Fast, Light & Free – Book review

At Disneyworld
At Disneyworld

I’m at Disneyworld, on a family vacation. Disneyworld is not exactly a natural environment but it’s something that I feel needs to be seen once or twice in a childhood. So we were part of the huge crowd at Epcot and even bigger crowd at the Magic Kingdom.

But every evening, when the grandkids were finally asleep, I read Fast, Light & Free: On the Appalachian Trail by Matt Kirk.

Kirk was a Carolina Mountain Club member for several years. He never came on our hikes because club members are obviously too slow for him.

kirkbookBut a few years ago, Kirk ran the Mountains-to-Sea Trail across North Carolina and set a record for an unsupported hike. It was only a matter of time until he tried to set the record for an unsupported hike on the Appalachian Trail. He walked 2,185 miles in 58 days, 9 hours and 38 minutes. That averages to over 37 miles a day, every day.

He explains the rules for his unsupported hike. No support of any kind. He walked in and out of resupply towns and didn’t get into a vehicle for any reason. Several other rules applied.

He carried less than 84 ounces on his back, plus his food and water. He only had one set of clothes, which explains a lot. No books to read, no extra anything…

The book is also a fast and light read. It’s very self-published. It doesn’t even have page numbers. But if you want to know the ins and out of speed hiking the A.T., as if Kirk was telling it to you, it’s a fun book.

The book was a good antidote to Disneyworld crowds and artifice. But tomorrow we head to a national park. Yeah!

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