Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart, the book

An Adventure On The Pacific Crest Trail, by Carrot Quinn

This is a book I shouldn’t have read. This is a book I thoroughly enjoyed.

Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart, carrot quinn book cover

For me the trail memoir genre is generally lacking in substance, most I have read were mostly a waste of time. Given my past experience, I shouldn’t have bought this. When it comes to the genre, the best two were written by Colin Fletcher, The Thousand Mile Summer and his epic Grand Canyon trip, The Man Who Walked Through Time. Both books have stood the test of time, and are the standard all trail memoirs should be measured against.

Carrot Quinn isn’t a backpacker in the Colin Fletcher mold or philosophy, and she doesn’t try to be. I would guess she has never heard of him, and it is unlikely she has read his books – all conjecture on my part. Quinn “hiked her own hike,” which is the key detail. Hiking the ‘modern’ Pacific Crest Trail with its social interactions isn’t my cup of tea, which is why I shouldn’t have read it. But I did, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

If you want to read a trail guide, get tips on gear or food, or get advice on the logistics of “how to do a long hike,” this isn’t the book for you. If you want to read about a dysfunctional person who “saves” themselves by undertaking a long hike, this isn’t that book either.

If you want to read about a self-sufficient young lady who had never done a thru-hike and communicates day-by-day her challenges, her excitement, her interaction with other hikers and non-hikers, her thoughts, feelings, and observations – if you want to taste the flavor of a thru-hike, then this book is for you.

The book covers Quinn’s 2013 thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. I first heard of her in 2014, when she decided to hike the trail again and posted her progress and daily thoughts on her blog almost every day. I followed her blog after reading several rave reviews, and was impressed with her posts, even though she was typing them on a smartphone. Hiking the PCT, is a full time endeavor, and it was impressive how she found the time to write quality posts day after day.

I believe this is Quinn’s first book, and hopefully she continues to write. It is an excellent first effort and her writing skills should grow over time.

It is a good read if you are a backpacker, a thru-hiker, or neither.

Currently it is only available on Amazon as a Kindle edition.

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