Homer's Travels: Book: Lawton Grinter's "I Hike"

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Book: Lawton Grinter's "I Hike"

After reading about walking the Amazon, I decided to continue my hiking theme and read Lawton Grinter's "I Hike".  Lawton Grinter, trail name "Disco", is a long distance hiker.  He's done the triple crown of the long hikes: the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide trail, and the Pacific Crest trail (twice).  By his own count he's hiked over 10,000 miles.

"I Hike" is a collection of hiking anecdotes taken from his hikes.  The stories themes range from near hypothermia to lost hikers.  One thing I noticed is that all the stories are centered around something bad happening to him or someone else.  I was waiting for some stories about good things about his hiking.  While the stories were interesting and all the bad things had happy endings I came away with the message that hiking is dangerous and sometimes luck is all you have to make it through unscathed.  I would've liked some happy stories - I'm sure there were a few.

Grinter's writing style is informal and easy to read.  The stories are not chronological and Grinter jumps from one trail to the other.  This isn't much of a problem but it gives it a slightly unorganized feel.  The book felt like it was written by a hiker and not by a writer which I imagine is the case.  That's not necessarily a bad thing.

I like the stories despite the negative slant.  It's not an awesome book but it was good enough.  His trail name, "Disco", is a nickname given to him.  You do not chose your own trail name, they are given to you.  I hope to get my own trail name some day.  I hope it's something cool.

Mildly Recommended.


  1. The trail name thing confuses me. Is it like domain names? Is there some ICANN of the hiking world that assigns you your trail name? Who's the authority that dishes out such monikers? After all, I've been GeekHiker for five years now and, despite the fact that it's self-created, it works well and seems to be pretty accurate...

    1. GH: Not really. You get your name from traveling companiions. I don't think the rules are really that strict but I really haven't looked into it too much. I've always thought that nicknames were given to you and that you couldn't chose your own. That, of course, was before the invention of the Blog handle so things are evolving. I'm sure if you ever do the AT, calling yourself GeekHiker will be fine with everyone.