Book Reviews

“The bulk of this book deals with backpacking the Appalachian Trail, and it is a worthy successor to Bill Bryson’s classic book on that subject, A Walk in the Woods . . . . I recommend this book to anyone with an interest in backpacking the Appalachian Trail.”   The VVA Veteran, Vietnam Veterans of America, David Wilson and Marc Leepson

“In all it is a humorously different and surprisingly true picture of two guys trekking over 1,300 miles of fun-filled, gut-wrenching, awe-inspiring mountainous terrain . . . . With Albert Dragon we climb mountains, walk within hailing distances of bears, overnight in a tent with jagged lightning bolts crashing all around us, tour on an adventure of a lifetime and do more than you ever thought you could.” Mainline Times, Ralph Collier

Ralph Collier is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers, the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association, and the International Motor Press Association. His syndicated programs are heard on 16 radio stations and through their Web sites worldwide.

“Dragon tells a vivid and inspirational story of what it’s like to hike the Appalachian Trail: the harrowing experiences, the grueling days, discomforts, dangers. But he also shares many joys, laugh-out-loud experiences of the life-changing journey and deeply moving kindness-of-strangers events.”

Shore News Today (Cape May, NJ),

“. . . entertains with tales of some of the region’s most notorious murderers, a time during [Dragon’s] hike when he was rescued from a snowstorm in Tennessee, encounters with rattlesnakes, and more.” “. . . lighthearted, meant to be enjoyed as a humorous and honest memoir . . . and may just be perfect for a relaxing read during some down time during your next camping trip.”

Gear Editor

“This humorously different adventure makes you laugh, feel good, gives you some thrills and allows you to actually experience hiking the famous Appalachian Trail. A true picture of hiking over 1300 miles of fun-filled, gut wrenching, awe-inspiring mountainous trail. Stocked with the humor of two guys on a long trek over grueling terrain.”

“The days are enlivened by lighthearted moments, jokes and bantering. Belly laugh at: getting locked in an outhouse when the door knob falls apart; goofily telling a rattlesnake to hold still while taking its photo; a pet tarantula named Rosie; older middle-aged Avalanche’s quest for younger legs and lungs.”

“. . . tells the humorous tale of his adventures–coming face-to-face with a rattlesnake, nights sleeping on the ground, and enduring blasting heat and bone chilling freezes–”

SJ Magazine

“. . . filled with exciting exploits, belly laughs and shocking surprises.”

Temple Esq.

“Dragon shares an entertaining and humorous tales of hiking in bone-chilling cold, torrential downpours, howling winds and deep snow . . . . Dragon writes that the Appalachian Trail is ‘a place of perfect peace with spectacular views, and an escape from worldly problems.’”

Texas Public Radio – Some Books Considered

“This easy read entertains, makes you laugh, sometimes shocks, and you feel what it’s like to backpack the length of the U.S. . . .The rest of the book is pure enjoyment. It shows you can live the prime of your life at any age.”

The Philadelphia Lawyer, Fall 2013, p. 46

“Feel the trail with all the senses: blasting heat’s debilitating confusion, freezing hypothermia, and the warm pleasures of meeting interesting people along the way and those who restore your faith in humanity.”

Beachcomber News, Brigantine, New Jersey

“This is the Appalachian Trail with all its beauty and flaws, written in a style of fresh, sharp adventure with a pleasing edge. It is filled with the humor of two guys on a 1,300-mile trek . . . .”


“. . . it is replete with endless stories of humor, survival and living off the land. Avalanche and Gorilla Jim take non-hikers where the faint of heart will never go!”

Noir Con

Local Newspapers Along The Appalachian Trail

“He is a very good writer and makes his adventure extremely interesting.. . .All I can say is if you like an adventure this is well worth the read.”  Local Yocal, Townsend, Tennessee

“[H]is account [has] a depth of detail and immediacy that a lot of hiking literature lacks. . . .it is interesting to follow him on his adventures.”  Clyde’s Weekly Column, North Georgia

“Including a few run-ins with bears, a rattlesnake . . . Dragon writes of his luck and misfortunes in Avalanche and Gorilla Jim: Appalachian Trail Adventures and Other  Tales.”  Cherokee Scout, Cherokee County, North Carolina