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ARC Review: Walking Home: Trail Stories


Walking Home: Trail Stories by Celia Ryker

Celia Ryker was celebrating her 59th birthday when she decided to walk Vermont’s 272 mile Long Trail. Walking Home: Trail Stories is her memoir of the section hikes she and a companion took, across a span of eight years, to complete the Trail.  Her account is lots of fun to read, as she matter-of-factly, and with a wry sense of humor, takes us through her training and the section hikes themselves. Along the way she shares some of her trail dreams, and some of the childhood memories sparked by her hikes. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.

Here are some things to know about Celia Ryker besides her age. She grew up in Michigan and she and her husband split their time between Michigan and Vermont.  She freely admits she has trouble with directions, choosing the wrong road at unfamiliar intersections 3/4 of the time. She had a previous fall and had surgery on one of her legs to piece it back together with screws and pins. She has breathing problems, though has never had to use her inhaler. She’s never slept in a tent or done more than a day hike. She is, in short, not the person you’d expect to choose to hike the Long Trail.

The Long Trail follows the main ridge of Vermont’s Green Mountains from the border with Massachusetts all the way across the state to its border with Canada. It was built between 1910 and 1930, making it the oldest trail in the US. It inspired the creation of the Appalachian Trail, with which it shares a 100 mile stretch. According to the official website, the Long Trail is “easy in few sections and rugged in most. Steep inclines and plenty of mud present hikers with plenty of challenges.”

If you are an outdoor person; or a hiker, or a wannabe hiker, or even only curious about hiking; or are an endurance sports enthusiast; or are a person of a certain age who has a big dream of any kind that is still attainable; or if you just like to read well told adventure stories - well then  you will no doubt enjoy this book.  I rate Walking Home Trail Stories four Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - I recommend it.

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Title: Walking Home: Trail Stories 
Author: Celia Ryker
Publisher: Rootstock Publishing
Publish Date: June 22, 2021
ISBN-13: 9781578690534
List Price: $16.95 (Trade Paperback as of 12/2021)

Revised 12/2021