Adventures come in all shapes and sizes. An adventure to one may be nothing more than a day at the office to another. I’m sure the necessary conditions of “adventure” have an element of subjectivity, but I’m also sure that for something to constitute an adventure one must abandon their comfort zone.
By this measure, a free spirited dirtbag spending a week in a business office would constitute an adventure as would a white-collared executive spending a week on the trail. Of course, adventures can vary in degrees depending on several different factors including adaptability, risk of harm, ambition to succeed, and level of discomfort.
That being said, my latest adventure book may not have had the same level of intensity and risk as prior books in this series, but it was an adventure. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson is essentially a story of two companions learning together what adventure means. As they attempt to navigate the Appalachian Trail with limited experience and an abundance of resolve they pick up a thing or two about the meaning of adventure!
Bill Bryson and his travelling mate Stephen Katz must have been a sight to behold. Not the youngest, the fittest, or most knowledgeable, but they learned along the way. They suffered, boy did they suffer, but they never lost their sense of humor, and they never lost their sense of commitment. My favorite part of this entire book was experiencing their transformation from suburbanites who forced themselves to adapt to the trail into hikers who needed to readapt to life off the trail.
On a side note, I have to say that this is the first book I have ever bought based on a particular one-star Amazon review.
“Great book if you love people who love themselves to an extreme. Also a great read if you hate the United States, especially southerners. Perfect for the “open-minded, progressive” types who look down their noses at anyone who doesn’t behave and think exactly like themselves. Also, a great gift for anyone who likes books that pretend to be about people doing something, but then are really just about quitting doing that thing before they really get started.”1 Star Amazon Review
I’m not saying this review describes my likes or interests in any way, but this is an entertaining level of disdain for a book about a couple of guys attempting to go for a hike. It piqued my curiosity, and I’m happy that it did.
It was nice to put together a book aesthetic that didn’t include death, disease, loss, and unimaginable suffering. It’s a light-hearted amusing adventure that anyone could enjoy. So, whether you’re an open-minded progressive type, or a close-minded non-progressive type, there is something in this adventure for everybody!
For October we are heading to Moab for Edward Abbey’s philosophical memoir about life as a park ranger in Arches National Park. Adventure through isolation! If you feel like reading along you can find a copy of Desert Solitaire HERE.