Ogburn doing what he does best--backpacking his awesome if informal knowledge about the natural world, this time over the Southern Appalachians. The explorer de Soto named the mountain range (the oldest for its height of any on earth) after the Appalache Indians of Florida. Although you will need a detailed map to follow Ogburn as he hikes--the names of ranges, parks, peaks, towns and drives come thick and fast--there are, happily, stopping places. While reveling in the natural beauty of the environs, Ogburn discourses on the evolution of the mountain range from geological movements of 250-300 million years ago, on an impressive variety of flora and fauna, the two-faced activities of government conservation services, the scars of strip mining on both the land and the displaced mountain people, and the brave new world of young hikers. His blast at litterers has a Homeric ring: ""No part of the Appalachians is too remote for the louts to mark with their enduring spoor."" With no gratuitous philosophical reflections--a firm, informed tribute to those mountains which ""stand as assertions. . . of the planet's inner life."" A detailed list of lodgings and facilities for the hiker and camper makes this a valuable guide for outdoor travelers and scenery seekers.