from every other book about the AT that I've read in the past, and that's a good thing Other's accounts that you'll read of peoples trip up and down the trail while enjoyable, get somewhat repetitive after a half dozen books Winton tells stories of friends and experiences with hikers that he has had as the owner of Mountain Crossings, an outfitter along the Appalachian trail The people in his stories aren't fiction and are definitely real life characters I don't know any of them personally, but have read about a handful of them from the whiteblaze forums His stories of these experiences make me wish I could spend 6 months at a spot on the trail to meet and greet hikers that pass by Those met in the woods on trail tend to be muchinteresting than those encountered in everyday suburban life It is easy for a reader to see that Winton loved what he was doing and why he dreamed of doing it As I read his stories I hoped that I would someday be able to meet him as I passed through his store on a hike, but I came to find out that he sold Mountain Crossings in 2014 My only complaint is a selfish one I wantedstories I enjoyed them them so much and had to decide whether to read it through in one sitting or prolong the fun over the course of a few days Hopefully he will one day get around to writing another book from all those journals that he has laying around. With humor and grace, William Porter captures the daily reality show of his family's life after taking over a little hiking/supply store on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia Among the people who are Just Passin'Thru, some show up once and others appear again and again This is a fun read for all who have ever hiked or considered hiking along the trail or have just hiked in the backcountry mountains. Like a wellcrafted stage play, Just Passin' Thru delivers one suspenseful scene after another But in this historic setting — a store on the Appalachian Trail called Mountain Crossings — the characters who show up are no fictional creations They are the reallife stars of the author’s new life as a backpackpurging, canteenselling, hostelrunning, bandagetaping, lostchild finding, argumentsettling, romancefixing, chilimaking man of many faces Like any good drama, there are the good guys and gals and the weirdos, too Some show up once and that’s enough, and some appear again and again Some are friends, and some dangerous But all are united by two things: the author’s storycapturing talent, and whatever it is that lures them to attempt or conquer a ,mile path that climbs and plummets from Georgia to Maine I absolutely loved this book and its author! Porter is a very strong storyteller with a fresh sense of humor Its nice to read about the Appalachian Trail from the unique perspective of a business owner, one whose bread and butter rests comfortably atop the trail itself Porter humanizes the employees of Mountain Crossings with delightful details about their personality strengths and flaws, characteristics he learns about his hiker customers, too Above all, he is a peoplelover who joys in laughing with and at customers and staff alike.He is also, however, the lifesaving anchor of Blood Mountain, as he assists stranded, hypothermic, and snakerattled hikers who call the store in desperation Positioned just 40ish miles from the southern terminus of the trail at Springer Mountain, GA, Mountain Crossings is the first sign of rest for the thousands of thruhikers starting every spring Without the expert, shakedown advice of the store's staff and owner, hundreds of hikers would end up on shaky ground with overweight packs and a heightened risk of injury Hopefully, the trail and this first haven are still there when I am ready to hike it in the near future. Just Passin' Thru is a wonderful read Porter runs the outfitter's store at Mountain Crossing GA, right on the Appalachian Trail The book is filled with the people who make the store work, the hiker's passing through on the way to Maine, and those who just stop and stay while It talks about the trail and what it means to backpackers as well as the diverese personalities of those backpackers I so enjoyed this book that I will reread it and recommend it to anyone no matter where their trails take them. Another in a long list of good Appalachian Trail books Winton's Mountain Crossings store and WalasiYi hostel literally sit across the A.T 30 miles northbound from the southern trail terminus at Springer Mtn Ga This place is the 1st pit stop forintrepid souls hiking north to Maine in the spring and the lastpit stop for southbounders ending their hike late in the year Winton's place gives great service to all the hikers passing through and is a bit of a collection point for eccentricity The book is a great read It provides a feel for the trail andthe people who hike it I highly recommend this book. Interesting stories that quickly dwindle down into a venue for experienced hikers to make fun of newbies. Really interesting stories and people, but the author can be an insensitive and condescending jerk at times. Absolutely incredible, like the perfect mix of funny and inspirational It's not like a great book in history, but I'm interested in this kind of thing which is why I'm giving this the four stars I would be VERY surprised if I didn't find myself reading through it again.Lessons learned: Don't always judge people by what you see at first Some normal people that seem like they are awesome have issues, and other people who seem like they have issues may be farnormal than people imagined. I loved this book could not put it down Not only does he give a good look at what the first 30 miles of the AT can do for Hikers, he has excellent writing skills Porter keeps you wanting to know .