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Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-year hike on America's trail

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  49 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Unlike through-hikers that complete the Appalachian Trail in one several month trip, Jeffrey Ryan took a different approach. Grabbing weeks here and days off there, it took Jeffrey twenty-eight years to finish the trail one section at a time. Along the way he learned much about himself and made many new friends, including his best friend, Wayne, who made the journey with h ...more
Published July 2016 by Down East Books (first published December 18th 2014)
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4.35  · 
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 ·  49 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Myra Osgood
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book at a friend’s suggestion and was surprised at how it drew me in even though I’m not a hiker. Ryan demystifies undertaking such a feat, and frankly inspired me to get outdoors. This is storytelling at its best. Somehow he makes it seem like walking 2,100 miles over a 28 year period with a 75-pound pack is doable. One would think that seeing pictures and video of some of the most beautiful places on earth would just be cool, but I am inspired to see some of these places first hand ...more
Charles Carbonneau
This is, quite simply, one of the more enjoyable reads I've had in quite some time. I'm not much of a hiker myself, so I was grateful that the author didn't get lost in the minutiae of camping gear and such, and kept this very much accessible for the general reader. I was really happy to see that the author also took advantage of the medium, and had lots of interesting video clips, photos, maps and historical sidebars, which really helped to bring you along on the journey and give you a sense of ...more
Chris Sentementes
I have read the original book on iTunes and loved it and also went to a tremendous slideshow that the author gave at L.L.Bean last spring. I loved seeing the way the gear, the food as well as the person changes over 28 years but the trail is the same.
Looking forward to the full Odyssey.
C. Sentementes
Yarmouth , Maine
Sandy Pardee
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm still in the process of reading the book, but I thought it would be worth adding a review here. I'd finished A Walk In The Woods just before I started this book, and it's an interesting comparison so far. What really jumps out are the advantages of an eBook in this kind of situation. While Appalachian Odyssey isn't a "How-to" book per se, it infuses the narrative with enough information about the realities of hiking that it serves that purpose. It is a fun, fine read for the adventure and th ...more
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an awesome memoir packed with 30 years of trail wisdom. It's a great read for anyone interested in stories of friendship, perseverance and adventure—as well as hiking and nature enthusiasts. The original photography and interactive features make the book fun and engaging. Highly recommended!
Emily Tailer
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even though I am not an avid hiker I found this book an extremely fascinating read. It is far more than a book about hiking the Application Trail. It is an elegantly written story of how a lifelong friendship is developed.
Erica Robyn
A great story about adventure and friendship with a little dash of history. The photos and videos included were amazing-you felt like you were right there with Jeff!
Aug 05, 2018 rated it liked it
I ended up skimming this book. I found the format unusual; it seemed to read as a series of very detailed journal entries--what clothes became wet in rainy weather, what kinds of foods the hikers craved and found as they went along. The detailed information about the camps and sections of trails the hikers traveled would probably be a good reference and helpful to others planning similar journeys.
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I like wandering through the woods and doing some light hiking, but I have absolutely no desire to camp out anywhere that doesn't involve a cabin, a bed, and a hot shower. So it may surprise people that I thoroughly enjoyed a memoir about hiking the Appalachian Trail. But I did!

Appalachian Odyssey is the memoir of Jeffrey Ryan who, with his friend, Wayne, section hiked the Appalachian Trail over the course of 28 years. For those unfamiliar, the AT is a total of about 2500 miles and stretches fro
Connie Anderson
I have read several books on how difficult the Appalachian Trail is and how only the most physically fit should attempt it. I saw that this book was available and had to read it. This is such a spectacular storytelling. Mr. Ryan has photos he took himself on nearly every other page. Finally I can see what others attempted to write. He has been hiking the trail for 28 years with friends old and new.

The photos will inspire you and blow you away.k This book is terrific! It also has some laugh out
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
While reading this adventure, you feel like you are walking right next to this author. The photographs included in this book are amazing. Great read for outdoor people! I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway.
Chris Sentementes
The most entertaining book I have read in a long time
Thoroughly entertaining and historical. A guidebook and novel rolled into one
The author transports you in time through decades along the trail one can not help but be drawn in to each and every section.
I may try to pick this one up again later, it just didn't pull me in at all as written - staccato.
Brian Schaffer
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first I thought this was going to be boring and I put it down. But since I am obsessed with the AT I figured I had to give it a try. Once I got into it I was pleasantly surprised to find myself burning through chapters. I found this to be a very well detailed account of hiking the AT. I wish it was one solid thru-hike though. It was a little repetitive, but I appreciated the added history of a lot of the sections they did. I'll return to this when I actually get around to my thru-hike. Overal ...more
Haunani Kekuna
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Read...five stars!

Great read for anyone interested in hiking the AT.
I thru hiked the AT in 2011 and experienced so much of Mr. Ryan's trials and tribulations. I found myself underlining many many passages. Like I said "A Great Read"!
Brian Tanner Tanner
Great book about a 28yr long journey of the AT. Really enjoyed this book.
Katharine Rudzitis
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
A detailed and exciting description of a decades-long quest to finish the Trail. Good job.
Jul 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was beyond excited to win this book from Goodreads Firstreads! What sets this book apart from other Appalachian Trail memoirs ( and I have read close to 30 at this point!) besides the awesome photographs that the author took while on the trail, is that for every section he and his buddy hiked there is a graph that actually shows you what the terrain was like. You can read about it, but until you actually see it right there before your eyes on the graph with elevations marked, you have no idea ...more
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Chuck Lewis
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Jul 25, 2018
kathleen dimond
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Dec 01, 2018
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Jul 20, 2017
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Yolanda Dong
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Nov 13, 2018
Katie Lee
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Mar 06, 2018
John Tosi
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Jeffrey H Ryan is an author, adventurer, photographer and historian. He has written several books about his outdoor exploits, his fascination with hiking trails and the people and places found just off the beaten path. His debut book, Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-year hike on America’s trail was hailed by the former Executive Editor of National Geographic as “a classic of nature and travel writing” a ...more
“Going down 6% grades using only a hand brake and low gears wasn’t for sissies and, in retrospect, might have been for idiots.” 0 likes
“To sit on a slab of Pennsylvania rock on the AT and watch a hawk rise dozens of feet above me with a simple tilt of a wing, then circle high above for hours on end was one of the greatest thrills I could imagine. And while it was romantic to believe that I was witnessing this majestic spectacle for free, it really came about because someone before me was willing to make it possible.” 0 likes
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