North to Katahdin

North to Katahdin

by Eric Pinder
     
 

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When Thoreau ventured into the Maine woods in 1846, he was one of a handful who did so simply to see what was there. Now, hundreds of thousands of people pursue "the wildest country" either for itself, as Thoreau did, or as the terminus of the Appalachian Trail. Using Mount Katahdin as his lab, Eric Pinder contemplates what draws people to the mountains. Are the… See more details below

Overview


When Thoreau ventured into the Maine woods in 1846, he was one of a handful who did so simply to see what was there. Now, hundreds of thousands of people pursue "the wildest country" either for itself, as Thoreau did, or as the terminus of the Appalachian Trail. Using Mount Katahdin as his lab, Eric Pinder contemplates what draws people to the mountains. Are the urbanites trekking the trails with cell phones, synthetic fabrics, and GPS units having remotely the same experience that Thoreau did? Pinder's interviews with these hikers create a vivid portrait of the communion with nature they seek, and of the world they are trying to escape.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The Appalachian Trail runs 2000 miles from Georgia to Maine. Every year, thru-hikers struggle to hike from one end to the other, creating their own subculture, complete with trail names (given to hikers by other hikers), trail angels (who drop off food and other supplies along the trail), and stories of what lies ahead and behind. In In Beauty May She Walk, Mass, a 60-year-old college professor, tells the story hiking the entire 2000-mile trail, from training thoroughly for her trip and rehearsing safety precautions (e.g., don't speak to lone male hikers) to determining what to pack (she needs her journal and watercolors but can do without the entire guidebook). Her account is full of rich and emotionally charged detail about the journey and the personal growth that resulted from it. Pinder's North to Katahdin, conversely, is not a personal account but instead compares the experiences of modern hikers to those of Henry Thoreau, one of the first hikers on Mount Katahdin, the mountain that marks the Maine end of the Appalachian Trail. Pinder (Tying Down the Wind) spoke to many thru-hikers and recounts their stories, alternating them with stories from Thoreau's experiences (e.g., the time that his cooking sparked a forest fire, threatening a nearby town). Both Pinder's and Mass's titles are well written and descriptive, but they will appeal to different audiences. Mass's book will attract those interested in the hows and whys of hiking as well as the emotional reality; Pinder's book will be of more interest to those looking for a more theoretical and factual account. Both are recommended for public libraries; Pinder's may have some academic library appeal.-Alison Hopkins, Territorial Librarian, Northwest Territories Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781571312808
Publisher:
Milkweed Editions
Publication date:
06/28/2005
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
5.46(w) x 8.44(h) x 0.54(d)

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