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How the Wild Effect Turned Me into a Hiker at 69: An Appalachian Trail Adventure

Narrated by: Andrea Gappmayer
Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
Non-member price: $27.79
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Publisher's Summary

This is a terrific audiobook. It's interesting, well-written, and timely. It's the story of a textbook editor who retires, reads the popular book The Wild Effect and decides to hike the Appalachian Trail - and have an unexpected adventure

The tone is wry humor, tongue in cheek - the author has a great sense of humor, is perky, and as she learns in this adventure, is often in over her head! She is a very likeable character.

©2018 Jane E. Congdon (P)2018 Bettie Youngs Book Publishers

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  • Sandy Grandma
  • 23-07-2018

Appalachian Trail ...personal memoirs

Loved this book....lived near the AT in the East for first 32 years of life and always loved the short hikes....for someone to try to take on 2200 miles is fascinating. JC is within a few years of my age and I wanted not only an older hiker's thoughts but also a woman's point of view...was not disappointed....was sad to get to the end!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Tara Carmichael
  • 05-01-2019

Tedious

Not sure why she stayed on the trail as long as she did, as miserable as she seemed to be most of the time. I did learn 2 things though: Don't wait until I'm almost 70 to hike the AT and don't hike with someone I don't get along with, unless I'm willing to tell them to F.O when they piss me off.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Sammie S.
  • 02-09-2018

A Little Disappointed

I will keep this brief... I did not dislike this book, but I ended up feeling like I had listened to a lot of personal whining. The basic information about the AT was good, very informative, but the decisions about personal relationships got a bit tiresome.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jo
  • 09-08-2018

Daily Grind

This is an account of the author's daily grind. Not much of a story line. I made it to the end but like her on the A.T., I was waiting for it to be over.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • C. A. Cameron
  • 05-08-2018

A mean feat hiking of and with Miles on the AT

When a wordsmith and former book editor chooses (and even in the earliest stages, feels an unsettled sense of misgiving) to walk as a hiking rookie with an admitted proponent of brevity, "Issues" will arise.

Ms Congdon's account of her travails and stumbles with Trail-named "Miles", a former underling at their previous employment.(Red flag, Ms Congdon!) Through significant portions of the Appalachian Trail in 2015, she reveals insights and introspection as challenging as her wariness and fear of thunderstorms and things which might or might not go bump in the night as the trail itself. I wonder if Ms Congdon is a Virgo, whose animal totem is the rabbit and, in the form of the gift of a tiny glass rabbit, was one of her most valued companions.

I cringed and gritted my teeth as the author related incident after incident in which her female companion, "Miles", berated, railed and demanded Ms Congdon to commit to meeting Miles's vaunted expectations of a trail companion. Knowing Ms Congdon grew up in a tiny West Virginia town with alcoholic parents did help me to understand her reluctance to challenge authority, but, oh, dear! How I longed for Ms Congdon to "grow a pair"!

In balance, if you seek a memoir of the Appalachian Trail, absolutely listen to her book. A note to potential younger readers: this is the account of your mother, grand-mother and great aunt. No skinny dipping, "smoking", boozing or intimate encounters on this trail! :-) But you will learn about perseverance and about the critical components of truthful commitment along the AT and in the journey of life.

Ms Congdon returned from this adventure and other forays into section of the AT with a significant appreciation of Nature and the esteem with which, at the end of the day, one cannot obtain from another without sourcing it within self.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-07-2018

very enjoyable listen.

this book kept my attention. she was very easy to listen to and a very enjoyable. thanks for sharing your story!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • L. K. Lorimer
  • 09-09-2018

Really?

Listened to this on the way to a long backpacking trip. Parts are so inaccurate as to make me laugh. She pitched her tend on a 45 degree slope.... and then slept in it... Really? She could only walk 20 steps and then stop... for the entire AP.... Really? She would place her feet in the exact place as her hiking partners foot steps..... Really? Later she closes her eyes whenever they traverse scree or boulders so she wont see how her partner crossed.... Really? Look at the cover with the rather new boots with brand new duct tape stuck on... Really? She hiked the AP.... Really?

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Blygirl1
  • 18-03-2019

A great listen

Funny, thoughtful and real. I looked forward to every chance I got to listen to her story.

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  • Sara D'Marie
  • 15-03-2019

Where's the growth?

As a 56-year-old woman, hiking the Appalachian Trail is on my bucket list....but one that will have to wait until I'm able to retire....still looking at 10-years hence. I was eager to listen to this story of an older woman accomplishing my dream! And I honestly really enjoyed it and waited in tremendous anticipation for all the inspiring things I knew was about to happen!

Yes! Jane is going to finish the trail!
Yes! Jane is going to stand up to her hiking partner and tell her what's what!
Yes! Jane is going to leave her hiking partner and strike out on her own!
Yes! Jane is going to refuse to go to Maine!

Sadly, and quite disappointingly, nothing that I eagerly awaited happened. It's very sad to sit on the edge of your seat awaiting these great inspiring moments....and you just sit, that edge digging into your thighs with no relief.

I enjoyed the book but at the end....was shaking my head asking: "why did you write this?"

If you just want to hear about hiking...and not really enjoying the hiking....and not having an epiphany or growth....

Well, never mind. Read Jennifer Phar Davis' book or the Barefoot Sisters....

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  • paul j.
  • 11-03-2019

Low on my list of hiking books

I’ll be brief so i don’t waste any more time than i have to with this book. The narrator did a nice job. Other than that, the book was quite disappointing for me. I’ve listened to just about every hiking book i can find and this is by far my least favorite. The stories of her struggles and complaining about Miles got so old so quick. I always finish things that I start so i had to put this book in high speed just to get through it. Just like her hike, it was quite painful to listen to for me.

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  • R
  • 07-01-2019

Don’t bother there are better books out there.

This isn’t so much a memoir as a constant stream of complaining and self doubt. Don’t bother, if your looking for a good AT trail read try David Millier’s AWOL or Gary Sizer’s Where’s the next shelter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful