Mud, Rocks, Blazes: Letting Go on the Appalachian Trail

Mountaineers. Mar. 2021. 240p. ISBN 9781680513363. pap. $18.95. SPORTS
Anderson follows up her bestselling Thirst, in which she detailed her record-setting hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, with another action-packed account of personal transformation. Here, she writes about coming to accept the ups and downs of fame as Anish, her trail name, and trying to determine the next step in her life after completing the Pacific Crest Trail. Fans of Anderson’s blog and Instagram account will relate to her personable stories as she recounts her 54-day trek of the Appalachian Trail. Her writing brings readers along as she navigates treacherous switchbacks, downclimbs the trail, and reminds herself to stay calm during occasional encounters with black bears. Throughout, Anderson writes candidly about the difficulties of being a solo white woman hiker, and she also acknowledges her racial privilege on the trail. A constant obstacle is finding a hiker-friendly hostel or a safe place to pitch a tent. Her internal pep talks are a welcome addition to the book, where she admits how often she felt like giving up, emotionally and physically.
VERDICT Complete with a map of her route, the latest from Anderson will make hikers want to reach for their trekking poles and will satisfy armchair travelers looking for adventure.
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