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On Trail: An Exploration

Author

Robert Moor

Published Date

08-08-2018

Publisher

行路

ISBN

9789869634809

‘As hundreds – and then thousands – of miles of trails passed beneath my eyes, I began to ponder the meaning of this endless scrawl. Who created it? Why does it exist? Why, moreover does any trail?’

About this book

Moor’s prologue containing the story of his 2009 thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail and how he came to be there. While he goes on the journey, he says: ‘As hundreds – and then thousands – of miles of trails passed beneath my eyes, I began to ponder the meaning of this endless scrawl. Who created it? Why does it exist? Why, moreover does any trail?’ And so, Moor dives deep, not just into his own Appalachian Trail experience, but into the history of the Appalachian Trail, and the origin of all trails, those created by humans and others: pre-historic organism, ants, caterpillars, elephants and slugs. In-depth scientific and psychological explorations are punctuated by kaleidoscopic, whimsical vignettes from Moor’s life, including an amusing stint as a shepherd assisting a Navajo couple in Arizona. Moor’s book read like a journal that expanded and took on a life of its own, supported by anecdotes, science, and literature. In the hands of a less capable writer, this concept could sprawl endlessly and without direction, but here it flows marvellously. Moor’s book is truly a meditative exploration, as the sub-title indicates, and its composition is as excellent as Moor’s insightful prose. Moor acts instead as a skilled guide, allowing the journey to create a deep question, and leaving the final destination to the reader.

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