PDF Angela Ballard À À A Blistered Kind of Love One Couple's Trial by Trail

Winner of the 2003 Barbara Savage Miles from Nowhere Award and Winner of the 2004 National Outdoor Book Award A blend of romance humor and adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail Written in he saidshe said alternating chapters this young couple each tell their own story They're not sure which came first falling in love with each other or falling in love with the idea of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail the length of California Oregon and Washington At the trailhead the young couple was warned that there would be tears that each would have to find their own separate pace and that at times the tent would seem awfully small for the two of them They were told that their biggest obstacles to success would be each otherTheir first surprise freeze dried meals do funny things to your GI tract Their first fight when Angela noticed that Duffy's long legs propel him along the trail faster than she can muster But on they pressed encountering snakes bears and fellow thru hikers with trail names like Crazy Legs and Catch 23 They baked in the deserts of Southern California gazed awestruck at the snowy serrated peaks of the High Sierra and attempted to hide from Northern Washington's seemingly incessant rain One hundred thirty two days of Pacific Crest Trail later they made it blisters and all


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    I really enjoyed the Ballards' perspective on the PCT experience and appreciate their sense of humor and honesty about the difficulties they encountered I'd recommend it to anyone considering hiking the PCT especially if you plan to hike with a significant other What makes this a 3 out of 5 for me is the Ballards' not that subtle irrational fear and judgment of Mexican immigrants illegal or otherwise The book starts out with them afraid of encountering a boogieman esque illegal immigrant near Mexico to the point that they're examining and fearing illegal looking clothing and candy bar wrappers as if they were bear or cougar prints Though it's not unreasonable to be afraid of unstable or desperate people in the wilderness it strikes me as irresponsible bordering hateful to assume that these immigrants would be unstable murderous or even desperate these are human beings with a range of stories characteristics and reasons for being here The Ballards demonstrate essentially no sympathy for the immigrants' plights goals or shared humanity At the end of the book when the Ballards finally make it to Canada they reflect on how many millions of Americans and Canadians live within easy reach of the PCT but fail to take advantage of it It's a good point with striking statistics but they fail to mention how many Mexicans also live within easy reach of the PCT Their omission isn't innocent the implication is that the people who would want to hike the trail are American and Canadian not Mexican Mexicans are wild hiker stalkers who illegally run along the trail throwing t shirts and candy bar wrappers behind them Despite all my enjoyment of the trail stories the Ballards present in this book I could never shake the frustration I felt over their apparent bigotry or if I'm generous insensitivity So I recommend the book for the PCT perspectives and for the humorous and heartfelt anecdotes but I do so halfheartedly and with a bad taste in my mouth