Like a well-crafted stage play, Just Passin' Thru delivers one suspenseful scene after another. But in this historic setting -- a store on the Appalachian Trail called Mountain Crossings -- the characters who show up are no fictional creations. They are the real-life stars of the author's new life as a backpack-purging, canteen-selling, hostel-running, bandage-taping, lost-child finding, argument-settling, romance-fixing, chili-making man of many faces. Like any good drama, there are the good guys (and gals) and the weirdos, too. Some show up once (and that's enough), and some appear again and again. Some are friends, and some dangerous. But all are united by two things: the author's story-capturing talent, and whatever it is that lures them to attempt (or conquer) a 2,200-mile path that climbs and plummets from Georgia to Maine.