North to Katahdin

Overview


When Thoreau stood on the flank of Maine’s Mt. Katahdin 1846, he was one of a handful of Americans who had ventured so deeply into the wilderness for the mere sake of seeing what was there. Today, hundreds of thousands of people—some with cell phones and GPS—stand where Thoreau did. For some, Katahdin is the long-awaited terminus of the Appalachian Trail, the 2,160-mile footpath from Georgia to Maine. For others, Maine’s highest peak and the state park surrounding it are the closest they can come to ...
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Overview


When Thoreau stood on the flank of Maine’s Mt. Katahdin 1846, he was one of a handful of Americans who had ventured so deeply into the wilderness for the mere sake of seeing what was there. Today, hundreds of thousands of people—some with cell phones and GPS—stand where Thoreau did. For some, Katahdin is the long-awaited terminus of the Appalachian Trail, the 2,160-mile footpath from Georgia to Maine. For others, Maine’s highest peak and the state park surrounding it are the closest they can come to wilderness—the Glacier National Park of the east. In North to Katahdin, Eric Pinder uses Katahdin as his laboratory to explore what draws people to the mountains and whether hikers today are having remotely the same experience as did Thoreau. Are they even trying to? And if wilderness means "an absence of humanity," what do we call it when it’s filled with people? Pinder’s interviews with hikers and accounts of his own treks, humorous and witty, filled with knowledge about the region’s lore, geology, and weather, create a vivid portrait of wilderness and its denizens.
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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571312808
  • Publisher: Milkweed Editions
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 1,313,514
  • Product dimensions: 5.46 (w) x 8.44 (h) x 0.54 (d)

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