By Rick Rogers, 2021
“I finally went to find out.”
One of us was planning to plop down with this book and knock out a coupla quick chapters during lunch the other day. (Hi, Mom.) You know. Just an appetizer nibble. After all, our schedule was packed. Next thing ya know, we’re 20+ chapters in and going for broke!
A Hoot and a Half
Yes, friends. Walking Home is that absorbing. And that much fun. Indeed, Walking Home is not only a thoroughly engaging, informative read about one man’s experiences, misadventures and insights gleaned while hiking the storied Pacific Crest Trail, it’s also a hoot and a half. Not quite as much of a hoot as the time Mom was on the trail and tripped on a tree root the size of Miami. Good thing her fall was cushioned by a nice, thick slab of granite or she might’ve been seriously injured.
Wait. Where was I?
Oh yeah. Walking Home. Highly engaging and eminently readable, the book is also seasoned with dry deadpan humor of the Bryson-esque stripe. Only better. (Kimber: What’s a “dead pan” again? Can I eat it?) Yea, verily. Even the cover art is clever and catchy.
Tightly written, witty and agile, the narrative also includes a touch of whimsy. “Norm made me do it.” (Ear) bud-less hiking partner, “Cool Breeze.” Robin. “Finn” as in Huckleberry. (You’ll have to read the book to get that.) The Whole Foods soup mix and Starbucks Via coffee culprits. The Rubber Chicken. “This wouldn’t happen if Mom were here.”
The fact that the author tucked in a yummy doggie treat with the book had no influence on our opinion whatsoever. Did not. Did not! Did NOT! (At least for one of us.) Ditto the fact that Mom’s been an avid hiker since she was a young’un. You know. Since just after the earth’s crust cooled. Or that she just finished logging mile 2,485 on the Pacific Crest Trail Virtual Challenge. (Mom’s seriously nuts. But you already knew that.)
We’ve read like 88 million hiking books/memoirs. (Well, okay. Maybe only 87 mil. But who’s counting?) Anyway, with its sparkling prose, lively, upbeat voice, vivid descriptions and wry wit, Walking Home is quite possibly the best hiking tome we’ve ever read. It’s easily the most entertaining. (There’s a smattering of poli-ticks. That’s not a typo. But it’s a spur trail, not the main event. So we’re willing to overlook it, Toots.)
“If the Trail taught any lessons after a hundred nights of sleeping on the dirt and eating noodles from a tin pot, it was of the relative unimportance of comfort and the futility of arrogance.”
One other thing. Remind me, Kimber, to not let Mom drink V8Splash when any mention of the “snore-whacker” comes up. She chuckles so much, she snorts Tropical Blend out her nose. So embarrassing.
We could all use a good, long trail.
Visit Rick Rogers at his Author Page.