Carrot Quinn fears that she's become addicted to the Internet. The city makes her numb, and she's having trouble connecting with others. In a desperate move, she breaks away from everything to walk 2,660 miles from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail. It will be her first long-distance hike.
In the desert of Southern California, Carrot faces many challenges, both physical and emotional: pain, injury, blisters, aching cold and searing heat, dehydration, exhaustion, loneliness. In the wilderness she happens upon and becomes close with an eclectic group of strangers - people she wouldn't have chanced to meet in the "regular world" but who are brought together, here on the trail, by their one common goal: to make it to Canada before the snow flies.
©2015 Carrot Quinn (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
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"Fresh and surprising thru-hikealog"
After finishing this book, I found I craved the narrator's voice and being on the trail with Carrot, so I started listening again. It's become the backdrop for life these days, and I listen as I drive, as I lay down to sleep, whenever I want to escape to the trail. It has re-opened the world of thru hiking for me just when I needed it! PCT '85
thank you, Carrot, for carrying me and your readers on your journey, and for sharing your heart so fully. and thank you, Erin, for being such a soulful and solid conveyance of Carrot's experience as reader. Carrot, my reluctance to read the story of someone so different in age and in so many ways dissipated as your writing drew me in to remember all that binds us. I greatly appreciated your sharing of your shifting emotions and thoughts and your hunger, your, solutions, and your missteps. i was constantly rewinding so as to miss no detail. i hope this book sells well for you, Carrot. you are such a fine raconteur. I listened to the story in my car and on planes. i started to feel like I was right with you. i found myself searching for trail food in grocery stores and shivering when you were cold. i wanted to spirit you off to a physician so many times to fix your ailments. we readers/listners have you and Erin to thank for enveloping us all on that PCT ribbon of land. Please write, Carrot; write more. i so wish you well.
"Compelling, even if you'll never hike the PCT"
I'll never climb Everest, but I read everything I can about it. I'll likely never hike the PCT, but I love stories about people who do. Carrot's book is so immersive, so wonderful, so occasionally mundane in the matters of food and water and clothing--it made me very happy.
In contrast to Wild, I feel this book is much more about the daily journey of the trail--what it's like to walk the whole thing. What it's like to fall in love with it. What a largely free heart feels in such a place. I love her humor, her despair, her overwhelming joy, her change as the miles fly by. Unlike some other reviewers, I don't find the bits about intimacy with other hikers troubling or annoying. It all seems very genuine and real and isn't overdone, or overly focused upon. It's simply part of her journey. And, more importantly, her.
Highly recommended. Thank you, Carrot, for sharing your marvelous journey. Please write more!
"My Heart is Only a Little Broken"
I had a good time listening to this book while I do my farm work. I enjoyed the voice actor. I sometimes became annoyed by Carrots hippie platitudes left and right.. her repetiative questions like "where am i" and "what am i doing"... but I like that she's a queer punk feminist who makes her politics known in her book. I'm glad she talked about the interpersonal bonds, the friendships and the romantic connections she made on the trail. Being a young queer woman interested in thru hiking that accidentally picked out a book written by a queer woman, based on the cover alone made me feel like it was destiny.. However, I had some dissapointments to face. I found the most serious love interest (a man) to be very boring and that was a let down for me. But I get that being queer means falling for dudes sometimes... I guess.
I especially enjoyed and appreciated the occasional moments of true vulnerability she showed when she talked about her childhood and things like that. I wish there had been more like that.
Overall I feel that I understand more about what the hike will be like. I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of the trail and the weather and the struggle.
"More of diary than travelogue"
Of the 3 thru hiking books I've read, this one is in third place. In first place would be Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, and in second place AWOL on the Appalachian Trail. I never really got used to the "valley girl" accent of the narrator of Thru Hiking will break your heart. Putting an extra drawn out syllable on a one syllable word, kind of a teenager's voice. But much of the book was detailing the junk food eating at each stop, the motels, foot problems, pretty much any reason not to have to sleep on the trail. But I listened to the whole thing, and I disagree with other reviews that said there was "too much sex in it", there wasn't, just that a couple of girls shared a tent once in awhile and a hug. The rest was left to imagination. I want to be fair to this book because I recognize the effort and the accomplishment of the thru hiking, just that from my point of view I was interested more in accounts of nature, not just that everything looked "green", or was desert, etc. This was more of a diary with how many miles, what food eaten, where night was spent, restaurants visited, and about collecting boxes of food and equipment she had shipped ahead to various towns. I just did not get a feel of nature from this account.
"Agony and Ecstasy"
I would recommend Thru-hiking Will Break Your Heart to the adventurous, and especially to hikers.
Erin Spencer's performance portrays the central character, Carrot, very well. However, her mispronunciations (Tuolomne Meadows, Seamus) are distracting, and when the author specifies the accent of one character or another, Spencer does not even try to produce it.
If I'd had the time I would have listened to it in one day.
I liked the detailed description of the trail, but the power of the book came in the second half, when the author's personal feelings were more in evidence.
"I really want to give this book a fantastic..."
review. But I'm so conflicted. First, the narrator was amazing. A voice so pretty and cute and so full of heart as if she walked the trail herself.
The story so very well written, nailed feelings and thoughts that are hard to express in words, and did it in a fun and bold and simple way. I really admire her writing.
The conflicting part is her language! The f word is her favorite word. and the sex-capades, both lesbian and hetero? I don't know, too personal to share? They took this wonderful, inspiration, and emotional book into rated R territory, which, I feel, in my opinion, one I can't in good conscience recommend to my teen children or friends.
Which is sad because there is so much goodness in this book- in style and substance, and message. idk...
I think if you have an interest in hiking and outdoor living not to mention perseverance you'll enjoy this book. Like another reviewer the sex could have been omitted. For me it took away from the story. There was more than enough about her life as a child to keep the listener engrossed in the story. I would recommend this book.
This was such an amazing book. This might be the most joyful recount of a thru-hike I've ever encountered. Quinn's prose will encourage and inspire. I felt buoyed along with her as I listened.
"A story of endurance"
I felt as though I was with her along the trail. Her story was honest and enough for me to enjoy the PCT from afar.
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