Day One, and already she was lying in her journal. It was 1993, Suzanne Roberts had just finished college, and when her friend suggested they hike California’s John Muir Trail, the adventure sounded like the perfect distraction from a difficult home life and thoughts about the future. But she never imagined that the twenty-eight-day hike would change her life. Part memoir, part nature writing, part travelogue, Almost Somewhere is Roberts’s account of that hike.
John Muir had written of the Sierra Nevada as a “vast range of light,” and this was exactly what Roberts was looking for. But traveling with two girlfriends, one experienced and unflappable and the other inexperienced and bulimic, she quickly discovered that she needed a new frame of reference. Her story of a month in the backcountry—confronting bears, snowy passes, broken equipment, injuries, and strange men—is as much about finding a woman’s way into outdoor experience as it is about the natural world she so eloquently describes. Candid and funny and, finally, wise, Almost Somewhere is not just the whimsical coming-of-age story of a young woman ill-prepared for a month in the mountains but also the reflection of a distinctly feminine view of nature.
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About the Author
Suzanne Roberts teaches English at Lake Tahoe Community College and for the low-residency MFA program at Sierra Nevada College. Named “The Next Great Travel Writer” by National Geographic Traveler magazine, Roberts is the author of four collections of poetry, and has published work in numerous journals and anthologies.
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What People are Saying About This
"Roberts dares to combine a hiking adventure with a healthy dose of humor and female bonding in all its complicated and turbulent best. . . . An utterly refreshing outdoors memoir free of the seemingly manufactured drama so many similar titles contain. A delightful and quite literary diversion."—Colleen Mondor, Booklist
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ms. Roberts' tale follows her and two college girlfriends as they hike the John Muir Trail in California (Mt. Whitney to Yosemite). With enough description of the trek and scenery to make you feel you're there, nevertheless it's the narrative that will keep you reading. The leader is Erika, a commanding athletic girl who has little patience with slackers while chumming up to the occasional male to cross their path to prove her prowess. Dionne, petite and suffering from bulimia, swings from helpless to strong then back again. And Suzanne, who's never hiked before and names her ungainly backpack 'Big Heiny', struggles with her own self-confidence. Anyone with girlfriends will appreciate the group dynamic--at times warm and supportive, then competitive and combative. This is a wonderful story showcasing women who are real.
Just finished this book last weekend and found it delightful. I would heartily recommend it to anyone, especially any woman who likes to hike.