A Walk in the Woods

by

Bill Bryson

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Bill Bryson Character Analysis

Bill Bryson is the memoir’s author, narrator, and central character. At the start of the story, Bryson has just returned to the United States after living abroad in Europe for years. He decides to hike the Appalachian Trail to get reacquainted with his homeland. Before departing on his trip, Bryson imagines that the trip will be like hiking in Europe, where people commonly go for long walks in the countryside and then relax in a country inn. However, Bryson soon learns that hiking on the Trail is far more punishing: the terrain is challenging and dangerous, and the slog is tiresome. He’s terrified of bear attacks, and he's disappointed to find the areas surrounding the Trail seem to be entirely comprised of highways and strip malls. Bryson tackles some of the Trail by hiking with his friend Stephen Katz, and he traverses the rest by car. In the end, neither scenario satisfies him—he wishes he could find something closer to experiences in Europe, where walking is far more popular as a pastime than driving is. Despite his dissatisfaction with the overall experience, Bryson develops a healthy respect for the woods, and he bemoans the destruction of the landscape by loggers. It disappoints him that preservation efforts don’t seem to be much of a priority among the organizations that look after the nation’s woodlands. Despite his irrational fear of wild animals, Bryson concludes that humans are actually the biggest dangers in the wild, since we treat Appalachia’s ecosystem so carelessly. Bryson also absorbs the ethos of kindness and consideration that hikers seem to share on the trail, and this helps him develop more patience with his Katz, who really struggles with hiking. Neither of them fully learns to love being in the wilderness, and they end up quitting the Trail altogether. In the end, Bryson is happy to have discovered a newfound appreciation for the simple comforts of everyday life (such as showers), which he used to take for granted until he lived without them.

Bill Bryson Quotes in A Walk in the Woods

The A Walk in the Woods quotes below are all either spoken by Bill Bryson or refer to Bill Bryson. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Isolation, Companionship, and Kindness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Anchor edition of A Walk in the Woods published in 2006.
Chapter 1 Quotes

Who could say the words “Great Smoky Mountains” or “Shenandoah Valley” and not feel an urge, as the naturalist John Muir once put it, to “throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence?”

Related Characters: Bill Bryson (speaker)
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 2 Quotes

Through long winter nights in New Hampshire, while snow piled up outdoors and my wife slumbered peacefully beside me, I lay saucer-eyed in bed reading clinically precise accounts of people gnawed pulpy in their sleeping bags, plucked whimpering from trees, even noiselessly stalked (I didn't know this happened!) as they sauntered unawares down leafy paths or cooled their feet in mountain streams.

Related Characters: Bill Bryson (speaker)
Related Symbols: Bears
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:

I still have my appendix, and any number of other organs that might burst or sputter in the empty wilds. What would I do then? What if I fell from a ledge and broke my back? What if I lost the trail in blizzard or fog, or was nipped by a venomous snake, or lost my footing on moss-slickened rocks crossing a stream and cracked my head a concussive blow? You could drown in three inches of water on your own. You could die from a twisted ankle. No, I didn't like the feel of this at all.

Related Characters: Bill Bryson (speaker), Stephen Katz
Page Number: 27
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“It’ll be hell.”

Related Characters: Bryson’s wife (speaker), Bill Bryson, Stephen Katz
Page Number: 30
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

“I, oh…I threw out the filter papers.”

I gave a sound that wasn't quite a laugh. “They couldn't have weighed two ounces.”

“I know, but they were great for throwing. Fluttered all over.” He dribbled on more water. “The toilet paper seems to be working OK, though.”

Related Characters: Stephen Katz (speaker), Bill Bryson
Page Number: 30
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Chapter 4 Quotes

Woods choke off views and leave you muddled without bearings.

Related Characters: Bill Bryson (speaker), Stephen Katz
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:

The inestimably priggish and tiresome Henry David Thoreau thought nature was splendid, splendid indeed, so long as he could stroll to town for cakes and barley wine, but when he experienced real wilderness, on a visit to Katahdin in 1846, he was unnerved to the core.

Related Characters: Bill Bryson (speaker), Stephen Katz, Henry David Thoreau
Page Number: 63
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In fact, mostly what the Forest Service does is build roads. I am not kidding.

Related Characters: Bill Bryson (speaker), Stephen Katz
Page Number: 66
Explanation and Analysis:

You become part of an informal clump, a loose and sympathetic affiliation of people from different age groups and walks of life but all experiencing the same weather, same discomforts, same landscapes, same eccentric impulse to hike to Maine.

Related Characters: Bill Bryson (speaker), Stephen Katz
Page Number: 71
Explanation and Analysis:

We seemed to be looking out for each other. It was very nice. I can put it no other way.

Related Characters: Bill Bryson (speaker), Stephen Katz
Page Number: 71
Explanation and Analysis:

“You're too fat. You should have lost weight before you came out here. Shoulda done some training, ‘cause you could have like a serious, you know, heart thing out here.”

Related Characters: Mary Ellen (speaker), Bill Bryson, Stephen Katz
Page Number: 75
Explanation and Analysis:

I was beginning to appreciate that the central feature of life on the Appalachian Trail is deprivation, that the whole point of the experience is to remove yourself so thoroughly from the conveniences of everyday life that the most ordinary things—processed cheese, a can of pop gorgeously beaded with condensation—fill you with wonder and gratitude.

Related Characters: Bill Bryson (speaker), Stephen Katz, Peggy , Justin
Page Number: 75
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Chapter 6 Quotes

Planetary scale is your little secret.

Related Characters: Bill Bryson (speaker), Stephen Katz
Page Number: 100
Explanation and Analysis:

These are, in short, seriously inadequate maps. In normal circumstances, this is merely irksome. Now, in a blizzard, it seemed closer to negligence.

Related Characters: Bill Bryson (speaker), Stephen Katz
Related Symbols: Bears
Page Number: 105
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes

For the Smokies are a very Eden.

Related Characters: Bill Bryson (speaker), Stephen Katz
Page Number: 127
Explanation and Analysis:

We slopped up to the summit of Clingman’s Dome—a high point of the trip, by all accounts, with views in clear weather to make the heart take wing-and saw nothing, nothing whatever but the dim shapes of dying trees in a sea of swirling fog.

Related Characters: Bill Bryson (speaker), Stephen Katz
Page Number: 143
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

By 1987, Gatlinburg had sixty motels and 200 gift shops. Today it has 100 motels and 400 gift shops. And the remarkable thing is that there is nothing remotely remarkable about that.

Related Characters: Bill Bryson (speaker), Stephen Katz
Page Number: 148
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

“Jeez, it's ugly[.]”

Related Characters: Stephen Katz (speaker), Bill Bryson
Page Number: 164
Explanation and Analysis:

It was horrible. And then lavishly, in unison, we wet ourselves.

Related Characters: Stephen Katz (speaker), Bill Bryson
Page Number: 164
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Chapter 10 Quotes

The Appalachians alone lost four billion trees, a quarter of its cover, in a generation.

Related Characters: Bill Bryson (speaker), Stephen Katz
Page Number: 175
Explanation and Analysis:

If there is one thing the AT teaches, it is low-level ecstasy—something we could all do with more of in our lives.

Related Characters: Bill Bryson (speaker), Stephen Katz
Page Number: 175
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12 Quotes

“Well you know what I’ve got in here, just in case? […] Toenail clippers—because you never know when danger might arise.”

Related Characters: Stephen Katz (speaker), Bill Bryson
Related Symbols: Bears
Page Number: 208
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 15 Quotes

We experienced the whole of Luxembourg. Not just its trees.

Related Characters: Bill Bryson (speaker)
Page Number: 286
Explanation and Analysis:

In America, alas, beauty has become something you drive to, and nature an either/or proposition—either you ruthlessly subjugate it, as at Tocks Dam and a million other places, or you deify it, treat it as something holy and remote, a thing apart, along the Appalachian Trail.

Related Characters: Bill Bryson (speaker)
Page Number: 286
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 19 Quotes

“Now here’s the plan […] We hike and camp like mountain men.”

Related Characters: Stephen Katz (speaker), Bill Bryson
Page Number: 340
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 20 Quotes

“Where you going?” asked the driver.

“Anywhere,” I said. “Anywhere but here.”

Related Characters: Bill Bryson (speaker), Stephen Katz
Page Number: 402
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire A Walk in the Woods LitChart as a printable PDF.
A Walk in the Woods PDF

Bill Bryson Character Timeline in A Walk in the Woods

The timeline below shows where the character Bill Bryson appears in A Walk in the Woods. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
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When Bill Bryson moves to New Hampshire after several years abroad, he notices a path leading into the... (full context)
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Bryson talks to a few people who’ve hiked the Trail and realizes that he’s in over... (full context)
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Attempting to avoid bad weather, Bryson decides to begin his hike in Georgia in March so that he can arrive home... (full context)
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Bryson goes to buy camping equipment and finds himself “impressed and bewildered.” The salesman, Dave Mengle,... (full context)
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Bryson sets up all his gear in his basement, trying to imagine himself like that in... (full context)
Chapter 2
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...a bear came and ripped the bag down. A few hours later, the bear returned. Bryson imagines being in a tent, hearing growls and clatters outside, and suddenly realizing that he’s... (full context)
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Imagine, says Bryson, reading a book full of similar accounts right before you take a camping trip alone... (full context)
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Bryson knows he’s far more likely to cross paths with a black bear, and they rarely... (full context)
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Bryson thinks about other stories from Herrero’s book, and he realizes that bears are unpredictable, and... (full context)
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Bryson and Katz catch up over the phone and make plans to meet the next week.... (full context)
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Bryson and Katz stop by Dunkin Donuts on the way home; Katz scarfs down five donuts... (full context)
Chapter 3
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...proposed villages are never built along the route either. Today, volunteers maintain the Trail. To Bryson, the AT remains “gloriously free of commercialism.”  Parts of the Trail are often rerouted to... (full context)
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Wisson tells Bryson and Katz about a man he drove to Springer Mountain who called at the first... (full context)
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Bryson and Katz arrive at a comfortable lodge and agree to begin hiking in the morning.... (full context)
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Bryson and Katz hike up a steep incline into dense woods. It’s sunny, but everything is... (full context)
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At first, Bryson waits for Katz to catch up as they hike—but Katz is painfully slow, and stopping... (full context)
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At the summit, there’s a notebook where hikers write encouraging notes. Bryson waits about 45 minutes for Katz before going to look for him. He walks downhill—through... (full context)
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Bryson wakes up to find that his water bottle has frozen solid. Katz is moving around... (full context)
Chapter 4
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To Bryson, the woods feel sinister. It’s hard to get your bearings, and it feels like you’re... (full context)
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...trees faster than it replaced them, even though 80 percent of its deals lost money. Bryson finds this utterly deplorable. (full context)
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In 1890, a railroad man named Henry C. Bagley all but leveled the forest that Bryson and Katz are hiking through for timber. By 1920, foresters in the South were logging... (full context)
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Bryson and Katz fall into a simple routine: they wake at first light, make coffee, pack... (full context)
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Even though there are people around now and then, the woods provide Bryson with a profound feeling of solitude. Bryson leaves markers on the route for Katz and... (full context)
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On their fourth night, Bryson and Katz befriend a woman named Mary Ellen from Florida who talks incessantly. She monologues... (full context)
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Bryson, Katz, and Mary Ellen hike laboriously over Blood Mountain (which is 4,461 feet high) and... (full context)
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Bryson and Katz chat with Justin and Peggy, the Walasi-Yi Inn’s owners. Peggy is very encouraging... (full context)
Chapter 5
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Two days later, Mary Ellen is still tagging along with Bryson and Katz, asking annoying, irrelevant questions about their star signs and dreams. They’ve hiked 22... (full context)
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Bryson and Katz reach Highway 76 and try to hitch a ride to the nearest town.... (full context)
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 Darren and Donna drop Bryson and Katz off at the motel in Haiawassee and drive away, swerving at breakneck speed.... (full context)
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Bryson asks the lady at the motel’s reception for two rooms, but she just grabs his... (full context)
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Unexpectedly, Katz feels bad for ditching Mary Ellen. Bryson doesn’t, reasoning that Mary Ellen went into the woods of her own accord and that... (full context)
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The next morning, Bryson and Katz feast on fast food at Hardees and head back to the Trail, facing... (full context)
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The man warns Bryson and Katz that six to eight inches of snowfall are due shortly, and Bryson feels... (full context)
Chapter 6
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Bryson notices that distance takes on a whole new meaning when you traverse the world by... (full context)
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Three days later, as Bryson and Katz approach Big Butt Mountain, it snows. At first, the snow is just a... (full context)
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Bryson looks for a trail map to get his bearings, even though he knows they’re printed... (full context)
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...just a crude wooden structure open to the snow, but at least it’s something. When Bryson and Katz reach it, they meet a man named Jim and his teenage son named... (full context)
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When Bryson awakes, the storm has passed and everything is eerily still and the snow is waist-deep... (full context)
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...Jim and Heath want to branch off to take a side-trail back to their car. Bryson pleads with them not to try a side-trail in the snow, but Jim is confident... (full context)
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Upon entering the campground’s office, Bryson and Katz spot about 20 hikers sitting around a stove eating chili, some of whom... (full context)
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Bryson takes an ice-cold shower in the communal shower room and heads back to the office... (full context)
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Bryson and Katz spend a rough night in the crowded room to a gloomy day, feeling... (full context)
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After three days, Bryson finds himself studying the employees’ pictures in the town’s Burger King, and he decides he... (full context)
Chapter 7
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Katz is sullen for two days. The only time he talks to Bryson is to tell him that he has cream soda and he’s not sharing because he... (full context)
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One morning, Bryson is waiting for Katz to catch up when Katz emerges covered in twigs and some... (full context)
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Bryson is excited, as they’ve reached their third state: Tennessee. He’s excited about new and different... (full context)
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Bryson imagines bears thinking of people as silly, fat creatures in baseball caps who leave food... (full context)
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...varieties also live in the Smokies, and almost a half of those species are endangered. Bryson thinks that the National Park Service doesn’t help—it has a history of driving species to... (full context)
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Bryson thinks that today, the National Park Service’s biggest crime is neglect. Only three percent of... (full context)
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Though it seems like Bryson has little admiration for the Park Service, the rangers he meets are cheerful and engaged... (full context)
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Bryson and Katz reach Birch Spring Gap Shelter at dusk. The stone (rather than wood) shelters... (full context)
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The next day is foggy and rainy. Bryson hates walking the rain—it’s impossible to stay dry. They walk 9.7 miles to Spence Field... (full context)
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Bob launches into a monologue about the virtues of see-through bags. To Bryson’s delight, Katz interjects, wondering why a hiker wouldn’t have time to unzip a regular bag... (full context)
Chapter 8
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Gatlinburg is 15 harrowing downhill miles from Clingman’s Peak. Luckily, Bryson successfully persuades a group of reluctant teens into driving them there. Bryson finds Gatlinburg appallingly... (full context)
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Bryson is astounded by the rate of commercial growth in the United States. In 1951, Gatlinburg... (full context)
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Bryson spots a map of the Appalachian Trail in a shoe store. On the map’s scale,... (full context)
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Bryson calls around to inquire about cab fare to Ernestville, 20 miles up the road, but... (full context)
Chapter 9
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It’s curious to Bryson that some people complete the Trail, turn around, and keep walking. Bill Irwin also famously... (full context)
Chapter 10
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Bryson recalls Asher Brown Durand’s 1849 painting Kindred Spirits, which depicts two men staring into the... (full context)
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Bryson wonders how botanists managed the perils of the wilderness, such as bears, snakes and panthers.... (full context)
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...species were already nearing extinction and many first growth trees were felled for industrial purposes. Bryson thinks there was a reckless belief that the forests were inexhaustible. Back then, trees stood... (full context)
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...area. Despite such resilience, trees have been dying at an alarming rate. The forest that Bryson and Katz walk through is nothing like the forest of their ancestors—but at least it's... (full context)
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After a week of walking, Bryson and Katz meet a section-hiker who’s been hiking the Trail piecemeal for 25 years. For... (full context)
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Bryson and Katz hike about 15 miles a day, and Bryson enjoys feeling trimmer and fitter—his... (full context)
Chapter 11
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Every 20 minutes on the Trail, Bryson and Katz walk more than the average American walks in a week. Bryson thinks it’s... (full context)
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Bryson feels light and springy walking without his heavy pack, though the route isn’t designed for... (full context)
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Bryson goes out to eat by himself while Katz is on his date. It feels odd... (full context)
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Bryson and Katz take a cab to Shenandoah National Park for their last stretch of hiking... (full context)
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...reduced visibility over the years. The American chestnut and American Elm are already extinct, and Bryson thinks the dogwood tree is next. Despite this, the park is really lovely—it’s his favorite... (full context)
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Bryson and Katz don’t see anything too exotic, but they enjoy seeing signs of spring. Bryson... (full context)
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Bryson throws a stick at the animal and yells at it to leave but it doesn’t... (full context)
Chapter 12
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...spoke again. Many people hate Skyline Drive, the road that runs through the park, but Bryson quite likes walking on it. The change is nice. They soon come upon some hemlock... (full context)
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...way. The Great Depression halted the commercial plans, so the government built picnic grounds instead. Bryson thinks the result is quite charming—even the shelters along the Trail have a rustic charm... (full context)
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Bryson insists on sleeping in shelters following the animal encounter, though Katz thinks that Bryson is... (full context)
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It seems to Bryson that the real issue isn’t the Trail, but the shelters, because there are too few... (full context)
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One of Bryson’s favorite things about Shenandoah is the fact that it’s easy to get cheeseburgers and cola... (full context)
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Taking stock of the food options in the store, Bryson notices that it’s mostly stocked with microwave food. This is fine for people in camper... (full context)
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The next day, Bryson realizes that he’s hiked quite far ahead of Katz and Connolly, so he stops to... (full context)
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On their penultimate day on this stretch of the Trail, Bryson and Katz get caught in a ferocious thunderstorm, but they calmly hike through it. Bryson’s... (full context)
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...away from the group. He announces this very loudly and jumps out into the rain. Bryson and Katz camp in the rain while the group gets obnoxiously drunk and grills food,... (full context)
Chapter 13
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The first part of Bryson and Katz’s hike is almost over. They’re separating for the summer and plan to reunite... (full context)
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In the morning, Bryson is excited to see his family, who are coming to pick him up. He’s missed... (full context)
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Bryson sits with a map and wonders if he can make up the parts of the... (full context)
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Harper’s Ferry is quite pretty—it’s more polished than the other towns Bryson’s passed through, so there are no Pizza Huts or Kmarts. But it doesn’t feel quite... (full context)
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Bryson thinks about how—if the timing was different—the two women could well be standing at the... (full context)
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Bryson asks Potteiger about the dangers on the Trail. She says that she’s only heard of... (full context)
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It’s raining when Bryson emerges from the building. He thinks about the battle of Harper’s Ferry, in which Stonewall... (full context)
Chapter 14
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The next morning, Bryson drives 30 miles north to Pennsylvania. None of the hiker’s he’s met enjoy the stretch... (full context)
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...summit of Piney Mountain is the Trail’s midpoint, exactly 1,080 miles in from either direction. Bryson can’t imagine what it’s like to hike this far and then realize you’re only halfway... (full context)
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Bryson hikes the area where the killings took place. He’s not spooked by the murders, but... (full context)
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 When Bryson pokes around Centralia, it appears to be abandoned. There’s smoke rising up from the ground.... (full context)
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Bryson drives five miles north to a bustling, old-fashioned town called Mt. Carmel. He pops into... (full context)
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Near Centralia, there’s a mountainside that’s been destroyed by zinc mining. Bryson drives through Palmerton, which is full of abandoned factories. Eventually, he spots the bald mountainside,... (full context)
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Bryson drives to Little Gap and goes for a hike along a ridge across a vast... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Bryson approaches the Delaware Water Gap, where Kittatinny Mountain exposes a cross-section of the mountainous land,... (full context)
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Bryson has good maps for this stretch of the Trail, which makes him happy. He thinks... (full context)
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Leaving his car by the Garvey Spring Trail, Bryson strolls along the Delaware River, which frequently floods. In 1955, heavy rainfall caused the river... (full context)
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Bryson thinks the United States has a strange attitude toward nature. He remembers hiking in Luxembourg,... (full context)
Chapter 16
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...first time in almost a century, even though people had assumed they were already extinct. Bryson is walking in the same area now. He wants to hike as much of New... (full context)
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...warbler. Between 1940 and 1950, songbird populations dwindled by 50 percent, and they keep falling. Bryson thinks sadly about how much quieter the woods are these days. (full context)
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In the afternoon, Bryson wanders across a disused logging road and bumps into a famous thru-hiker who goes by... (full context)
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The next day, after a night in a motel, Bryson hikes on to Cheshire. It’s only nine miles, but the blackflies viciously torment him by... (full context)
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...when state officials decided to build a ski resort there. Luckily, that plan didn’t materialize. Bryson thinks that Mount Greylock is stunning. It’s a steep climb, but he enjoys it in... (full context)
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After lunch, Bryson hikes along a ridge connecting Greylock and Mount Williams. The views of rolling hills are... (full context)
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...was too large for the New England landscape) drove the farming industry into the Midwest. Bryson walks up Stratton Mountain in Vermont, which used to be covered in orchards but was... (full context)
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Bryson spots another hiker who proudly shows off an expensive device that measures all sorts of... (full context)
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Bryson hikes across Vermont with packed lunches and his car. He remembers how many times he... (full context)
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...with an ugly six-lane wide freeway. Of course, this entailed clearing a lot of woodland. Bryson estimates it saves people about 8 seconds of time on their drives. Bryson walks along... (full context)
Chapter 17
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Bryson is now in New Hampshire. He finds Vermont’s antique stores, rolling hills, and dairy farms... (full context)
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When Bryson and Abdu approach the summit of Little Haystack Mountain, it suddenly turns damp and gusty.... (full context)
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Bryson feels like he’s on top of things, but he’s quickly getting confused. He feels like... (full context)
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Taking a look around the lodge, Bryson realizes that the bunks are austere and military-like. He thinks that if MacKaye had been... (full context)
Chapter 18
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...died on Mount Washington, making it the second deadliest mountain in the United States. When Bryson and Abdu arrive to tackle it, Bryson double checks that he has all the gear... (full context)
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...and the crowds are arriving in droves. Without a pack, the hike is easy for Bryson. The first thing they see when they approach the summit is a “nightmare” of a... (full context)
Chapter 19
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...weeks later, Katz travels to Maine to tackle the last stretch of the Trail with Bryson. Katz is dreading hiking with a heavy pack, so he’s decided to try using a... (full context)
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Bryson insists that they take sleeping bags and tents, but he agrees to leave behind the... (full context)
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Wearing a pack for the first time in four months is brutal for Bryson. It’s even harder for Katz, who ate a lot of pancakes for breakfast. He’s out... (full context)
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Bryson sets up camp near Baker Stream. He waits for Katz for a while, but Katz... (full context)
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Bryson puts up Katz’s tent and goes to filter some water from the pond in Baker... (full context)
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Hunters describe moose as “ferocious,” but to Bryson, a moose is just like a cumbersomely large cow with awkward legs. They’re not too... (full context)
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Bryson creeps off quietly to get Katz. When they return, the moose has moved upstream and... (full context)
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...murky water. The pack is dragging him down, and it looks like he might drown. Bryson leaps toward Katz, but suddenly, Katz’s hand comes up out of the water and grabs... (full context)
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Just as Katz stands up, Bryson falls in. Bryson frantically reaches up as his pack drags him down but he can’t... (full context)
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Looking back, Bryson thinks the Appalachian Trail is the most difficult thing he’s ever done, and Maine is... (full context)
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They wade into the icy water, over sharp but slippery moss-covered stones. Bryson immediately falls three times, swearing viciously. The experienced hikers pass by again, carrying their packs... (full context)
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...butter. Katz looks extremely happy for the first time in days. The food is amazing. Bryson meets a pair of thru-hikers, and he’s astounded that they’ve made it this far. He... (full context)
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After dinner, Bryson and Katz head to the grocery store to pick up supplies for the Hundred Mile... (full context)
Chapter 20
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The next morning, the mood between Bryson and Katz is tense, and they barely talk. They stand in awkward silence as they... (full context)
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Within the first hour, Bryson and Katz approach a giant rock across the trial, about 400 feet high. They crawl... (full context)
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Bryson and Katz set up camp near the first river they see, and they eat in... (full context)
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The next day, Bryson and Katz cross the river in silence. They soon run out of water, and it... (full context)
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...these years. Somehow, the future seems low and empty without drinking to look forward to. Bryson reaches over and gives Katz an affectionate fist bump. Katz smiles ruefully and says that... (full context)
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It’s a mile to the next watering hole. Bryson decides to hike ahead so that he can filter the water by the time Katz... (full context)
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Bryson shouts into the forest, hoping to hear a response, but he only hears the lonely... (full context)
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Bryson hikes back to his pack, and tries another direction, circling back to the pack every... (full context)
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Bryson watches a group of migrating birds for hours, but he can’t really enjoy it because... (full context)
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Bryson hikes ahead for four miles and sees a trickling stream. There’s an empty cigarette pack... (full context)
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...stopped to camp near water, and he’s been waiting there ever since. He knows that Bryson would never leave him behind, but sometimes Bryson daydreams and doesn’t realize how far he... (full context)
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...chance, at the stream where he left the cigarette pack. Katz has been worried about Bryson too, and he’s never been happier to see anyone in his life. Bryson pauses and... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Bryson and Katz never make it to Katahdin. They just bounce along in the back of... (full context)
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...wait to shower, and he accidentally calls the old lady “mom” on his way upstairs. Bryson and Katz each emerge from their showers feeling utterly refreshed. Bryson assumes that a lot... (full context)
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Bryson and Katz dine in town. Katz asks Bryson if he feels bad for giving up.... (full context)
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...Katz decides to get them some cream soda to celebrate the end of their trip. Bryson grins and hands over some money (Katz has none of his own). Katz looks happy... (full context)
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...sometimes, saying one day he’ll come back out and tackle the Hundred Mile Wilderness again—but Bryson doubts that Katz will ever go back there. Bryson hikes on and off through the... (full context)
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Bryson still goes on little hikes now and again, especially when he’s stuck on something he’s... (full context)