Walking the Gobi: 16,000 Mile-Trek across a Desert of Hope and Dispair

Overview

Aging adventurers don't retire to Lazy Boy recliners-they find bigger, hotter, wilder places to explore. How about the Gobi desert?
The ultimate Baby Boomer adventure story!
The author is an icon among American women adventurers

By the bestselling author of Polar Dream (more than 40,000 copies sold) At the age of 63, Helen Thayer fulfilled her lifelong dream of crossing Mongolia's Gobi Desert. Accompanied by ...

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Overview

Aging adventurers don't retire to Lazy Boy recliners-they find bigger, hotter, wilder places to explore. How about the Gobi desert?
The ultimate Baby Boomer adventure story!
The author is an icon among American women adventurers

By the bestselling author of Polar Dream (more than 40,000 copies sold) At the age of 63, Helen Thayer fulfilled her lifelong dream of crossing Mongolia's Gobi Desert. Accompanied by her 74-year-old husband Bill and two camels, Tom and Jerry, Thayer walked 1600 miles in 126-degree temperatures, battling fierce sandstorms, dehydration, dangerous drug smugglers, and ubiquitous scorpions. For more than 60 days Helen struggled to keep moving through this inhospitable terrain despite a severe leg injury. Without sponsors, a support team, or radio contact, hers is a journey of pure discovery and adventure.

Walking the Gobi takes readers on a trip through a little-known landscape and introduces them to the culture of the nomadic people whose ancestors have eked out an existence in the Gobi for thousands of years. Thayer's respect and admiration for the culture of Gobi and her gentle weaving of natural history shine throughout this remarkable story. The author proves that Baby Boomers don't have to take life lying down-their adventures have just begun.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The Gobi Desert is a barren stretch of Mongolia that runs north of China, south of Russia and far from everything-not an ideal place to visit, except by book. Fortunately, the daring Thayer, age 63, fights nature and common sense for us, giving readers a fascinating account of her 1,600-mile journey with her husband, Bill, 74. The aging adventurers lace up their boots, load two borrowed camels with supplies and set out to survive an 80-day trek through temperatures in excess of 120 degrees while wolves, scorpions and the Chinese border patrol stalk them. Encounters with smugglers and nomads add shades of character and culture: one hospitable nomad family enthusiastically serves them such uninviting fare as sour horse milk. The adventure ramps up when an angry camel rolls over their water containers, setting off a desperate search for hydration. Frightening skirmishes with heatstroke, sandstorms and wildlife take their toll, but the greater enemy is mental, which Thayer knows well (having once skied to the North Pole with just her dog for company): "At all costs we had to avoid the mental trap of losing focus," a slippery step toward becoming "emotionally paralyzed." Despite the hardship, Thayer is a sure and steady guide; this harrowing travelogue reads like a nail-biting adventure, sure to enthrall fans of Jon Krakauer and Bill Bryson. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594850646
  • Publisher: Mountaineers Books, The
  • Publication date: 9/28/2007
  • Pages: 251
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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