Read Dances with Marmots: A Pacific Crest Trail Adventure by George Spearing Online


The account of a 4300km solo hike from Mexico to Canada through the desert areas and high Sierra Nevada of California and the Cascade ranges of Oregon and Washington....

Title : Dances with Marmots: A Pacific Crest Trail Adventure
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781411656185
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 255 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Dances with Marmots: A Pacific Crest Trail Adventure Reviews

  • Tammy
    2019-01-25 12:59

    This story of a Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike is both the same and different as the dozens of other accounts I’ve read.It is the same because the trail is the same, the difficulties are the same, and the challenges of writing about a 5-month walking adventure are the same. After all, walking is not the most naturally engaging of activities.But this book is also different from other accounts in some interesting ways. First, author George Spearing is from New Zealand, so we see his experiences on American soil from a new perspective. For example, he talks of being confused by a waitress asking him about “Super Salad” (soup or salad) and his realization that American English is otherwise different when he overhears the sentence, “Then she up and left, I was pissed.” Apparently in NZ English, this meant the man was drunk or legless. Go figure. These instances give the book a humorous and interesting slant missing in other accounts.On the other hand, American readers may not fully appreciate other references and attempts at humor such as referencing the un-coolness of wearing bells to ward off bears as being akin to a “woodland Noddy” or an “itinerant Morris dancer.” Huh? One rather small, but irritating, aspect of this book is the random indentation of paragraphs. For some reason, I found this jarring.However, these are small matters. Spearing writes with joy and humor of his journey. Never mind that the humor is sometime corny, at least he generally steers clear of the plodding mile by mile account of the journey that soon numbs the reader and makes one long for the Canadian border and the end of the book.Though certainly not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, this is one of the least painful books on Pacific Crest thru-hikes I've read so far.

  • Lauren
    2019-02-16 14:48

    Everything about this book was amazing. Laugh out loud funny all the way through - sometimes I had to put it down for 15 minutes, because I was laughing so hard. Also so refreshing to hear the perspective of an outsider looking at America with his head on straight.

  • Turi
    2019-02-05 14:02

    After the last PCT book I read, I wanted a little different view of the long-distance hiking thing, and I certainly got it with Dances With Marmots. George Spearing is a firefighter from New Zealand who decides he needs to get away for awhile, and heads out to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. This book reads very informally; like a you'd imagine a conversation with a kiwi firefighter over a beer might be transcribed. I think they have some different punctuation rules in New Zealand, too; I kept wishing this had been proofread better. (But I'm picky...) That said, it did give a pretty good insight into someone hiking the PCT solo, which was cool. As mentioned in the comments to my post on "Blistered Kind of Love", though, this book takes 200 pages to cover the California sections, then skips over Oregon and Washington in less than 50. I guess that's to be expected - a hiker makes all their discoveries and learns all their lessons early on, after a certain amount of time, it just becomes making the mileage. But it would be cool to read more about the northern sections.

  • Bev Siddons
    2019-02-03 16:52

    I love reading books about other people's adventures. Having recently completed a book about hiking the Appalachian Trail which extends from Georgia to Maine, Dances With Marmots showed up on a recommended reading list. So, I had to read this one too. Spearing, a New Zealander, has a wicked sense of humor and a love of western heroes. He hiked the Pacific Crest Trail from the California-Mexico border to the Washington-Canada border. His encounters with bears, marmots, rattlesnakes, deer and other wild creatures (read people) are met with fear and humor. I found myself laughing out loud from to time. Certainly not "literature" but definitely a good read.

  • Pamela (Lavish Bookshelf)
    2019-02-17 10:45

    This book is the best and the worst. On the good side, Spearing's thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail is chronicled humorously and Spearing really seems like a nice guy throughout the entire trail. Spearing also intersperses his memoirs with historical information pertinent to each particular section of the trail. On the bad side, this book is self-published. Copy editing in this book is non-existent and at times atrocious punctuation and spelling mistakes are a huge distraction.

  • Patrick
    2019-02-04 16:00

    A Kiwi’s lighthearted journal of his 2012 Pacific Crest Trail hike. Funny and fast-paced, it’s nice to see a foreigner’s impressions of the trail and the US. That said, it’s out of date—given the post-Wild surge in the popularity of the trail, and changes in regulations surrounding bear canisters, a 2018 hiker will have a different experience. Still some of the same challenges, though, I hope!

  • Betty
    2019-02-17 13:50

    George Spearing gets a sudden urge to do a long hike. Now, George lives in New Zealand, one would think he might elect to hike the two islands of New Zealand from bottom to top, but no. George has decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the border of Mexico to Canada, a distance of 4,280 km, or 2,659 miles in five months. This is his story of preparation, research, and finally his long trek over mountains through deserts, marshes, rattlesnake country and bear country, not to mention the ticks toward the latter part of his journey.He has plotted well, arranged for food and other necessities sent on to small town post offices along his route to cut down on weight in his pack. Still it often gets up to 100 lb. at times. He does this trip as a solitary hiker, but often meets up with other hikers, some several times en route. A great demonstration of how small the world is, he also meets up with the very man he contacted through a friend for advice on the trip when still in New Zealand!This book is slight reminiscent of Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods" as he hiked the Appalachian trail through the eastern states. George will be doing the western states. I found the book very informative, humourous, and often giving historic trivia about various stops along the way. George has a tendency to talk to himself either out loud or in his head. On meeting his first group of marmots, he had quite a conversation with them, and enjoyed their company. He encountered marmots several times and found them to be very entertaining. Even his run-ins with bears are written with fear yet humour. Not being at all acquainted with bears, I can sympathize with him when crashing around the tent makes him wonder if he is going to become an appetizer. This is a very readable and entertaining book, includes photos.

  • Arminzerella
    2019-01-21 09:44

    George Spearing – British by birth, but Kiwi by choice – is inspired by Stephen Pern’s account of his own trek on the Continental Divide trail and decides to shake up his own life by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Although he’s in decent shape as a fireman, he hasn’t done any serious trekking or backpacking before and the weight of his pack sometimes is enough to topple him. Still, his spirits remain high and hopeful and the challenge of what he has set out to do motivates him through the more difficult sections of the trail and experiences. Mostly he lives for breakfast – anytime, anywhere. The solitude and peace that he finds in the wilderness is something he treasures, as well as the friendships he makes with several other thru-hikers. Although the editing (or lack thereof?) can be distracting at times, Spearing’s enthusiasm and sense of humor shine through. He’s a man who accomplishes what he sets out to do.

  • Laura
    2019-01-29 08:36

    Threw in the towel on this one. Spearing isn't a bad writer, per se, but he definitely isn't a good one. His New Zealander's take on America was interesting and amusing at first (especially reading as he moved through the desert in the Southwestern US, where I lived for years) but the weakness of his writing finally wore me down. There are too many others books waiting on my shelves for me to continue plodding through this one.

  • Michele
    2019-02-12 13:03

    Spearing handles his 5-month journey on the PCT with humor and honesty, both approaches I appreciate. It's a good source to learn about the trials, joys and experiences of thru-hiking alone and he includes a list of his equipment, what worked, what he would have improved and how.Like some other readers said, the New Zealand punctuation threw me off but not enough to ruin the book.

  • Jennifer Meech
    2019-02-17 15:46

    A really enjoyable read which made me yearn to travel. George has a great attitude and an adventurous spirit which makes it easy to ignore the fact that this is a self-published book with the odd mistake and regular fart jokes. I googled many of the spots he traversed while I was reading to see what they looked like. What an incredible journey.

  • Jen
    2019-02-07 11:04

    A long-distance thru-hike on the PCT or AT is on my bucket list, so I've been reading as many stories as I can find about both. Dances With Marmots was very entertaining to read (I love British humor) and only succeeded in making me more motivated to go hiking/backpacking!

  • Emily
    2019-02-02 16:38

    Really enjoyed this guy's sense of humor. He added some interesting bits of history about the locations on the trail as well.

  • Aoife
    2019-01-19 12:52

    Really enjoyed this account of hiking the PCT. Could have done with being twice as long with more detail on the day to day thrills and travails of long distance hiking.

  • Jodi
    2019-02-08 09:59

    Good readA good read about hiking the PCT. I laughed quite a bit and enjoyed his journey. I highly suggest reading.

  • Robbo
    2019-02-16 08:43

    Good stuff. Nice to read an NZ book that is no nonsense, plain and simple.

  • Cheryl Devine
    2019-02-12 09:43

    One of my favorite books :)

  • Rob Lever
    2019-02-01 09:46

    Very readable and enjoyable hike along the Pacific Coast Trail.

  • Matthew
    2019-02-08 16:40

    Very funny, honest opinions about American's and our park system, and anything else strange to a Kiwi.

  • Mike Niebrzydowski
    2019-02-15 13:05

    Very entertaining, quick read. Good stories and historical facts throughout. Really needed an editor, but that didn't take away from the enjoyability!

  • Gabriela
    2019-01-21 15:38

    Nicely written account of an adventure. Recommend to those who enjoy trail literature.