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The Man Who Walked through Time: The Story of the First Trip Afoot through the Grand Canyon

de Colin Fletcher

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5571042,461 (3.85)15
The remarkable classic of nature writing by the first man ever to have walked the entire length of the Grand Canyon.
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    Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness de Edward Abbey (Stbalbach)
    Stbalbach: Both published in 1968, they are twin peaks at the beginning of a new awakening about the environment.
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Interesting account of a man's hike through the Grand Canyon. Quite an ordeal. He also talks about the wreckage of the airline that crashed there in the fifties. ( )
  kslade | Dec 8, 2022 |
When I first read this book I thought it was wonderful and potentially life-changing. But that was fifty years ago; I've gone elsewhere in the intervening half-century.

Fletcher's book is more about his mental journey than the hike. I'm pretty sure there are more pages devoted to his rest days than to the actual walk, though I've no intention of checking that statement. What is certainly true is that his mental state is often his actual subject; he's not so much communing with nature as he's contemplating the meaning of life. Or lives, I suppose; he's often musing about the differences between everyday life outside the canyon with his in-the-canyon freedom from that life.

A good book, still, and an interesting account of a journey. But I liked it better in 1970, when I was a youngster in an army uniform, stationed on Mount Tamalpias north of San Francisco. ( )
  joeldinda | Oct 20, 2021 |
Over a two-month period in 1963, Colin Fletcher became the first man to walk the length of Grand Canyon National Park below the rim of the canyon. Before his trip, no one was even sure whether a passable route existed through the whole canyon. In this book, he talks about his experience, how he accomplished his goal, and what he learned before, during, and after his trip.

I was really excited to read about this book when I first found it since I love nature and would love to have had this kind of experience; however, the book didn’t live up to my expectations for some reason. There was a lot of technical explanation and geographical descriptions that I didn’t really understand. I also think that the impression this kind of experience makes on a person isn’t something that can easily be put into words, so that may have been a reason the book fell flat for me. I did really like his explanation of how geographical time works on a completely different scale than human time. The idea that humans have existed for such a small part of the universe’s life is something that I’ve been running into a lot lately, and the Grand Canyon is just another example of the billions of years it takes for really significant natural changes to occur. ( )
1 vote AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
I thought I'd like this and at the very beginning, I did. But really, although the author did something pretty cool, it wasn't overly daunting. There was not the amount of danger you come across in some other extreme nature challenges (or if there was, he didn't clearly give that impression. And really, it wasn't a book so much about the canyon, but about Colin Fletcher's own quest...and he annoyed me a little.

He went into so much detail about what he was carrying and little things he saw - he went into detail about how annoyed he was when he saw signs of man in the canyon at times, but he doesn't go into detail about what happened to all the trash he generated from supplies grabbed at arranged air drops. And there's no way he was carrying it out.

Beyond that, there was just a tone that ended up grating against my nerves. I could imagine he wouldn't be the best travel companion. I'd take Bill Bryson over this any day for the humor, or other more serious travel adventure for the level of talent in the writing and the lack of egotism. ( )
  Sean191 | Dec 7, 2013 |
A great look at some on who spent a life walking while considering philosophy, history, and methodologies.One of my favorite saying from Colin is: Hell is where the police are Italian, the politicians are French and the cooks are English...... ( )
  asails | Mar 24, 2011 |
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