I’ll admit that I am addicted to distance-trekking books, not because I have written a couple of them, but because good ones make me feel like I am back on the trail.
Rick Rogers’ Walking Home brought the Pacific Crest Trail to life like no other account I have read. It is more about the people than the 2,650-mile trail from Mexico to Canada. Rogers’ insights and descriptions about his fellow thru-hikers and himself are entertaining, insightful, and chuckle-worthy.
In his mid-60s, he begins his journey with a pen pal whom he had not met and ends in his home state of Washington with his son, a third-grader. Along the way he meets a plethora of personalities that keep the book moving along at a mostly fast pace. He avoids some people and eagerly walks with others, cleverly and bluntly giving the reasons for his choices.
A former climbing instructor, his gear choices are questionable, even poor. He finds his only pair of shorts at WalMart and he knows they are made for women, but buys them anyway, leading to some funny situations that made me laugh. Maybe I even laughed at him because he should have known better.
Along the way, Rogers sprinkles instructive words of wisdom about backpacking, walking, and choices in people. Traveling in 2018, he encounters so much snow in California’s Sierra Nevada that he has to skip north and reverse direction—a flip—to avoid disaster. He then drives a rental car to Oregon to pick up where he left off.
There were times I would have liked more observations about the PCT, but in the end, Rick Rogers made me feel like those who walked with him were better for knowing him, but they may not have realized it until they returned home.