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Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart: An Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail
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Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart: An Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  1,949 Ratings  ·  232 Reviews
Carrot Quinn fears that she's become addicted to the internet. The city makes her feel numb, and she's having trouble connecting with others. In a desperate move she breaks away from everything to walk 2,660 miles from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail. It will be her first long-distance hike.

In the desert of Southern California Carrot faces many challenges, both
Kindle Edition, 370 pages
Published April 14th 2015 by Little Brown Dog Books
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Paula IMO, it's not just about saying "I did it". It's about pushing yourself to do something that you think you couldn't do.

BTW-I think it's more like 2600…more
IMO, it's not just about saying "I did it". It's about pushing yourself to do something that you think you couldn't do.

BTW-I think it's more like 2600 miles. :-)(less)

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Rebecca Garcia
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
this is one of those books I didn't want to end. 2600 miles with carrot was not long enough. thank goodness she has a blog and I can follow her second pct adventure there and her current hike on the cdt, 2800 miles this summer. this book is about hiking. the nitty gritty details of the day to day, mile to mile adventure. you will cheer her on each step of the way, you will feel her chill, her fatigue, her thirst and hunger. you too will be huddling with her in the shade of a small shrub in 100 d ...more
It always feels weird to be critical of books about thru-hiking when I haven’t done it. Heck, I’m training for a half marathon and I am still *very* much in the run 2-minutes walk 1-minute stage. I can walk for days, but I’ve never tried to do with much of a pack or in much elevation (the exception being lost for 2 hours while we searched for Triangle Rock in Rocky Mountain National Park). So I fully respect what Carrot did, both in writing a book and in thru hiking the trail (which she has done ...more
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Carrot communicates the rawness of being on the PCT in each moment. The startling beauty, the hunger, the physical pain and the incredible determination to be a thru hiker. I don't think you could get a more thorough, embodied, brazenly honest version of what it feels like to be on the PCT - whether in the moments wonder, of utter loneliness or those of deep, trail-found friendship. I tore through this book as she ran, stumbled, climbed the 2660 miles. And often, late at night as I read, I would ...more
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Greg by: Bill Walker aka Skywalker
As much as I enjoy reading travel memoirs, and particularly from hikers, sometimes I can’t help but be incredulous (and a bit annoyed) at how self-centered and short-sighted some of them can be. Also, there was more raw language and description than I would have wished…I skipped over several sections to get back to the hiking part.

Nonetheless, it's a tremendous accomplishment to hike the PCT (or the AT or any trail like them), one that requires fortitude, persistence, and determination. Despite
Jun 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Not Just Another Hiking Book

Carrot Quinn takes us 2,260 miles across a varied wilderness, as she simultaneously takes us through a tremendous period of personal growth. You would think that reading about the minutia of daily trail life would be dull, but it isn't. The discerning reader will grieve the end of this book almost as strongly as Carrot grieved the end of the trail. Carrot's writing flows and the reader is swept along. I was left wanting to read more.
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kudos to Carrot for self-publishing this gem of a book. The character she portrayed and the stream of consciousness narrative really allow the reader to identify and put themselves on the trail with her. I felt her anxieties, her exhaustion, and triumphs. I've got a major girl crush on this feral lady as a result. Meow.

Pop culture currently places Reese Witherspoon ala Wild as the face of the PCT. Slight blonde, unprepared, and uneducated on the trail. Carrot is strong, intelligent, and doesn't
May 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The author decides to walk 2,660 miles from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail for her first long distance hike, after she realizes she is having trouble connecting to her everyday life.
Quinn is a gifted writer and makes us feel like we are right there with her on the trail as she experiences many different emotions and physical challenges, as this book delves into her personal struggles along with the daily feel for the trail with its beauty and hardships.. She meets different groups o
Sam Scheidt
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Disclaimer: I listened to this book on Audible so that might have influenced my experience compared to actually reading.

As others have commented, this book had so much potential but just fell a bit flat. I enjoyed Carrot's story but I was waiting for the book to dig in to the characters and experience of the thru-hike more, and it just never did. There was a lot of detailed descriptions of meals and towns along the PCT, and that became distractingly repetitive about halfway through the book. I
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I so loved this book. I admit I was a little apprehensive when I first read a couple of the reviews that talked about this book being a kind of stream of consciousness, rather than the traditional narrative of this genre. In reality, I found it far more refreshing than I had anticipated! I really enjoyed the more introspective view of Carrot's experiences, as opposed to the usual recitation of sights and towns and resupply places. This was a raw, emotional look at thru-hiking, and in a way, ...more
I picked this up because a group that I have started hiking with sometimes does a "book club hike." When I hiked with them last weekend, some of the hikers had started reading the book and were raving about it.

Not having read any of her blog before, her writing style took some getting used to. Once I did, though, I felt that the stream-of-consciousness style served the book well: it captured the immediacy of her story and the experience of being on the trail. She framed the day-in, day-out of t
Travis Duke
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Carrot succeeds at writing a detailed yet emotional story of hiking the PCT back in 2013. I am no expert but i have read a decent amount of these PCT/AT stories and most fail for a number of reasons. It is in the form of a daily journal, sort of, but she keeps it's playful and colorful. Carrot is 30-31 when she hikes the trail back in 2013 so it is one of the newer PCT books and I think her language is relatable and fun. I will say the back half of the book from oregon to washington really shine ...more
Ann Frost
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have a thing for books about long walks. I loved this book. I found the last quarter though highly disturbing and I had to stay up to finish the book - way past hiker bed time! I couldn't believe the author's so-called friends abandoning her to hike out on her own when she got sick. The woman is in the throes of a fever, she clearly has tonsillitis, and you send her down a barely marked side trail? Which in the end doesn't lead to anything and she has to bushwhack around an overgrown lake only ...more
May 10, 2016 rated it liked it
I really loved this book. The 3-star rating is more to do with the rating system in Goodreads (1-5), and that it covers all books of all type in the universe, more than enjoyment - I hope this rating won't deter other nature lovers and hikers from reading it! I love Carrot Quinn and her transparency, and the things she has to share about the trail and her experience there. I also read her blogs, and this book feels like a cleaned up, easy-to-access way to read those in a more concise way. I real ...more
May 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
Carrot Quinn has potential as a writer. She's adventurous, she's a likable narrator, and she's honest (almost too honest).

That said, this book was not the best. The overly simple language was charming for a while, then began to grate on me; and the other figures in the narrative never really developed into believable, flesh-and-blood human beings. And I really could have done without the "romance." (Why did you keep going back to him, Carrot? Why, why?) I read on just because I was hoping she wo
Sep 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I’m very partial to the PCT books and essays. This did not disappoint. It was easy to read and entertaining. I really enjoyed following Carrot’s thru-hike and her truthfulness telling the highs and lows she experienced on unforgettable hike.
colleen brown
Jul 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great read!

Have read many (at least parts of many) e books. This is the first I've took the time to comment.
May 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a great read. I love Carrot's style of writing. I felt like I was on the trail with her!
Kristen Dunder
May 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Beautiful, poetic, and unlike any other trail account I've ever read. Looking forward to following more of Carrot Quinn's tales from the trail on her blog!
Jak Krumholtz
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
A friend is currently hiking the PCT (Stella Hikes on Instagram and YouTube) and this gives me better perspective on what it can be like. Shout out to Krissy for recommending.
Michi Willett
May 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
This read like one of my high school student's creative writing story. It was so incredibly repetitive - mememe, hikehikehike, mememe, friendsfriendsfriends, mememe, foodfoodfood, mememe, sexsexsex. She tried to be a lot more clever and introspective than she actually is, unfortunately. Most of her misery came from incredibly poor decisions and contradictions - such as "nah, I don't need anything other than shorts and a tanktop for fall in the Cascades" or "I love my friends soooooo much look at ...more
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
The PCT journey itself sounds wondrous and inspiring. The writing is mediocre at best, with annoying repetition and adolescent self-indulgence. It was the desire to stick through the entire trail that motivated me to actually finish the book instead of abandon it. Worth doing research on other PCT journals instead of read this one
Jul 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE. Seriously, don't bother.
I hated almost everything about this.
Let's first start with her just randomly deciding to do this with no prep or apparent reason. She's addicted to the internet, yet she takes her phone and browses the fucking internet when she's in town. Seriously? While making sure your pack isn't back-breakingly heavy IS important, it shouldn't be your #1 goal when packing for a hike that is several thousand miles. Spoiler alert: it's hers. For fuck's sake she didn't even pack pants or soap!

Next there's the
Apr 24, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
B Rhys
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
It was okay. Carrot has a lot of potential but this book just did little to impress me. Some of it was a little ego fueled and felt it was more about the miles and finishing, than the adventure part. It was bland and her writing was simplistic enough to drive me crazy towards the end (I complained enough to drive my boyfriend crazy). There was a lot of the same descriptive words and some parts were just too much. I thought she would have something more profound and amazing coming out of this, sa ...more
Michele Hogsett
Sep 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great read

Slight spoilers
I read Wild and a few other trail books and this one is vying to be my favorite. If Carrot writes another book on her current hike I'd like to implore her not to hold back any details. She does a pretty good job telling it as it is but then holds back on say really describing how it is to deal w a period on the trail not only in those conditions but mainly surrounded by men. She does mention some stuff but goes into more detail about other functions. I just think as bein
Apr 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I did not think an almost 400 page chronicle of hiking 2,660 miles--and the related hunger, fatigue, suffering, and loneliness of the experience, offset by the periodic joy of simple pleasures induced by encounters with "trail magic"-- could be such a page turner, but I couldn't put this down. This work is not so much about the landscape or context of the trail and the wilderness as it is about the people who seek out the PCT and those who contribute, after the fact, to support others in their j ...more
Mike Lewis
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A very matter of fact account of a hikers adventure through the Pacific Crest Trail. I really enjoyed following along on her journey though many of the places I've been too before in my youth. It only makes me want to go on my own journey even more. Maybe one day...
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was great Pacific Crest Trail memoir. I felt like I was right there and the story was being told as it happened, not many months later after much reflection. I enjoyed the author's attitude on the trail. There was lots of fun and frolicking and she did not dwell on the pain and agony. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys trail memoirs. I've read a lot of trail memoirs and this one is among the best. Much better than WILD.
Alan W. Harwood
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
PCT From Mexico to Canada: Great Read

This great read depicts a young woman (Carrot) and her adventures along the very long and sometimes stressful trek. I especially enjoyed her interactions with other hikers and those who assist hikers. The decisions she made and their respective
consequences makes me wonder if this experience gained on the trail will carry over to the next long hike or whether her seeming unpopularity will win the day.

Patricia Eichenlaub
Sep 24, 2015 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book. It was interesting to get a description of the trail and the hiking experience. My impatience with her inability to learn from experience was mitigated when at the end she talks about her childhood. I think she got somewhere. I hope so.
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I'm a writer and a long-distance hiker.

You can read more of my adventures on my blog-

And you can see photos of my hikes on my instagram-
More about Carrot Quinn
“They say there's a long, narrow ribbon of space-time that stretches from Mexico to Canada. I hear you can live there, for a little while, as long as you keep moving. But be careful, it will break your heart.  ” 5 likes
“I remember reading somewhere that there are only two possible prayers: “help me” and “thank you.” “Thank you,” I say to the universe, before I fall asleep.” 5 likes
More quotes…