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Dances with Marmots: A Pacific Crest Trail Adventure
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Dances with Marmots: A Pacific Crest Trail Adventure

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  113 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
The account of a 4300km solo hike from Mexico to Canada through the desert areas and high Sierra Nevada of California and the Cascade ranges of Oregon and Washington.
Hardcover, 255 pages
Published November 10th 2005 by Magog Pub.
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May 11, 2010 Tammy rated it it was ok
This story of a Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike is both the same and different as the dozens of other accounts I’ve read.

It is the same because the trail is the same, the difficulties are the same, and the challenges of writing about a 5-month walking adventure are the same. After all, walking is not the most naturally engaging of activities.

But this book is also different from other accounts in some interesting ways. First, author George Spearing is from New Zealand, so we see his experiences on
Mar 21, 2017 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Everything about this book was amazing. Laugh out loud funny all the way through - sometimes I had to put it down for 15 minutes, because I was laughing so hard. Also so refreshing to hear the perspective of an outsider looking at America with his head on straight.
May 09, 2008 Turi rated it liked it
Shelves: travel, pct
After the last PCT book I read, I wanted a little different view of the long-distance hiking thing, and I certainly got it with Dances With Marmots. George Spearing is a firefighter from New Zealand who decides he needs to get away for awhile, and heads out to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. This book reads very informally; like a you'd imagine a conversation with a kiwi firefighter over a beer might be transcribed. I think they have some different punctuation rules in New Zealand, too; I kept wis ...more
Bev Siddons
May 17, 2012 Bev Siddons rated it really liked it
I love reading books about other people's adventures. Having recently completed a book about hiking the Appalachian Trail which extends from Georgia to Maine, Dances With Marmots showed up on a recommended reading list. So, I had to read this one too. Spearing, a New Zealander, has a wicked sense of humor and a love of western heroes. He hiked the Pacific Crest Trail from the California-Mexico border to the Washington-Canada border. His encounters with bears, marmots, rattlesnakes, deer and othe ...more
Pamela (Lavish Bookshelf)
Apr 21, 2012 Pamela (Lavish Bookshelf) rated it really liked it
This book is the best and the worst. On the good side, Spearing's thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail is chronicled humorously and Spearing really seems like a nice guy throughout the entire trail. Spearing also intersperses his memoirs with historical information pertinent to each particular section of the trail. On the bad side, this book is self-published. Copy editing in this book is non-existent and at times atrocious punctuation and spelling mistakes are a huge distraction.
George Spearing gets a sudden urge to do a long hike. Now, George lives in New Zealand, one would think he might elect to hike the two islands of New Zealand from bottom to top, but no. George has decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the border of Mexico to Canada, a distance of 4,280 km, or 2,659 miles in five months. This is his story of preparation, research, and finally his long trek over mountains through deserts, marshes, rattlesnake country and bear country, not to mention the tic ...more
George Spearing – British by birth, but Kiwi by choice – is inspired by Stephen Pern’s account of his own trek on the Continental Divide trail and decides to shake up his own life by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Although he’s in decent shape as a fireman, he hasn’t done any serious trekking or backpacking before and the weight of his pack sometimes is enough to topple him. Still, his spirits remain high and hopeful and the challenge of what he has set out to do motivates him through the more ...more
May 25, 2013 Laura rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
Threw in the towel on this one. Spearing isn't a bad writer, per se, but he definitely isn't a good one. His New Zealander's take on America was interesting and amusing at first (especially reading as he moved through the desert in the Southwestern US, where I lived for years) but the weakness of his writing finally wore me down. There are too many others books waiting on my shelves for me to continue plodding through this one.
Jan 04, 2010 Michele rated it really liked it
Shelves: pct, hiking
Spearing handles his 5-month journey on the PCT with humor and honesty, both approaches I appreciate. It's a good source to learn about the trials, joys and experiences of thru-hiking alone and he includes a list of his equipment, what worked, what he would have improved and how.
Like some other readers said, the New Zealand punctuation threw me off but not enough to ruin the book.
Jennifer Meech
Apr 08, 2013 Jennifer Meech rated it really liked it
A really enjoyable read which made me yearn to travel. George has a great attitude and an adventurous spirit which makes it easy to ignore the fact that this is a self-published book with the odd mistake and regular fart jokes. I googled many of the spots he traversed while I was reading to see what they looked like. What an incredible journey.
Nov 15, 2012 Jen rated it really liked it
A long-distance thru-hike on the PCT or AT is on my bucket list, so I've been reading as many stories as I can find about both. Dances With Marmots was very entertaining to read (I love British humor) and only succeeded in making me more motivated to go hiking/backpacking!
Sep 03, 2013 Emily rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this guy's sense of humor. He added some interesting bits of history about the locations on the trail as well.
Mar 26, 2014 Aoife rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hiking
Really enjoyed this account of hiking the PCT. Could have done with being twice as long with more detail on the day to day thrills and travails of long distance hiking.
Sep 06, 2013 Robbo rated it really liked it
Good stuff. Nice to read an NZ book that is no nonsense, plain and simple.
Cheryl Devine
Nov 18, 2010 Cheryl Devine rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books :)
Rob Lever
Jun 11, 2015 Rob Lever rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Very readable and enjoyable hike along the Pacific Coast Trail.
Dec 02, 2010 Matthew rated it liked it
Very funny, honest opinions about American's and our park system, and anything else strange to a Kiwi.
Mike Niebrzydowski
Oct 06, 2016 Mike Niebrzydowski rated it really liked it
Very entertaining, quick read. Good stories and historical facts throughout. Really needed an editor, but that didn't take away from the enjoyability!
Jan 04, 2017 Gabriela rated it it was amazing
Nicely written account of an adventure. Recommend to those who enjoy trail literature.
Urs rated it liked it
May 31, 2015
Matt rated it it was ok
Aug 25, 2012
Jean Hidden
Jean Hidden rated it liked it
Jul 31, 2014
tmichelet rated it liked it
Apr 13, 2017
Matthew Wakelee
Matthew Wakelee rated it really liked it
Apr 28, 2015
Steve S
Steve S rated it it was amazing
Feb 17, 2015
Jean-Paul Miller
Jean-Paul Miller rated it really liked it
Jul 28, 2016
Tina McCarthy
Tina McCarthy rated it liked it
Jul 21, 2015
Gremlinchode rated it it was amazing
Sep 14, 2016
Pam rated it it was amazing
Dec 31, 2014
Chris rated it it was amazing
Aug 11, 2014
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