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The Barefoot Sisters Walking Home (Adventures on the Appalachian Trail) Kindle Edition
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
The Barefoot Sisters write well, and relate their experiences with an openness and truthfulness that some other hiking books seem to lack. They convey effectively the spirituality and simplicity of the trail throughout. During their walk home back to Maine they encounter Lyme disease, the 9/11 attacks and how some hikers seemed to use their trip as an escape, as well as Barefoot Sister jackrabbit's depression. They also encounter the amazing generosity and trust in the hiking community, make new friends, and run into some old friends they made on their first journey including Tuba Man.
I read and enjoyed their first book, "Southbound," and "Walking Home" is a very worthy companion. If you are interested in hiking or the outdoors, you will probably want to read both. They will help renew your faith in the basic goodness of people.
I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed reading of the Appalachian Trail hiking adventures of "Jackrabbit" and "Isis". Once I started reading, I was hooked and did not want to stop!
I am one of four sisters and I enjoy to read books which feature the interaction of sisters. I must admit I downloaded this book when it was offered as a free Kindle book through one of the free books of the day. The chapters in the book are arranged as the sisters share their experiences along the trail, almost as a relay team. There is not a lot of repetition, but a smooth continuation of the hike.
I also appreciate that the accounting of the actions and reactions of the sisters were not sugar-coated. There were times when they did not want to be sisters together along this trail.
The hardships of hiking the trail were so believable, until I got chill bumps as I read about the ice and snow they endured during a blizzard. I could almost feel the exhaustion and thirst of a hard day of hiking. The book is a story which tells their endurance of pain, discomfort, hunger, and also of the kindness offered by strangers and friends met along the trail. I could hardly wait to buy the follow-up book, Barefoot Sisters Walking Home (Adventures on the Appalachian Trail) [Kindle Edition]. I thoroughly enjoyed both books. Great job, Sisters, Thank you for sharing the hike with us all!
In "Walking Home," the Barefoot Sisters Isis and jackrabbit "yo-yo" their original "Southbound" hike and return home to Maine on the Appalachian Trail.
This time taking the more usual pattern, which more than 90 percent of AT through-hikers choose, the sisters leave Georgia in mid-March of 2001 to complete their AT return hike by October 15, the last day Mt. Katahdin in Baxter State Park remains open.
"Walking Home" could have been an extension in the first book. However, the sisters decided to set it up as a sequel. While it is quite good, some of the unusual and most distinctive aspects of the earlier work are lacking: namely, the less common direction taken in the original work(southbound); the fact that much of the hiking in the earlier work was done during winter months; and the fact that there was far less barefoot hiking than in the earlier work.
That said, "Walking Home" is largely a continuation. "Walking Home" includes the situation that jackrabbit faces when she comes down with early-stage Lyme Disease, a situation that goes unrecognized, undiagnosed and untreated for some time.
The occurrence of the "9-11" attack takes place in the latter months of their return journey. Its effect upon AT through-hikers who are trying to escape real-world concerns is notable.
Unlike in "Southbound," in "Walking Home," the sisters have real-life encounters with rattlesnakes, bear and moose, something most AT through-hikers look forward to while hoping that such encounters will be non-eventful.
Side-junkets such as the extended beach stay in Florida along with multiple off-trail side trips tend to distract the reader and take away from trail hiking. The large amount of "slackpacking" done by the sisters on their return journey (when backpacks are shuttled by car) will put off more purist backpackers.
By the time of "Walking Home," the Barefoot Sisters had achieved something akin to celebrity status. This has unintended effects upon them as well as upon others whom they befriend, even "trail angels" and supportive third-parties.
I highly recommend "Walking Home" but as stated in the first paragraph, it can be difficult for the sequel to equal the original.
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