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A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, by Bill Bryson





I'm torn between three and four stars on this one. I guess I'll round up to four, although to be honest, I'm not entirely sure why. I guess Bryson is a (mostly) compelling writer. I didn't find this book nearly as humorous – let alone “hilarious” – as the book jacket and some reviews seem to state. Bryson's humor seemed grasping at the beginning, though he eventually found his groove, but far too much of his groove seemed to be aimed at mocking people. I absolutely did not appreciate his “hillbilly” and Deliverance descriptions of the South and almost put the book down because of it. Ultimately, I'm glad I continued on, but I feel he really missed out on – and robbed us of – a real look into the South and true Southern hospitality, which is all too readily available on the trail.

It's an insightful look into the Appalachian Trail, though not nearly as insightful as what you might read from people who actually thru-hiked it (see TrailJournals for much better recountings). My favorite parts were of Bill and Katz on the trail, and I would have loved a whole book of it and a real travelogue of the trail as a whole. Sadly, Bill and Katz gave up far too early, and so with little else to write about, he starts throwing in history lessons that only vaguely tie into the trail and which were too often boring. He does advocate for better conservancy, but he doesn't really offer any concrete moves to take and instead just relentlessly puts down the Parks Service.

Still, it was a mostly enjoyable read about a subject I love and am passionate about. I feel he missed out on a lot the trail has to offer, and it saddens me that most of his encounters are of people he deems worthy of mockery (for all that he hypocritically does many of the same things he mocks them for). Some of his descriptions were lovely though, and he doesn't sugar-coat the experience for others who may be considering an AT thru-hike. It's a decent read if one is at all interested in the Appalachian Trail or long-distance hiking. You might like his humor better than I did. Seems a lot of people do.

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Whole30 Day 15

Half way! Feeling absolutely fabulous.

B: Beef, green and red bell pepper, red onion, garlic, green olives.

L: Spaghetti with black olives; almonds.

D: Two pieces salmon with ghee and lemon, broccoli with lemon, potato wedges, almonds.

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Whole30 Day 14

I keep forgetting to log my coffee, but I have 2-3 cups of coffee with (compliant) Silk unsweetened almond milk every day. I drink lemon water the rest of the day.

B: Stuffed pepper: ground turkey, red onion, bell pepper, garlic, black olives

L: Beef enchilada bake with black olives, smoothie

D: Spaghetti: spaghetti squash, tomato, fire roasted tomato, red onion, green and red bell pepper, garlic, seasonings

snack: almonds, orange

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Whole30 Day 13

B: 2 hardboiled eggs, sweet potato fries (no fat, whoops)

L: Stuffed peppers: ground turkey, red onion, bell pepper, garlic, black olives, seasonings

Snack: A few potato wedges as I cooked them.

D: Beef Enchilada Bake with black olives

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Whole30 Day 12

B: 2 sausage patties, 2 overmedium eggs, steamed broccoli with lemon, 3 strawberries.

L: 2 hardboiled eggs, flu buster soup. (Was full and did not add a fat to this meal.)

D: Porterhouse steak, baked potato with ghee, steamed broccoli with lemon.

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Whole30 Day 11

Stomach feeling a bit sloshy this morning. Wondered if maybe I didn't cook that sausage yesterday all the way after all, but Josh is having tummy trouble too, so maybe it's just a bug. I felt better by afternoon and got super hungry.


B: Banger sausage patties with sweet potato mash and caramelized onions, sliced apple.

L: Very small venison steak, almonds, and this Flu Buster Vegetable Soup that a friend recommended. It was different. Okay, although I almost thought I should have added more stock since it came out more of a mash.

Smoothie

D: 2 Hamburgers (ground beef, bell pepper, red onion, egg) in a lettuce wrap with tomato and avocado; homemade season fries.

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Whole30 Day 10

I totally broke the rules today and weighed myself at the gym. I've lost 5 pounds! I also went against recommendations (not actual rules) and had a fruit smoothie, which I've been craving.


B: Banger sausage patties with sweet potato mash and caramelized onions (from the Whole30 recipe book).

Though it was really more like burnt onions, and my sausages took forever to bake. It called for 15 minutes, and it took 40! Maybe I do have a problem with my oven? I've never had any issues before though. Anyways, I was not impressed with this recipe. I didn't like the lemon zest in the sausage, and it didn't taste like sausage. Next time I'll just google a paleo sausage recipe.

L: Venison steak, homemade season fries, avocado.

Pre-WO mini-meal: Hardboiled egg

Post-WO mini-meal: Hardboiled egg + sweet potato fries

D: Banger sausage patties with sweet potato mash and caramelized onions. Fruit smoothie (strawberries, half banana, mixed berries, OJ).

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Whole30 Day 9

Feeling absolutely fabulous! I seem to be in the zone this week.


B: Tuna steak with green bell peppers and red onion. Green olives.

L: Venison steak, steamed broccoli with lemon, green beans, and green olives.

D: Venison steak, steamed broccoli with lemon, baked potato with ghee. Ate a few homemade season fries as I was doing food prep for the week.

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Whole30 Day 8

Had a headache overnight while I slept. Feeling better this morning though.


Brunch (school was called off, so we slept late): Venison, baked sweet potato with homemade salsa, green olives.

D: Tuna steak, green bell peppers & red onion, handful of almonds

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I wrote several Firefly drabbles inspired by David Bowie song titles, including some femslash (which I will post to my sub!Zoë set on [archiveofourown.org profile] ahavah as soon as I'm allowed).

If you are interested, you can find them HERE at [community profile] drabble_zone.

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