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The Man Who Walked Thr...
 
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Colin Fletcher
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The Man Who Walked Thru Time

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  1,059 ratings  ·  101 reviews
Colin Fletcher is a self-described "compulsive walker." It is not unusual for him to pick up a map, drive to an area that intrigues him, and then start walking. It should come as no surprise then that a detour from U.S. 66 to visit the Grand Canyon on a June morning in 1963 inspired Fletcher to walk the length of the Canyon below the rim. In The Man Who Walked Through Time ...more
Hardcover, 239 pages
Published November 12th 1967 by Knopf (first published 1967)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,965)
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Cherie
I spent the weekend with Mr. Fletcher on his journy throuth the Grand Canyon in 1963. His journy took considerably longer. He was in the canyon almost 2 months and most of it in solitude.

Colin was the 1st man to walk the length of Grand Canyon National Park beneth the Rim. He was an experienced hiker, having completed wakling the length of California from Mexico to Oregon in late 1950s.

I learned a lot about the geology of the Grand Canyon. I learned about the wild ponies, burros, snakes, etc.



Bryony
I like it very much. Hypnotic. Almost felt like I was meditating while I read it - his writing VERY much made you feel like you were there. Makes me realize how much I missed when we went to the Grand Canyon and meerly peered in! Also, I found this inspiring, and showed the power of something as simple as walking, because this man's walking trips have showed him such amazing things (going slow enough to really notice things, getting more up close and personal than whizzing by in a car or plane.)
Stephen

“By now I had accepted the terrible sweep of geologic time and I had felt, superimposed on the deliberate rhythm of the rocks, the pulse of life and the throb of man. I had glimpsed the way these different arcs of time fitted together, one with the other, interlocking. Above all, I had overcome the fear that lurks somewhere deep in most of us, the fear that comes when somebody first says: “Man is a newcomer on earth,” the fear that threatens to overwhelm us when we first look back and down into
...more
Ensiform
Fletcher, supposedly the first man to walk the length of the Grand Canyon, below the Rim (seems unlikely), wrote a book about it. I must say I’m sorely disappointed in the result. It’s horribly repetitive and boring, to begin with. But my main objection is that Fletcher was determined before he left to have some sort of “break” with his old self, to become a new man, to have new heights of understanding. So every time he had some new impression of the Canyon, he would go on and on about how “now ...more
Krista
I've got to say, that after having enjoyed Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods", this book was rather dull. Colin Fletcher hikes from one end of Grand Canyon National Park to the other...and has a perfectly safe, enjoyable time. Nothing dramatic happens to him. He doesn't run out of food or water, he doesn't twist an ankle or get sick or snakebitten. No boulders pin him into an emergency situation requiring a harrowing escape. While I certainly am glad he had a good, safe trip, it does however ma ...more
Tom
Am pleased to revisit one of the authors who filled in many gaps in my understanding about backpacking. Back in the late 1960's I bought gear from Trailwise from Berkley, CA, and outfitted myself with the same gear Fletcher used: Svea stove, pack, sleeping bag, dry milk plastic squeeze bottle. His The Complete Walker was my bible. The best part of this book is the end, beginning with the day that Fletcher spent several hundred feet up a cliffsjde in a old set of caves where a family once lived. ...more
Naseem
I wish everyone who has ever visited the Grand Canyon would read this book. The casual visitor, who only sees the canyon from its rim, will learn about the grottos, the heat, the side canyons, the sweet scent of water, and the nearly 2 billion year old mountain roots that form the unseen base of the canyon, and all the millions of years of ocean silt and dust and dune sand that make up its upper reaches. The reader will learn about night in the canyon, and the path of the canyon, and the tests o ...more
Rachelle Urist
This book was recommended by a friend, another walker, who called Fletcher "a genius." It's a wonderful book, but I still don't know whether my friend found him a genius because of his intrepid spirit, his resourcefulness, his determination, his scientific prowess (he contextualized his physical and spiritual experiences in geological and evolutionary science), his writing style (which reminded me of John McPhee's writings on nature), or all of the above.

Colin Fletcher walked the Grand Canyon i
...more
Bob
Another book from Dad; this was a really good book. I got it from him soon after seeing photos of him at the Canyon in the 1940s when he was in the US Army Air Corp. Those pictures were sent to me not long after finding photos on a misplaced digital camera that Mom and Dad had taken to the Canyon in 2005.
The author is a frequent long distance hiker as well as a really good writer. He hiked the length of the Grand Canyon National Park in the early 1960s and later wrote about the experience. I rea
...more
Kennyo
I and half my friends loved it and half my friends thought it trivial. The idea of walking through the Grand Canyon alone appealed to me from the outset so I was favorably disposed toward the book before I began it. I'd read The Complete Walker a couple years earlier and learned good pointers I should have bee aware of long before. The Man Who Walked Through Time is The Complete Walker applied. Don't look for literature in here because that's not Fletcher's intent nor is it necessary to his subj ...more
Walk
Firstly not a patch on The Thousand Mile Summer.

Now onto the review:

Mr Fletcher recounts his trip walking along the length of the Grand Canyon as defined by the national park boundaries. The first person known to have done so by remaining under the rim for one continous walk.

An authors note from 1990 tells us a few things he did 25 years earlier would now be illegal. It was an interesting reminder of time passing.

Colin is a wonderful, lyrical writer. This is no heavy plod recounting a succession
...more
Scott
In the spring of 1963 Colin Fletcher strapped a 66 lb. pack to his back and set off to walk the length of the Grand Canyon from Hualpai hilltop on the south rim all the way to Point Imperial on the north. On his feet he wore 5 lb. full-grain leather Italian boots, a pork pie hat protected his pate, and for part of the trip at least, he sported a pair of durable corduroy shorts. Resupplied by airdrops, he spent two months watching the river, reading the rocks, and learning the rhythms of the cany ...more
Eugene Miya
This was assigned reading for a class by Roderick Nash who wrote Wilderness and the American Mind which I rate 5 Stars for its importance to history and the environment (deservably). I had previously read The Complete Walker: The Joys and Techniques of Hiking and Backpacking and The Thousand-Mile Summer some 5 years and many climbs and miles prior. I'm not really one for holes in the ground (as one person notes), and I have a lot of friends who do like making annual Grand Canyon trips for either ...more
David Stanley
Colin Fletcher writes in his true speaking voice. I can hear his Welsh lilt reading passages aloud in my head. I also gnash my teeth, on occasion, at his syntax. I quickly un-gnash them, however, because in context, his syntax is perfect.
We are given a chance to journey inside another's head through the solitude and grandeur of the Grand Canyon.The book is both a practical and a meditative guide to life on one's own, nearly fifty years ago.
I originally read this book in the mid-1970s. I jus
...more
Jacob
I'll admit it took me a while to adapt to Fletcher's writing style. He uses humor sparingly and poorly. His continued socio-political commentary is grating in a nature book, with references to a piece of land a bug is defending as looking suspiciously like Cuba or Formosa (whose outlines are very dissimilar, making their political significance at the time their only unifying factor), the White Man intruding and corrupting the noble capable Native American, etc. Equally irritating was his repugna ...more
Elizabeth
I read this story of a man who walked from one end of the Grand Canyon to the other in advance of a backpacking trip to the Grand Canyon. Most of those who head below the rim of the canyon do so my travelling from the north and then heading out to the south in a fairly direct line. Not this man, he started at one end and then walked through the length of the canyon to the other, a trip that had never before been done. I had expected a book about a great adventure and the beauty of the canyon. I ...more
Patrick Murphy
Aug 16, 2014 Patrick Murphy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nature lovers, adventurers, travelers.
In 1970something this book changed my life. It uncased my wanderlust and urged me out of doors, toward adventure.

This is a journey book, an expedition of sorts, in a different time than now, but possibly transcending time.

If you enjoy walking, nature, National Parks, self sufficiency, personal strength, meditation through walking, and good prose... this book may be for you.
Mollie
Feb 23, 2008 Mollie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hiking enthusiasts, Grand Canyon fans
Recommended to Mollie by: My dad
I am fascinated by this book because I went to the Grand Canyon and hiked a sliver of it in October. This dude-- hiked-- by himself--- in the 60s--- the whole thing I mean length and breadth and a few swims in the Colorado. Pretty impressive. He is clearly an educated writer and you definitely finish feeling a fraction of the sense of solitude and temporal perspective he gained. The mission is interesting and I learned a fair amount about Canyon history and geology. There are definitely passages ...more
Susan
Where was the color? All the beautiful color! This was both puzzling and frustrating for me. I expected to read about the various layers of color and how the walls of the canyon appeared as the sun rose and then retired for the evening. Indians? How about some details? Pictures created with words.

Then it clicked (although one may have thought the title would have been a clue.) Mr. Fletcher was not interested in scenery, it was nice, but not his objective. He wanted to be alone with the vast exp
...more
Alissa
If you are already someone who enjoys traveling in the backcountry of the Grand Canyon, this book is going to give you a touch of Canyon Fever, but if you haven't ventured down there yet, I'm not sure that you'll get really hooked on the idea through this book. In general this is a decent travel narrative of an individual who walked the entire canyon, but there were parts where I was having a hard time holding my interest. Other parts were great and described wild horses and burros (which I thin ...more
Terry
A wonderful book by a fascinating author. You get both the gory details of life on foot far from civilization and the flights of fancy that capture you as you go along and open yourself more and more to the world around you. Colin is honest about both the highs and the lows you'll inevitably feel.

I've never done any part of this trip, so I found it very interesting to follow along step by step using USGS Topos. Enhancing that has been arranging ground level viewpoints using Google Earth. Colin
...more
Margaret
Fascinating. And since this was written in the early 1970's I as the reader felt like I was walking through time. The world that existed when Colin when on this journey is not the world that currently exists. Such beautiful and rich descriptions of the place and experiences. If I could ask Colin one question it would be - to know how he protected himself during his time hiking in the buff. He never mentioned being burned or his pack rubbing his shoulders raw. To be able to know he was truly alon ...more
Malcolm
This classic book details the author's 1963 trek from one end of the Grand Canyon to the other. He was the first to do it from within the canyon itself. Fletcher, who was known for his long hikes, brought to his trip his tried and true system of backcountry living, acute and knowledgeable powers of observation, and a somewhat transcendent philoisophical apporach to the meaning of time, the age of the rocks, and the place of man within the world of rock.

The book reminds me of the work of David Wa
...more
David
Colin Fletcher's 'The Man Who Walked Through Time' is a long distance hiking classic. On foot, with a 60 pound pack (!?!) Fletcher hiked the Grand Canyon beneath the rim from one boundary of the national park to the other. He had two or three caches of food en route and three air re-supplies. Half way through his epic hike, he descended to the canyon floor and spent a week's vacation at a lodge. They entire journey took two months with each leg about a week long. It is a remarkable hike. And, it ...more
bibliotekker Holman
A good read and a bit of a time capsule of mid 20th century Grand Canyon history. A bit anachronistic at times and prescient at others, (it was written in the 1960's) it provides a fun and fast paced read for the real hiker or armchair traveller.
Carl Nelson
3.5 stars, rounding up to 4 due to the quotable nature of the book and Fletcher's easygoing prose. An interesting recounting of Colin Fletcher's traverse of the Grand Canyon along the length of the Colorado River, that describes how he went about his trip and what he saw and experienced along the way. I particularly enjoyed Fletcher's casual observations on geology and ecology, as well as his deep love of walking. Occasionally he waxes a little too mystical for my taste (this was written in the ...more
Mallory
A longer, less poetic, and less philosophical 60's attempt to recreate Walden out West.

First half is much stronger than the second. He seems to learn the majority of his (few major) lessons in the first 150 pages. The second half is simply a slight variation of the first. His detailed descriptions are at first beautiful and haunting. They transport the reader to the pace of the Grand Canyon. However, by the second half- there are no more major obstacles, or lessons. Thus begins a long, and tedio
...more
shan
Colin Fletcher takes the reader on a journey through the entire length of Grand Canyon National Park. His hike was the first of it's kind, a continuous trek from Supai to Nankoweap. To do so required Colin to trek through territory deemed impassable by the local Indian tribe, although it had been previously done only days earlier by the king of Grand Canyon hiking - Harvey Butchart. In these pages you will find a bit of Grand Canyon history, philosophy, political commentary, and introspection bu ...more
Joe Johnston
"You cannot escape the age you live in: you are a product of it. You have to stand back from time to time and get your perspectives right. But then you have to come back and resume the task of contributing in your own way in your own age. And this is why the world suddenly caught up with me."

Colin Fletcher expressed in that thought what I often feel. Later he said, "Organisms themselves are relatively transient entities through which materials and energy flow and eventually return to the environ
...more
Jason
I was expecting this book to be about some 19th century explorer who travelled the grand canyon and was forced to eat his companions. As I started reading it, I soon realized that it was about a hiker in the sixties (I think) who decided to have an adventure. I stopped reading it shortly after the description of how he likes to set up his pack as a chair when sitting by the fire.

The writing wasn't bad, and I suspect it turns out to be a decent book, but I was in the mood for cannibalism, not s'm
...more
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Colin Fletcher was a pioneering backpacker and writer.

In 1963, Fletcher became the first to walk the length of Grand Canyon entirely within the rim of the canyon "in one go" — only second to complete the entire journey — as chronicled in his bestselling 1968 memoir The Man Who Walked Through Time. Through his influential hiker's guide, The Complete Walker, published the same year, he became a kind
...more
More about Colin Fletcher...
The Complete Walker IV Thousand-Mile Summer Complete Walker III River: One Man's Journey Down the Colorado, Source to Sea The New Complete Walker: The Joys and Techniques of Hiking and Backpacking

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