A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, UK, 1997

A Walk in the Woods is an account of the walk Bryson did with his friend Stephen along the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine (three and a half thousand kilometres). Their experiences range from the dramatic to the humorous, and in between there is space for contemplation and even sympathy. Beautifully and humorously written, I would definitely recommend this book, especially for anyone who has any kind of overnight hiking experience. 

Bryson scatters much factual information through the book, both geographical and historical, and by the time I had finished the book I almost felt that I had experienced the trail at first hand. The difficulties associated with bears, snakes, unbelievably useless maps, curious tourists, inconsiderate fellow hikers, mountains, mountains, mountains, heavy packs, drenching rain and even more mountains paled against the inexpressible joy of 'owning' those kilometres of trail, of waking to unspoiled mornings and knowing that there was no one around for kilometres in all directions.

That they did not actually walk the entire three and a half thousand kilometres was slightly disappointing, but I am quite sure that they were more than content with kilometres they did walk.

The photo of Bill Bryson is from www.theguardian.com
The photo of the bear is from www.iflscience.com