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  • Kathy Schrenk

"A Blistered Kind of Love"

Kathy is reviewing her favorite books on the outdoors and hiking. For the list of all the reviews, click here.

Hiking the PCT is a solo adventure for post people, at least when they start out. Thru hikers develop a trail family or "tramily" as they hike, loose collections that regroup some or most days depending on their hiking speed. We saw one couple on our backpacking trip this summer who had traveled from Taiwan to hike the whole trail together, but they were an anomaly. That's what makes Blistered Kind of Love by Angela and Duffy Ballard unique: boyfriend and girlfriend start and end the hike together, and even get married after. (This is not a spoiler; their bylines on the front of the book reveal their shared

last name.)

The authors take turns writing the chapters, so one is written by him and the next by her. I found it difficult at times to remember who was writing, and I'd have to flip back to the beginning of the chapter to check if it was Angela or Duffy. But I liked the backstory and history that they weaved into the text about the trail itself and the regions they were hiking in.

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