I have been scouring my local library for tales about hiking and the mountains, with a focus on first person narrative but also history. I found this book by doing a Google search for hiking memoirs and it landed on a number of top 10 lists so I picked it up. This book is a memoir told in the first person voice, an alternates between the perspectives of the two sisters: Lucy and Susan.Thru hiking, or hiking the entire AT from North to South or South to North is not something that I want to do right now although I'm not dismissing it completely - perhaps when the kids are older - anyways, this was a good intro to it.
Lucy and Susan have jsut graduated from college and are trying to decide what to do with their lives. As they attempt to find themselves, they decide to hike SOBO on the AT. Barefoot. While it's still fun, at least. The narrative often alternates between either girls' perspectives, never really repeating itself but alternating visions of a single, chronological narrative. I really enjoyed the stories that the girls told. I was able to conjure up the community that they experienced and the people that they met with my senses - I could see them, hear them and yes, sometimes even smell them. I could imagine how wonderful a shower and a clean bed and a pizza would have been after hiking for a week and attempting to break 20 miles a day but my imagination was driven into overload by the ways that the girls told the story. And I have to say - two women hiking the AT, which is very male dominated, was pretty ballsy in my book and earned them points with me. I loved how I got a vivid picture of trail life - including the travails of hiking in winter (hello frostbite and snow up to yoru hip!) and injuries and having to carry enough gear and food to get you to the next drop). Loved it