Do you know what a “trail angel” is? Or a “zero day”? Or the “Triple Crown of Hiking”?
Dennis Blanchard’s engaging book, Three Hundred Zeroes: Lessons of the Heart on the Appalachian Trail, is his personal account from his hike on the entire 2,200 mile stretch of wilderness. You’ll learn why he took 300 “zero days”, his insights gained from introspection during the journey, and how he fulfills a promise to his late brother.
After reading Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods about Bryson’s experiences hiking the Appalachian Trail, I came across Blanchard’s book and just had to read it!
What I really enjoy about Three Hundred Zeroes are the fun (and sometimes terrifying!) personal accounts of his encounters with inclement weather, snakes, 39 bears, and of course the various hikers he meets and befriends along the way.
Blanchard also does an excellent job of keeping the reader engaged by sharing tidbits, such as females have comparatively more stamina than men on the trail! Most women also lose weight, but not as dramatically as the men who hike the AT. Plus, the abundance of pictures makes the reader feel like they are part of his AT thru-hike.
Hiking Lady Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
I also enjoy catching up with Dennis Blanchard’s blog, where he continues to share insights, fun and useful things like knot tying skills, and links to his radio interviews and more. It is refreshing to hear his continued positive and inspirational outlook on life. As Blanchard says, “You cannot change your past, but you can change your future.”
Have you thought about hiking the AT? Or perhaps you’ve already done so. I’d love to hear your thoughts on your experience, this book, or anything else in the comments below!