A Walk in the Woods

Outside Reading Project By Molly Queal

Discussion Topics

The first thing my mom and I talked about was whether we could see the appeal of walking this trail, and whether or not we understood why Bryson wanted to hike it. Each of us thought that Bryson's reasons for hiking the trail were pretty unclear, because he seemed to talk a lot about the dangers of hiking it, such as bears and diseases and armed inbred hillbillies. However, we both had our own opinions on why it would be cool to hike this trail. My mom loves hiking and the outdoors, and she said that whenever she goes on hikes she always wants to go on more. For her, the magnitude of this trail and the distance it covers was really appealing. I also love hiking, so this appeals to me as well.

We also talked about what the hardest thing about hiking the trail would be. I cannot imagine how exhausting walking like this would be, so that would probably the hardest part for me, besides using the bathroom in the woods. My mom disagreed and said that you would probably get used to that. The most difficult thing for her would be the fact that she would be terrified by bears the entire time.

Another thing we discussed was Bryson's agreement to let Katz join him. I thought his decision was rash and spontaneous, since he hadn't seen him in 25 years or so, and my mom agreed. However, she also thought that Bryson might have embellished his initial encounters with Katz to make them seem more humorous or interesting. Either way, it worked out well, because it was very funny.

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My mom and I after discussing the book

Favorite Quotes

“What on earth would I do if four bears came into my camp? Why, I would die of course."

“Hunters will tell you that a moose is a wily and ferocious forest creature. Nonsense. A moose is a cow drawn by a three-year-old.”

“But I got a great deal else from the experience. I learned to pitch a tent and sleep beneath the stars. For a brief, proud period I was slender and fit. I gained a profound respect for the wilderness and nature and the benign dark power of woods. I understand now, in a way I never did before, the colossal scale of the world. I found patience and fortitude that I didn't know I had. I discovered an America that millions of people scarcely know exists. I made a friend. I came home.”