Free for Amazon Prime Members, Skywalker–Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail.
Amazon Prime members can upload Skywalker–Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail for free. This book is a narrative of Bill Walker´s thru-hike of the 2,180 mile Appalachian Trail. Walker had developed a virtual obsession with thru-hiking this national scenic trail after reading A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson. This was in spite of never having spent a single night outdoors.
He set off in the spring of 2005, full of hopes and fears. He picked up his trail name, Skywalker, due to his near 7-foot height. His fellow hikers gawked enviously at his long stride. However, it proved to be very much a two-edged sword, as Skywalker was more vulnerable to cold weather, weight loss, and fatigue. A primordial fear of bears, as well as getting lost, were also very much factors.
The Appalachian Trail proved to be an entirely new world for Walker, as he delighted in meeting a colorful cast of characters and was exposed to primitive nature in a way that the average person never gets to experience. This all proved to be a life-changer for Skywalker as his determination overcame his fears and occasional incompetence. He has now followed up his Appalachian Trail thru-hike with a hike on the even-longer Pacific Crest Trail, as well as three walks on the Camino de Santiago spiritual pilgrimage.
¨Hiking books always seem to be written by experts, for other experts, in a narrow hiker´s language,¨says Walker. ¨This book, however, shows a middle-aged person who was anything but an expert. For that reason, non-hikers have enjoyed it as much as hikers.