A Walk Across America Along the Continental Divide
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 Although the Continental Divide Trail is still more of a bureaucratic vision than a reality, newlyweds Berger (an editor) and Smith (a historian) decided to tackle it as it is--with this colorful but disappointing record of their experience as the result. Hiking a 3,200-mile course from Mexico to Canada in little more than five months--over deserts, through forests, and across countless mountain peaks--the trek involved equal measures of advance planning and on-the-spot resourcefulness. Even with the most current maps of the terrain, the authors found that trails and roads had vanished and watering holes had dried up, but by keeping their wits about them they managed to keep up a stiff pace, knowing that they were racing the onset of winter in the Montana high country even as they set out in the arid flatlands of southern New Mexico. With the steady support of friends old and new--as well as a fierce determination that carried them through snow squalls, thunderstorms, and into the heart of grizzly country to a remote crossing on the Canadian border--Berger and Smith witnessed both the glory and the shame of the American West today--magnificent mountain vistas, but also ample evidence of overgrazing and of the devastation caused by clear-cutting. Sharing the unflagging hospitality of ranchers and those dependent on the timber industry provided the authors insight into the deep-seated problems of the region, and these observations, along with occasional historical and geological vignettes, help to enrich an otherwise pedestrian narrative considerably. A solid if unexceptional chronicle of adventure and discovery in what remains of the American wilderness. (Eleven maps)

Pub Date: June 2nd, 1993
ISBN: 0-517-58804-8
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Harmony
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1993