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Trudge: A Mid-Life Crisis on the John Muir Trail

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  204 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Lori Oliver-Tierney is every woman with a dream. She is fifty asthmatic, overweight, with arthritic knees. And like most married women with children, she’s lost herself.

When she decides to hike the John Muir Trail, considered by many to be the most challenging and beautiful part of the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail, she’s sure it will help her reconnect with the adventuro
Paperback, 306 pages
Published January 25th 2019 by Acorn Publishing
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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Lois Letchford
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This story is about a walk—both metaphorically and spiritually—along the John Muir Trail by an out-of-shape, fifty-year-old woman looking to try something completely different. The beginning of the story shocked me a little, as she recalls her very first hike. Here we are introduced to the villain of the story, who provides insights into a full range of human characteristics one would wish not to encounter, especially on a remote hiking trail. I questioned the author’s sanity as she walked with ...more
Carole Frank
Not sure how I felt about this book. I think I have actually been generous with my three stars, but I did finish it. I usually love 'trail' books - as a walker, it would be my dream to do (part of) the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail in America. This is about a 50 year old woman who is overweight, asthmatic and with arthritic knees who 'trudges' the John Muir Trail, all 211 miles of it, with a 'friend' and her daughter. I sort of enjoyed it, but I could not be doing with all the bit ...more
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished a great book about one woman’s hike on the JMT. I laughed, I cried, I commiserated and I dreamed with her. I highly recommend “Trudge - A Midlife Crisis on the JMT” by Lori Oliver-Tierney. It’s a life lesson about living your life your way.
Ella PiloFerguson
If you need a bit of inspiration you'll find it in this book. ...more
Petra Hanson
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can’t believe this woman walked such a long way with that awful woman. Hope she was massively embarrassed when she read the book, though probably not. She would have had an entirely different understanding of her behaviour I’m sure. Good book though, just found the dynamics cringeworthy.
Alexa Kingaard
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
With every step the author took, I trudged right alongside her. I ached at the end of every chapter and sympathized with her apprehension and discomfort throughout her journey. Bold and engaging, Ms. Tierney held nothing back in sharing this episodic quest - a testatment to sheer will, friendship and love. A great read!
Sherrill Joseph
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m no backpacking hiker. Nonetheless, Trudge was impossible to put down. The author’s natural style, beautifully worded descriptions of her surroundings, and willingness to share intimate details of her life and feelings drew me in and immediately put me on the trail with her.

Trudge: A Midlife Crisis on the John Muir Trail will give you a work out even as you sit reading. Lori Oliver-Tierney shares relatable reasons for embarking on the trip in the summer of 2004—even if it is a 233-mile trek o
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had this book in my wishlist for a while before I won it in a giveaway and I was so excited to read it. It isn't exactly what I was hoping it would be, but it was good in its own way. Lori's dream was to hike the John Muir Trail and at 50, a bit overweight with arthritis and asthmatic, she gets the support from her family to hike it. For a year her and a friend Debra planned, and when the day arrived to start a few smaller hikes before the big one, she got to see Debra for who she really was.

Sep 05, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read a lot of books about long-distance hikers. It is inspirational to read about people who follow their dream, especially when they aren't what might be considered the typical candidate. The author states that she was out-of-shape, overweight, and older with very little experience. She decided to take this on with encouragement from her family and based on a friend's invitation. Unfortunately, the friend turned out to be verbally abusive. I can't believe someone would put up with that behavi ...more
Mary Ellington
While reading Untamed, I switched over to Trudge: A Midlife Crisis on the John Muir Trail because I need something a little lighter at the moment. Imagine turning fifty years old and setting out to hike 200 miles of the John Muir Trail. I think on my 50th birthday, I wanted to take a nap.
This wasn't quite Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, but is the same kind of story. A woman wanting to prove something to herself and grows in wisdom and spirit. I love reading about women who
Indy Quillen
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What wonderful memories this book brought back to me! I was in my 40's when I backpacked in Yosemite National Park and while attempting the ascents discovered I had a slight asthma condition and suffered with altitude sickness. I could relate to all her physical and mental challenges during the hike–and I laughed out loud at her many humorous experiences as well. But to me the best parts were the many diary entries she shared with us where she expressed her intense love of the nature that surrou ...more
Susan Birrell
Jun 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lori accomplished her goal of hiking the JMT through sheer determination, & the love and support of her family.
However, I was getting so frustrated with the constant disrespect of her so called friend!!
Lori Oliver-Tierney writes "There in the mountains, I was finding the piece of me who wasn't afraid to say what I thought" ??? Not once did she "say what she thought" to her unkind hiking companion. I suppose not creating more tension was the peaceful way to go......
Kudos to her for a successful
E.P. Sery
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This one brave, decent, strong-willed and extraordinary red-head woman had captured my heart right at the beginning. I was rooting for her throughout her challenging hike on the John Muir Trail in her book TRUDGE, cheered for her and hugged her in my mind every night before she got into her tent to sleep. Passing Forester and climbing Mnt. Whitney were small accompaniments compared to surviving Debra! A must read! Bravo, Lori Oliver-Tierney.
Jan 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lori sets out in a challenging trek under- prepared and with a hiking partner who might actually hate her. Fighting the physical barriers, including asthma, along the way, she finds being the "caboose" actually gives her the space to reflect on who she is and why hiking the John Muir Trail matters so much. Lori's enduring spirit is inspiring and her trail memoir is more than a run of the mill log of miles made; it's an engaging spiritual journey. ...more
Dawn Pedersen
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book took us on a journey of growth and self awareness. A woman who thinks she is trudging across the John Muir Trail as a hiking journey. Very early on the reader realizes it is much more than a backpacking trip.
As the author shows her perseverance and wit, the reader gets a glimpse into a not so easy trip. A good read.
From this book it is easy to see this author has many more stories to tell. I hope she will continue to write.
Danielle Davis
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book very much. I feel her struggle as they are similar to mine when I hike difficult terrain. It gives me hope that someday maybe I could accomplish something similar. I certainly would have told her hiking partner off and gone on alone the rest of the way. That Debra lady is just a complete B*tch. But Lori was able to find gracious people along the trail to help her out and that made for the better story.
Sheila Boyd
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I am so inspired by Lori’s journey, I am ready to pick up my hiking poles and backpack and hit the trails. I can’t say enough about her transformation and enrichment of spirit on the JMT, and how she conveys her self-discovery to her readers. I was emotionally engaged and hiking by her side. Well written, well edited and polished. Wonderful book I highly recommend.
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book!

Lori Tierny was brave enough to follow her dream of hiking the John Muir Trail. Despite a rude and extremely inconsiderate hiking companion who also brought her teenaged daughter on the hike, Lori never gave up and completed the trail. This book is about her adventure and it is definitely a fun read.
Adam Ross
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An inspirational memoir about over-coming the odds and finding peace and joy in nature. Lori Oliver-Tierney's tale of hiking the John Muir Trail will leave you wanting to get outdoors and take in the beauty of nature. I loved reading about her journey. Great sense of humor too! ...more
Gwilda Byrd
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful !

Great book, telling a great story of the difficult hike. So many trials and accomplish ments. ! Made me wish I was with Lori. Though at 71 I'm sure I would take much longer if at all. Loved her spiritual feelings and faith.
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Can't give it a 3.5 so going with 4. This woman is me, although I would never have the kindness she showed her hiking 'partner'. Slow and not so steady, I lived the journey through the author and loved it. Thanks so much for sharing Ms Tierney. ...more
Tamara Cosman
Good for Lori! I was happy she went on the hike. If her portrayal of her hiking companion is true, how did she not come to blows with this woman? I got a little tired of her descriptions of this horrible nasty person.
Jul 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ready to hit the trail!

His was such and inspirational account of her experience and transformation. It was just what I needed to read right now. I. Ready to reignite my own adventures!
Serena Gingold Allen
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very engaging memoir that is filled with hope for anyone chasing a lifelong dream.
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adventure, memoir
An honest rendition of finding oneself on the JMT. I loved reading this book. It inspired me to get my JMT permit.
Nancy Higgins
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was very validating because this is what I feel like when I hike.
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An inspiring book about walking the JMT. But, please stop referring to 50 as ancient!
Suzanne C.
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an inspiration Lori is! Thoroughly enjoyed hiking the John Muir Trail with Lori. I will read that book again.
Tara Marlow
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Lori's account of her journey. I felt like I was beside her every step. And the trail angels... oh my. Lori wrote a line in her book that made me stop: “I know who you are and what you’re made of. I hope you know it, too.” This line stayed with me and eventually (without realising it at the time), inspired my own novel. Overall, a great novel telling a great adventure. ...more
Ashley Rose
rated it it was amazing
Apr 15, 2021
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When Lori was 19 years old she started working summers as a waitress in Yosemite National Park and doing short backpacks on her days off. She was blown away by the beauty of the High Sierra and looked forward every week to the time she got to spend away from the tourists and breathe the clean mountain air. People often spoke of the beautiful John Muir Trail and it became a dream of hers to hike it ...more

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