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

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

by Helen Thayer
 

* The ultimate Baby Boomer adventure story!

* The author is an icon among American women adventurers

* By the bestselling author of Polar Dream

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

Overview

* The ultimate Baby Boomer adventure story!

* The author is an icon among American women adventurers

* By the bestselling author of Polar Dream

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.

Editorial Reviews

The Herald
"A tightly written and quick-moving account of [a] perilous journey."
Rocky Mountain Outlook
"Walking the Gobi captures the determination, the exhaustion, the sublime beauties and the cruel realities of [Helen Thayer's] expedition, as well as discoveries that emerge from immersing [oneself] in a forbidding landscape… Throughout the book, Thayer writes of adventure on a page-turning scale that is simultaneously impossible to put down, but at times-almost too nerve wracking to continue reading."
The Midwest Book Review
"The people and cultures of the Gobi desert come to life in this fine adventure read, a pick for any general-interest library where adventure travel is prized."
Rocky Mountain News - Deb Acord
"It's the stories of smugglers in the night, a camel temper tantrum that cost a week's worth of water, and sightings of a wild desert bear that make this book irresistible."
Klamath Falls Herald & News
"Thayer's book is wildly impressive…the story is incredible, almost too fantastic to be true."
Indigo Editing
"Helen Thayer shows not only her sense of courage and adventure, but also her talent as a writer and, through her words, her love of the desert and the culture therein…Thayer deserves applause not only for her incredible life as an adventure, but also for her mastery of language that brings us on the journey with her…Thayer's writing pace turn this eighty-one day excursion into a journey readers can experience in just a few hours-preferably in the comfort of shelter, food and water."
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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594850646
Publisher:
Mountaineers Books, The
Publication date:
09/28/2007
Pages:
251
Sales rank:
1,351,900
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)
Age Range:
13 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

HELEN THAYER has skied to the magnetic North Pole, lived among wolves in Alaska, kayaked in the Amazon, walked across the Sahara, and represented three countries as a track and field athlete. She is the author of Polar Dream and Three Among the Wolves and the recipient of countless awards. Thayer was named "One of the Great Explorers of the 20th Century" by National Geographic and is the president of Adventure Classroom, an international educational project.

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