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This must be the correct trail. I took it in the downhill direction, which I assumed would take me to the parking lot. Meanwhile, my companions returned to the clearing and searched for me for an hour. When they didn’t find me Adam used his radio to call in the Alpine Rescue Team, a trained group of volunteers. They would bring dogs to help in the search: a Husky, a bloodhound and a German shepherd. My companions agreed to meet them at the parking lot.
I soon realized that I had no reason to carry the shovel. It was heavy and slowed me down. I stuck it into the ground in the middle of the trail. I wrote a note on the inside of a cardboard box that had contained sandwich bags and spiked it onto the wooden handle of the shovel. The note stated that I was heading downhill on the trail.
After considerable downhill hiking I came to a trail intersection in the shape of a T. One of the branches of the T was the continuation of the trail I was on, which a rough sign informed me was called the Cub Creek Trail. The other branch didn’t have a name. I didn’t have any reason to favor one over the other. I felt very discouraged. For the first time I wondered if I might get so lost that I would never be found.
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Alan Cook, Mystery and Walking Writer
Named one of the Top 10 Walking Memoirs and Tales of Long Walks, by walking.about.com
“As Tolkien said, not all who wander are lost. Alan Cook is a walker who is always on the Road to Somewhere. (He) inspires us walkers to get moving on our own adventures. My chief reaction to the book is jealousy. I want to lace up my walking shoes and go exploring.”
—Wendy Bumgardner, Walking Guide at walking.about.com.
Walking the World: Memories and Adventures elevates the act of walking from something we do every day without thinking about it to a means for putting more fun and excitement into our lives. And we can become healthier, at the same time. Whoever said, “No pain, no gain,” was out to lunch.
Whether the subject is learning to walk, walking safely, finding interesting places to walk throughout the world, climbing mountains or taking long walks, Alan Cook writes about it with wit and humor. The book gets exciting when he tells about getting lost in the wilderness of Colorado, and stories of his three long walks (the California coast, Los Angeles to Denver and the British End-to-End) and Ethan Loewenthal’s walk of the Appalachian Trail will make you want to get off your couch and follow their routes.
Bushwhacking wasn't difficult, but I did lose a couple of items from my pack, including an old parka, as I scrambled through brush and over and around fallen trees. Occasionally, I had to crawl for a few feet. Sometimes I carried my shovel and sometimes I dragged it behind me. Even though I favored my sore knee I made good progress, and I came to a trail within half an hour.
Ingrid Taylor, Small Press Review
Whether you're a confirmed couch potato or a staunch computer spud, Walking the World is going to give you the urge to get up and move. I was not looking forward to doing this review--after all, what interest would a book on walking hold for me, the calendar girl for middle-age spread? Well, grab some walking shoes and I'll tell you…
Not only is Walking the World an inspiring book about obtaining optimum health while keeping your body and mind happy, but it's a whole-world word atlas and almanac, a journal of sorts and a history book, too. Alan Cook has infused the tale of his walking life with humor and good sense, making it a fast-paced and exciting read.
For example, "The Puritans left England and came to America because they were being persecuted for their religious beliefs. Since the first Puritans arrived on American shores in the 1660's, they have spent their time persecuting the rest of us. On the other hand, the English have been celebrating ever since, and I suspect it's too late to ask them to take the Puritans back."
Having been to Europe myself on several occasions, Cook told stories that brought back wonderful memories of the countries and places I'd seen—and the places that are still on my "to do" list. In France, for instance, he "did get robbed by a Paris taxi driver. He took all our French Francs and wanted more. I finally gave him some dollars and swore at him, even though I don't usually swear in front of my mother."
His walking encompasses every state in the U.S. and there are several mountains I've personally hiked that he describes in vivid and vibrant detail. Cook reminds us that "Walkers are exposed to all sorts of educational opportunities. While walking the coast of California I became somewhat of an authority on beachwear."
By Chapter 6, I'd asked my husband to come with me to the Nature Center, so we could take advantage of the walking trails at our city's outdoor wildlife area. Tomorrow--maybe the zoo.
Now that you're motivated and educated to check out this wonderful book—there's still another treat in store--Cook is a writer of many talents, poetry being one of his strong suits. He prefaces most chapters with some wonderfully funny (and sometimes, not-so-funny) poems.
Walking the World: Memories and Adventures is a well-written and thrilling lifetime adventure that educates and inspires. I'd love to tell you more, but my feet are fidgeting to get outside and walk!
Mary Vandever, Easy Reader
Author Alan Cook takes us on a warm personal journey through history, myth and culture as he fulfills his aspiration to walk around the world. Cook’s memories and thoughts add spice to his writing and give the reader a blend of information on our earth’s topography, legend and, yes, fashion. The reader joins the Cook family as they walk their way through the many countries and discover the quaint and curious overlooked by the most impressive travel brochure. As the author states, “You can see a lot more at three or four miles-per-hour than you can at 50 or 60—or 500. You become part of the place you are walking.”
This truth, combined with Cook’s enthusiasm for walking captivates the reader who is more than happy to travel along. His love of Greece and the Greek Isles whose myths inspired the poetry he writes about them, draws the reader into a personal awareness of the colorful history and legend. Walking with Cook takes the reader to places not always included on the promoted tour. One can watch with the family as they encounter teenagers dancing the flamenco on a side street in Spain. Or sheep herded in New Zealand and learn that in 1987 there were 70 million sheep and 3 million people. And learn how Cook put Colorado’s best of search and rescue to the test while contributing to Rocky Mountain romance on the trail. His enthusiasm and dedication to “walk the world” has introduced this reader to places and destinations only dreamed of. Al Cook’s passion for walking is contagious and although I found this book very interesting and entertaining, it was difficult for me to read because the more I read the more I wanted to walk.
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