What happens when you decide you are done with your office job and you are going to go on a five-month hike through the wilderness? Gary Sizer did just that, and Where’s the Next Shelter? is what happened.
It is the story of his adventure along the Appalachian Trail. He starts on a “shakedown” hike where he has a run in with a black bear. The excitement continues throughout the book, from Springer Mountain, Georgia all the way to Maine.
Sizer’s first-hand account offers a unique journey for his readers. He pulls no punches in taking us from the gritty lows of giardia and Lyme’s disease through the terrifying experience of a windstorm in the White Mountains to the heights of the final summit at Mount Katahdin. Each hiker has their own experience out there in the woods, but Sizer excels at bringing the trail culture to the reader while weaving in his personal experience.
His love for the outdoors is apparent from the start. Sizer (given the trail name Green Giant) teaches us about the flora, the fauna, Camping 101, trail etiquette, and the indomitable human spirit. Where’s the Next Shelter? shines as an account of real relationships and real challenges that people, adventurers, choose to face each year as the hiker community grows.
Gary Sizer has become somewhat of a celebrity for it with Where’s the Next Shelter?,and rightly so. In his book he brings together the social and personal aspects of the trail that we all can relate to in life. Green Giant does this with an episodic approach loaded like a pack with lighthearted attitude.
Readers can tell that Sizer will never be the same after his travels, and it is apparent how deeply touched he has been by the trail and the community that shares his wonder and love for it. Where’s the Next Shelter? is a should read for those who have hiked and for those with any interest in hiking or knowing what it is like to be a long distance hiker.
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