“What makes Avalanche’s story so interesting, especially for older-than-average hikers, is his ability to retell all the pain, agony, frustration and other trials that plague every hiker, without the usual sentimental look back through rose-colored glasses. He tells it like it is, including the raw language of the trail that a few might find offensive. But it’s real life, and it reminds you of just how difficult it truly is to walk from Springer to Katahdin in one year. In fact, Avalanche didn’t even make it to Virginia in ’02, but that’s what also makes this book fascinating to read. He puts a magnifying glass on all that went wrong, as only a trained lawyer could (that’s his profession), but he also includes the glorious feelings of accomplishment from summiting peaks that sapped every ounce of his physical and mental being.”
“Over several years, he eventually makes it to Vermont . . . . every step of the way he takes you along when he meets the locals who make hiking the trail such a rich life experience. In a sort-of National Geographic style, you meet who he meets, like the Tennessee rescue squad leader who helps Al and Jim after they’ve been “rescued” from the freak snow storm of March 30, 2003.
“You also get to meet Gorilla Jim, whose harrowing story from his service in Vietnam adds another dimension to this book and could very well be worth a book in itself.” — Bill O’Brien