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Walk In The Woods

            A Critical Analysis of a Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson.
             Bill Bryson returned to America after 20 years and decided to walk the Appalachian Trail for many reasons one of which was so he could say "Yeah, I've shit in the woods."(Bryson, Pg 4) The Appalachian Trail is more than 2100 miles and it goes through 14 states. It was the first hiking trail in America and is maintained by volunteers. Bill wasn't particularly keen on walking the trail on his own. He got his Stephen Katz an old school friend of his that had become "in effect, Iowa's drug culture" (Bryson, Pg 21) to walk the trail with him. .
             They began their journey on March 9, 1996 not knowing what would come in the days ahead of them. Their first day "was hell" and "every step was a struggle". (Bryson, Pg 35) It ended with Bill being "too tired to be indignant" and "too tired to be hungry" and being "asleep in moments." Bill Bryson in between his day to day experiences on the trail gives information from books that he read during and before walking the trail. One of the funniest parts of the book in my opinion is when he is talking about the Forest Service in between the first and second day. He said " Show them a stand of trees anywhere and they will regard it thoughtfully for a long while, and say at last, " You know, we could put a road here."(Bryson, Pg 47).
             Bill picked up a book Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance that made him stay awake at night thinking about bears. He says "how foolish one must be to be reassured by the information that no bear has killed a human in Vermont or New Hampshire in 200 years? That's not because the bears have signed a treaty, you know." I wish I could express how much this made me laugh.
             Katz and Bill fell into a routine. Everyday they walked from 7:30 until 4. Katz was always behind Bryson as the trail was harder for him. At 4 they would pitch tents and by 6 they would be asleep. On their fourth day they met Mary Ellen who Katz called "a piece of work.

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