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A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

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    • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

      A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson is probably the most well-known and also one of the most controversial books about the AT.

      Bill Bryson is a very talented and humorous professional writer. Most books on the AT are written by amateurs, hikers who decided to write a book, while Bryson is a writer who just decided to hike a little (and probably got paid for it with a book advance). Remembering this is important when comparing it to other AT books. Some people (especially purist) get upset about AWITW because Bryson did not come anywhere close to finishing a thru hike. Some also get very upset about Bryson and his partner Katz not practicing Leave No Trace. Others get upset because they believe he gets loose with the facts and can be offensive at times with his stereotypes and rants. On the other hand as with most things Bryson writes it is a very funny book. Remember he is a talented professional writer. To me the most significant thing about AWITW is that it has helped introduce so many new people to the AT, including myself. Personally it has a special place in my heart, similar to a first date, first kiss, first girlfriend, etc.., because it helped get me interested in the AT, and was the first book I read about it.

      I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn more about the AT or likes reading humorous books. I would not recommend it for purists who get uptight with things that do not measure up to their standards.

      Rate: 5/5

      http://www.amazon.com/Walk-Woods-Rediscovering-America-Appalachian/dp/0307279464/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1390611421&sr=1-1&keywords=a+walk+in+the+woods
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

      A Walk In The Woods is probably the single most entertaining and least accurate book that has been written about hiking the A.T. I highly recommend reading it but not taking it too seriously.
      >>>Advertise here! Affordable rates and no long term contracts. Send a PM for more details!<<<
    • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

      Astro wrote:

      A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson is probably the most well-known and also one of the most controversial books about the AT.

      Bill Bryson is a very talented and humorous professional writer. Most books on the AT are written by amateurs, hikers who decided to write a book, while Bryson is a writer who just decided to hike a little (and probably got paid for it with a book advance). Remembering this is important when comparing it to other AT books. Some people (especially purist) get upset about AWITW because Bryson did not come anywhere close to finishing a thru hike. Some also get very upset about Bryson and his partner Katz not practicing Leave No Trace. Others get upset because they believe he gets loose with the facts and can be offensive at times with his stereotypes and rants. On the other hand as with most things Bryson writes it is a very funny book. Remember he is a talented professional writer. To me the most significant thing about AWITW is that it has helped introduce so many new people to the AT, including myself. Personally it has a special place in my heart, similar to a first date, first kiss, first girlfriend, etc.., because it helped get me interested in the AT, and was the first book I read about it.

      I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn more about the AT or likes reading humorous books. I would not recommend it for purists who get uptight with things that do not measure up to their standards.

      Rate: 5/5

      http://www.amazon.com/Walk-Woods-Rediscovering-America-Appalachian/dp/0307279464/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1390611421&sr=1-1&keywords=a+walk+in+the+woods
      well said gif.004
    • Re:Re: A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

      This book is what started my interest in the AT and backpacking in particular. I had no idea how close the AT was to me. Reading it was the beginning of the insanity :)
      Sent from my SCH-I405 using Tapatalk 2
      “Alone had always felt like an actual place to me, as if it weren't a state of being, but rather a room where I could retreat to be who I really was.”
      ― Cheryl Strayed
    • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

      FWIW, I think it is the best book ever written about thru-hiking.

      Most disagree with me because of his failure to finish, lack of accuracy about many trail towns and people, and other flaws in the book. Usually they point to books like "Awol on the AT", or "On the Beaten Path" as better examples. But let me try and make my case with just a short explanation of my reasoning.

      Something like 75% of the people that start a thru-hike don't finish it (me included) for various reasons. As I understand the generally accepted statistics, 50% drop out before ever getting through the Smokies. Again, for various reasons. Think about that: half the people that start a thru-hike don't complete 10% of the distance.

      But think of this: at 200 miles (about the distance to Newfound Gap) you have barely even begun a thru-hike really. Whatever knocks you out at this point is failure to properly prepare for the whole endeavor. If it is physical, then you were probably not in good enough shape to begin with and went too fast. If it is financial, then you probably had no real clue how much you would spend in towns since you have only hit 2 or 3 at this point. And if it is because you find backpacking for weeks (probably only 2 or 3 weeks at this point) a real drudge, then you really had no idea what thru-hiking was going to be like.

      There are many books about hikers completing their thru-hike. Uplifting stories about what people have learned about themselves. About the injury, the personal situation, or the whatever that the hiker has to overcome to make it to the end. We all want to be that guy and can see ourselves in those shoes. None talk about the absolute drudge that thru-hiking can be at times, except one. A Walk in the Woods.

      So, while I think there are lots of books people can read for inspiration on how great things can be accomplished and how great a thru-hike can be. Only one doesn't sugar coat how miserable you can feel and how it can be something you don't expect. I may recommend any one of the other books for someone thinking about doing a thru-hike. But I always recommend reading A Walk in the Woods. Maybe it gets the hiker to understand before he starts the trail what it can be like and helps to mentally prepare for it. Or maybe it gets the hiker to realize that thru-hiking isn't for everyone so they can skip where they quit their job, let the lease go on the apartment, put all their stuff in storage, give away the cat, and piss off the girlfireind - just to find out two weeks later they hate thru-hiking.
    • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

      SGT Rock wrote:

      FWIW, I think it is the best book ever written about thru-hiking.

      Most disagree with me because of his failure to finish, lack of accuracy about many trail towns and people, and other flaws in the book. Usually they point to books like "Awol on the AT", or "On the Beaten Path" as better examples. But let me try and make my case with just a short explanation of my reasoning.

      Something like 75% of the people that start a thru-hike don't finish it (me included) for various reasons. As I understand the generally accepted statistics, 50% drop out before ever getting through the Smokies. Again, for various reasons. Think about that: half the people that start a thru-hike don't complete 10% of the distance.

      But think of this: at 200 miles (about the distance to Newfound Gap) you have barely even begun a thru-hike really. Whatever knocks you out at this point is failure to properly prepare for the whole endeavor. If it is physical, then you were probably not in good enough shape to begin with and went too fast. If it is financial, then you probably had no real clue how much you would spend in towns since you have only hit 2 or 3 at this point. And if it is because you find backpacking for weeks (probably only 2 or 3 weeks at this point) a real drudge, then you really had no idea what thru-hiking was going to be like.

      There are many books about hikers completing their thru-hike. Uplifting stories about what people have learned about themselves. About the injury, the personal situation, or the whatever that the hiker has to overcome to make it to the end. We all want to be that guy and can see ourselves in those shoes. None talk about the absolute drudge that thru-hiking can be at times, except one. A Walk in the Woods.

      So, while I think there are lots of books people can read for inspiration on how great things can be accomplished and how great a thru-hike can be. Only one doesn't sugar coat how miserable you can feel and how it can be something you don't expect. I may recommend any one of the other books for someone thinking about doing a thru-hike. But I always recommend reading A Walk in the Woods. Maybe it gets the hiker to understand before he starts the trail what it can be like and helps to mentally prepare for it. Or maybe it gets the hiker to realize that thru-hiking isn't for everyone so they can skip where they quit their job, let the lease go on the apartment, put all their stuff in storage, give away the cat, and piss off the girlfireind - just to find out two weeks later they hate thru-hiking.


      Great points Sgt Rock!
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

      SGT Rock wrote:

      FWIW, I think it is the best book ever written about thru-hiking.

      Most disagree with me because of his failure to finish, lack of accuracy about many trail towns and people, and other flaws in the book. Usually they point to books like "Awol on the AT", or "On the Beaten Path" as better examples. But let me try and make my case with just a short explanation of my reasoning.

      Something like 75% of the people that start a thru-hike don't finish it (me included) for various reasons. As I understand the generally accepted statistics, 50% drop out before ever getting through the Smokies. Again, for various reasons. Think about that: half the people that start a thru-hike don't complete 10% of the distance.

      But think of this: at 200 miles (about the distance to Newfound Gap) you have barely even begun a thru-hike really. Whatever knocks you out at this point is failure to properly prepare for the whole endeavor. If it is physical, then you were probably not in good enough shape to begin with and went too fast. If it is financial, then you probably had no real clue how much you would spend in towns since you have only hit 2 or 3 at this point. And if it is because you find backpacking for weeks (probably only 2 or 3 weeks at this point) a real drudge, then you really had no idea what thru-hiking was going to be like.

      There are many books about hikers completing their thru-hike. Uplifting stories about what people have learned about themselves. About the injury, the personal situation, or the whatever that the hiker has to overcome to make it to the end. We all want to be that guy and can see ourselves in those shoes. None talk about the absolute drudge that thru-hiking can be at times, except one. A Walk in the Woods.

      So, while I think there are lots of books people can read for inspiration on how great things can be accomplished and how great a thru-hike can be. Only one doesn't sugar coat how miserable you can feel and how it can be something you don't expect. I may recommend any one of the other books for someone thinking about doing a thru-hike. But I always recommend reading A Walk in the Woods. Maybe it gets the hiker to understand before he starts the trail what it can be like and helps to mentally prepare for it. Or maybe it gets the hiker to realize that thru-hiking isn't for everyone so they can skip where they quit their job, let the lease go on the apartment, put all their stuff in storage, give away the cat, and piss off the girlfireind - just to find out two weeks later they hate thru-hiking.


      EXCELLENT commentary.
      By the way, IM, myself and Annie are attending a talk with Bill Bryson on 19th March. He is touring down here (no doubt to promote another book).
      We want to meet the bastard that put the idea of spending 6 months in the USA into our heads....
      :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:
      Resident Australian, proving being a grumpy old man is not just an American trait.
    • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

      I just reread this a couple days ago. I had forgotten how dangerous the first couple of chapters make the trail sound. I'm not going out there anymore. Only kidding. If it was that dangerous we would loose more thru hikers to bears and disease than to boredom.
    • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

      SGT Rock wrote:

      FWIW, I think it is the best book ever written about thru-hiking.

      Most disagree with me because of his failure to finish, lack of accuracy about many trail towns and people, and other flaws in the book. Usually they point to books like "Awol on the AT", or "On the Beaten Path" as better examples. But let me try and make my case with just a short explanation of my reasoning.

      Something like 75% of the people that start a thru-hike don't finish it (me included) for various reasons. As I understand the generally accepted statistics, 50% drop out before ever getting through the Smokies. Again, for various reasons. Think about that: half the people that start a thru-hike don't complete 10% of the distance.

      But think of this: at 200 miles (about the distance to Newfound Gap) you have barely even begun a thru-hike really. Whatever knocks you out at this point is failure to properly prepare for the whole endeavor. If it is physical, then you were probably not in good enough shape to begin with and went too fast. If it is financial, then you probably had no real clue how much you would spend in towns since you have only hit 2 or 3 at this point. And if it is because you find backpacking for weeks (probably only 2 or 3 weeks at this point) a real drudge, then you really had no idea what thru-hiking was going to be like.

      There are many books about hikers completing their thru-hike. Uplifting stories about what people have learned about themselves. About the injury, the personal situation, or the whatever that the hiker has to overcome to make it to the end. We all want to be that guy and can see ourselves in those shoes. None talk about the absolute drudge that thru-hiking can be at times, except one. A Walk in the Woods.

      So, while I think there are lots of books people can read for inspiration on how great things can be accomplished and how great a thru-hike can be. Only one doesn't sugar coat how miserable you can feel and how it can be something you don't expect. I may recommend any one of the other books for someone thinking about doing a thru-hike. But I always recommend reading A Walk in the Woods. Maybe it gets the hiker to understand before he starts the trail what it can be like and helps to mentally prepare for it. Or maybe it gets the hiker to realize that thru-hiking isn't for everyone so they can skip where they quit their job, let the lease go on the apartment, put all their stuff in storage, give away the cat, and piss off the girlfireind - just to find out two weeks later they hate thru-hiking.


      I can't argue your point Sarge. It's been 25 years since I did my thru. Look at all the advances made in gear! Information is only a few clicks away. Hostels, shuttles & services catering to hikers are much more prolific now. Yet the compleation percentage is still about 20%. They call it the VA blues on the AT. On the PCT I called it the 1,000 mile blues. At some point it does become drudgery. It all kinda looks the same if you only travel 15 miles a day. Even when I thought I was over it on PCT I had a friend from AT join me outside of Seattle. Seeing the trail from his eyes reminded me on how jaded I had become to the beauty around me. In ME on AT I just wanted to finish. It wasn't untill Monson that "It's almost over" hit me.
    • He definitely has a fun writing style that makes for an enjoyable read, and I enjoyed all the detailed "tangents" he went on describing the trail and towns (but you guys mentioned above that some of these are inaccurate?? In what ways?) Admittedly, it took me longer to get through this one than my other reads though. It was good, but I enjoyed Awol's and Wild more.
      www.appalachiantrailclarity.com - Life on the A.T.

      Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.
    • The most interesting part of books and journals, is the misadventures at the beginning due to lack of preparedness or knowledge, IMO. This is my honest opinion......95% of them suck. Really , really bad. I cannot stand to read a book that is just a day by day description of hiking from point A to point B, and seeing sleepy, sneezy , and dopey. I have probably 20 on Kindle that I couldnt finish. (good thing most were free or just a couple $) They are not books , the are nothing but trail journals, and uninteresting ones at that. There are a few exceptions though.

      Bryson, has a way with words and descriptions, which make it at least interesting and somewhat humorous to read. He also interjected a lot of trail history and information about towns and places, albeit possibly exxaggerated or biased in some cases. It really got boring at points, but at least I did finish that book. I expect the movie to suck. I dont see much plot . It is the misadventures of a couple of section hikers.
    • muddywaters wrote:


      Bryson, has a way with words and descriptions, which make it at least interesting and somewhat humorous to read. He also interjected a lot of trail history and information about towns and places, albeit possibly exxaggerated or biased in some cases. It really got boring at points, but at least I did finish that book. I expect the movie to suck. I dont see much plot . It is the misadventures of a couple of section hikers.


      i think the movie will be a hoot.

      the book was an exaggeration of real life (read about rainbow springs - its all half true but really ramped up). and the movie "based on the book" will probably be an exaggeration of that. i think the movie will be an enjoyable watch that in no way relates the the trail as we know it.
      2,000 miler
    • muddywaters wrote:

      The most interesting part of books and journals, is the misadventures at the beginning due to lack of preparedness or knowledge, IMO. This is my honest opinion......95% of them suck. Really , really bad. I cannot stand to read a book that is just a day by day description of hiking from point A to point B, and seeing sleepy, sneezy , and dopey. I have probably 20 on Kindle that I couldnt finish. (good thing most were free or just a couple $) They are not books , the are nothing but trail journals, and uninteresting ones at that. There are a few exceptions though.


      i agree. i read a lot of books before my thru and a lot the next couple of years as i was interested if hikers had the same type of experiences i had at the same places. then i guess i burned out on them.

      there has to be a compelling reason for me to read a book on someone elses hike now. i read bill irwins book - hiking the a.t. blind seems impossible! i read gator gumps book as i wanted to see if he was as big a turd in real life as he was portrayed online. i will read read wingfoots book if/when it comes out. and if jack tarlin ever writes a book i'll buy it the second it comes out. now thats a book a movie should be based on!

      trailjournals.com - hate it. never read it.
      2,000 miler
    • [IMG:http://culturebox.francetvinfo.fr/sites/default/files/styles/asset_in_body/public/assets/images/2015/01/171320.jpg?itok=K6Xe4FbN]

      Couple of reviews from the Sundance premiere of "A Walk In The Woods"

      A mostly complimentary one:
      hollywoodreporter.com/review/a…ds-sundance-review-766367

      A less than complimentary one:
      variety.com/2015/film/reviews/…-in-the-woods-1201413503/

      Sounds like any new influx of hikers will be by olde pharts ...
      -
      L.Dog
      AT 2000 Mile LASHer '12-'15
    • LDog wrote:

      [IMG:http://culturebox.francetvinfo.fr/sites/default/files/styles/asset_in_body/public/assets/images/2015/01/171320.jpg?itok=K6Xe4FbN]

      Couple of reviews from the Sundance premiere of "A Walk In The Woods"

      A mostly complimentary one:
      hollywoodreporter.com/review/a…ds-sundance-review-766367

      A less than complimentary one:
      variety.com/2015/film/reviews/…-in-the-woods-1201413503/

      Sounds like any new influx of hikers will be by olde pharts ...


      I thought Nick Nolte was dead.

      From that picture I think I may be right!
      Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.
      Dr. Seuss Cof123
    • Rasty wrote:

      LDog wrote:

      [IMG:http://culturebox.francetvinfo.fr/sites/default/files/styles/asset_in_body/public/assets/images/2015/01/171320.jpg?itok=K6Xe4FbN]

      Couple of reviews from the Sundance premiere of "A Walk In The Woods"

      A mostly complimentary one:
      hollywoodreporter.com/review/a…ds-sundance-review-766367

      A less than complimentary one:
      variety.com/2015/film/reviews/…-in-the-woods-1201413503/

      Sounds like any new influx of hikers will be by olde pharts ...


      I thought Nick Nolte was dead.

      From that picture I think I may be right!


      I guess quite a bit of time has slipped by since 48 Hours.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Astro wrote:

      Rasty wrote:

      LDog wrote:

      [IMG:http://culturebox.francetvinfo.fr/sites/default/files/styles/asset_in_body/public/assets/images/2015/01/171320.jpg?itok=K6Xe4FbN]

      Couple of reviews from the Sundance premiere of "A Walk In The Woods"

      A mostly complimentary one:
      hollywoodreporter.com/review/a…ds-sundance-review-766367

      A less than complimentary one:
      variety.com/2015/film/reviews/…-in-the-woods-1201413503/

      Sounds like any new influx of hikers will be by olde pharts ...


      I thought Nick Nolte was dead.

      From that picture I think I may be right!


      I guess quite a bit of time has slipped by since 48 Hours.


      I was just thinking how much better he looked in his last mug shot.
      Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.
      Dr. Seuss Cof123
    • Rasty wrote:

      Astro wrote:

      Rasty wrote:

      LDog wrote:

      [IMG:http://culturebox.francetvinfo.fr/sites/default/files/styles/asset_in_body/public/assets/images/2015/01/171320.jpg?itok=K6Xe4FbN]

      Couple of reviews from the Sundance premiere of "A Walk In The Woods"

      A mostly complimentary one:
      hollywoodreporter.com/review/a…ds-sundance-review-766367

      A less than complimentary one:
      variety.com/2015/film/reviews/…-in-the-woods-1201413503/

      Sounds like any new influx of hikers will be by olde pharts ...


      I thought Nick Nolte was dead.

      From that picture I think I may be right!


      I guess quite a bit of time has slipped by since 48 Hours.


      I was just thinking how much better he looked in his last mug shot.

      [IMG:http://0.tqn.com/d/politicalhumor/1/7/a/_/2/nolte-hat.jpg]

      I would hike in that shirt ...
      -
      L.Dog
      AT 2000 Mile LASHer '12-'15
    • LDog wrote:

      Rasty wrote:

      Astro wrote:

      Rasty wrote:

      LDog wrote:

      [IMG:http://culturebox.francetvinfo.fr/sites/default/files/styles/asset_in_body/public/assets/images/2015/01/171320.jpg?itok=K6Xe4FbN]

      Couple of reviews from the Sundance premiere of "A Walk In The Woods"

      A mostly complimentary one:
      hollywoodreporter.com/review/a…ds-sundance-review-766367

      A less than complimentary one:
      variety.com/2015/film/reviews/…-in-the-woods-1201413503/

      Sounds like any new influx of hikers will be by olde pharts ...


      I thought Nick Nolte was dead.

      From that picture I think I may be right!


      I guess quite a bit of time has slipped by since 48 Hours.


      I was just thinking how much better he looked in his last mug shot.

      [IMG:http://0.tqn.com/d/politicalhumor/1/7/a/_/2/nolte-hat.jpg]

      I would hike in that shirt ...


      I could do the shirt, but not the hat.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • LDog wrote:

      Rasty wrote:

      Astro wrote:

      Rasty wrote:

      LDog wrote:

      [IMG:http://culturebox.francetvinfo.fr/sites/default/files/styles/asset_in_body/public/assets/images/2015/01/171320.jpg?itok=K6Xe4FbN]

      Couple of reviews from the Sundance premiere of "A Walk In The Woods"

      A mostly complimentary one:
      hollywoodreporter.com/review/a…ds-sundance-review-766367

      A less than complimentary one:
      variety.com/2015/film/reviews/…-in-the-woods-1201413503/

      Sounds like any new influx of hikers will be by olde pharts ...
      I thought Nick Nolte was dead.

      From that picture I think I may be right!
      I guess quite a bit of time has slipped by since 48 Hours.
      I was just thinking how much better he looked in his last mug shot.
      [IMG:http://0.tqn.com/d/politicalhumor/1/7/a/_/2/nolte-hat.jpg]

      I would hike in that shirt ...


      They should have cast Gary Busey as Katze! :D

      [IMG:http://i4.irishmirror.ie/incoming/article4090605.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/Gary-Busey.png]
      >>>Advertise here! Affordable rates and no long term contracts. Send a PM for more details!<<<
    • SarcasmTheElf wrote:

      LDog wrote:

      Rasty wrote:

      Astro wrote:

      Rasty wrote:

      LDog wrote:

      [IMG:http://culturebox.francetvinfo.fr/sites/default/files/styles/asset_in_body/public/assets/images/2015/01/171320.jpg?itok=K6Xe4FbN]

      Couple of reviews from the Sundance premiere of "A Walk In The Woods"

      A mostly complimentary one:
      hollywoodreporter.com/review/a…ds-sundance-review-766367

      A less than complimentary one:
      variety.com/2015/film/reviews/…-in-the-woods-1201413503/

      Sounds like any new influx of hikers will be by olde pharts ...
      I thought Nick Nolte was dead.
      From that picture I think I may be right!
      I guess quite a bit of time has slipped by since 48 Hours.
      I was just thinking how much better he looked in his last mug shot.
      [IMG:http://0.tqn.com/d/politicalhumor/1/7/a/_/2/nolte-hat.jpg]
      I would hike in that shirt ...
      They should have cast Gary Busey as Katze! :D

      [IMG:http://i4.irishmirror.ie/incoming/article4090605.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/Gary-Busey.png]
      Right, neither one can enunciate fer shat...so what's the dif.
    • this is cool...got his email today from the atc.

      Want to see Robert Redford in the Appalachian Trail film "A Walk in the Woods" before the movie officially opens? On Aug. 20, we're hosting a FREE special screening in partnership with AWARE Wildlife Center at the Midtown Art Cinema in Atlanta!

      Seats are first-come, first-serve, and passes do not guarantee a spot in the theater. However, you must have a pass for a chance to be seated. Limit 4 passes per person.

      "A Walk in the Woods" is intended for mature audiences.

      Click here to get your free pass to the event before they're gone!

      See you in Atlanta!

      The Appalachian Trail Conservancy Team
      2,000 miler
    • max.patch wrote:

      this is cool...got his email today from the atc.

      Want to see Robert Redford in the Appalachian Trail film "A Walk in the Woods" before the movie officially opens? On Aug. 20, we're hosting a FREE special screening in partnership with AWARE Wildlife Center at the Midtown Art Cinema in Atlanta!

      Seats are first-come, first-serve, and passes do not guarantee a spot in the theater. However, you must have a pass for a chance to be seated. Limit 4 passes per person.

      "A Walk in the Woods" is intended for mature audiences.

      Click here to get your free pass to the event before they're gone!

      See you in Atlanta!

      The Appalachian Trail Conservancy Team
      thanks Max, forwarded to my Sister in-law who lives in Atlanta.