A blistered kind of love One couple's trial by trail

Angela Ballard, 1973-

Book - 2003

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 917.9/Ballard Checked In
Seattle, Wash. : The Mountaineers Books c2003.
Main Author
Angela Ballard, 1973- (-)
Other Authors
Duffy Ballard, 1972- (-)
1st ed
Physical Description
264 p. : map ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Alternating chapters, the Ballards describe their arduous 2,655-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, which zigzags its way from Mexico to Canada, crossing three states, three national monuments, seven national parks, 24 national forests, and 33 federally mandated wildernesses. Grappling with thirst, fear, and pain, they completed the trail in 132 days. In addition to providing detailed information on pretrip planning (meal preparation, gear, medicines), they also relate many amusing anecdotes about the characters they met along the way, including one pair whose goal was hiking 1 percent of the trail while intoxicated (they were successful). In between breathtaking descriptions of the many scenic vistas, which they viewed very briefly because of their manic devotion to covering a set amount of miles per day, the couple speak insightfully about their dynamics, which sometimes deteriorated into fights over the size of each other's steps. Although many of the couples they encountered on the trail had broken up by the end, the Ballards got married. This delightful title has appeal beyond hard-core backpackers. --Joanne Wilkinson Copyright 2003 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

The 20-something Ballards alternate chapters to detail their 2,655-mile backpacking trek along the Pacific Crest Trail, starting at the U.S./Mexico border and ending in Canada. Angela, an advertising copywriter, is a novice hiker, while Duffy, a pre-med student, is more experienced. Inspired by William R. Gray's The Pacific Crest Trail, the Ballards spend eight months planning and set out; ahead lie three states, three national monuments, seven national parks, 24 national forests and 33 federally mandated wildernesses. They describe the journey's physical, emotional and logistical aspects, including their pre-trip planning, their family's reactions and what they learn about each other along the way. (They marry at trip's end.) The macho couple doesn't want to waste time enjoying the scenery or napping in the sun-their goal is to complete the entire trail, which they do in 132 days. Says Angela upon reaching central Oregon's Crater Lake, "I yearned to find a sheltered cove of grass where I could enjoy the sunset and subsequent sunrise over the lake, stare into the blueness and enjoy a warm mug of hot chocolate." Instead, as usual, "we were tugged by the call of miles." The recommended reading list and numerous practical tips on gear, trail food, first aid and terrain will be a boon to those attempting the Ballards' feat themselves. But less hardy souls may be discouraged from doing so. As the adventurers state in the epilogue, "our trail life wasn't all sunsets, starry nights and self development. Sweat, stench, gritty skin, and exhaustion killed many otherwise profound moments." Map. (Oct.) FYI: The Ballards filed dispatches from the trail, which have appeared at the popular outdoor recreation site Gorp.com, and won the Barbara Savage Miles From Nowhere Award. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved