I have some big dreams. I often wonder if I’ll ever take the steps to reach them. On the small side of big is doing a brevet (and if you’ve been following along, I’m currently taking baby steps to achieve this one). On the big side of big is riding, not racing the Tour Divide route and backpacking the Pacific Crest Trail or Appalachian Trail. My love of backpacking was rekindled after reading Bryson’s book, A Walk In The Woods several years ago. I highly recommend this book, even if just for the humor. I’ve recently completed two wonderful books about backpacking, Wild and Hiking Through. The first, currently a best seller, written by Cheryl Strayed.
Both of these books are about backpacking, though there’s remarkable differences between them. The first written by a woman and the other, a man. Obviously these are two different trails, on opposite sides of the continent. Paul Stutzman (Hiking Through)
is a family man with children and a career, who had dreamed of long-distance backpacking for years. He embarks on his dream after the death of his wife. Cheryl on the other hand is much younger and had never even been on an overnight. But she too plunges onto the trail searching for answers and healing after the death of her mother. Both books are about wonderful, resilient people who discover some answers to their questions and more, about themselves.
This is the title of the latest book I read and I couldn’t put it down. Of course, Pat Summitt is truly one of my idols (and I don’t have many). Just in case you don’t know who this is, Pat Summitt has been the head coach of the women’s basketball team at the University of Tennessee for many years. She has won the most NCAA basketball games of any coach, male or female. Her team has won eight National Championships and has participated numerous times in the tournament. But this book isn’t just about basketball. In 2011, Pat Summitt was diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type. In about one year after her diagnosis she chose to resign from her head coaching position. This book is about Pat, her early years, a basketball player who by the way went to two Olympic games and coached an Olympic team, a mother, and a coach. Most importantly, Pat’s story of how Alzheimer’s has effected her life. A must read.
“Eat Sleep Ride” by Paul Howard. Another book about riding the Tour Divide, this time from the point of view of an Englishman. Mr. Howard rode the TDR the same year as Jill Homer. I did a short post previously on her book about the same topic. Eat Sleep Ride is worth the read, but then again I love the subject.
I love reading both blogs and books that take me out into the world of Mother Nature, propelled by our own spirits and weary legs. I’d love to be one of them………
I’m just finishing up Jill Homer’s first book, Ghost Trails. I enjoyed her second book more (probably because she got rid of that boyfriend). The writing and stories are good; I just didn’t enjoy the juxtaposition of her Iditarod ride with the vignettes of her young adulthood. I wanted more about the experience of the race and more about biking. Still worth the read though.
If you like adventure and bikes, and could use some inspiration; read this book.