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Blisters, Ramen Noodles & a Lot of Foot Steps

Trail Magic --

While browsing the SignedEditions.net web site, Agnolia noticed one of the exclusive new books on the site was Trail Magic: Journal of an Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker by Jeanne McClellan Hines. Agnolia, who enjoyed reading about the hiking almost as much as she enjoyed hiking, ordered Trail Magic.

The book arrived in just a few days. When Agnolia unwrapped the book, the first thing she noticed was the beautiful cover photograph of pink rhododendrons in full bloom on either side of a sturdy tree bearing a white blaze.

Agnolia could identify with the author's desire to thru-hike the AT when Agnolia read that, after meeting a thru-hiker, Jeanne Hines had become fascinated by the idea of "Gazing at the stars. Sleeping among the trees. Drinking from the streams."

As soon as Agnolia had read the first entry, which was for Thursday 3/13/97, she knew she was going to enjoy Trail Magic. The writing, which was about people, the trail, the weather, and the food, was clear and descriptive. Agnolia felt she almost knew the hikers such as "Mr. Bojangles" who "wears a jingle bell on his boot".

Many of the descriptions of the trail made Agnolia want to become an AT thru-hiker. "What beautiful scenery and terrain today! Laurel Falls was the tops!" The journal entry written at Johns Hollow Shelter, VA said "today was gorgeous! There were huge meadows of trillium, on both sides of the path." Near Laurel Creek Shelter, VA the author wrote "the sun shined so brightly today! Such a glorious day! We had some really nice rocky overlooks." The numerous references to blisters and entries such as "After lunch, we climbed and climbed and climbed up Roan Mountain and its many false peaks!" made Agnolia appreciate how challenging a thru-hike could be. After reading other entries, Agnolia thought about how much the weather can affect a day of hiking, "It's been a very hot, extremely humid day . . . we climbed Bromley. . . we had limited views from there, and none the rest of the day."

Agnolia, was not surprised to read the numerous references to food, "I'm sticking with Ramen Noodles and Lipton dinners! ...and still dreaming of pizza and cake" nor was Agnolia surprised that after climbing Mt. Katahdin, the author celebrated with a "fantastic lobster dinner."

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