book reviews

A Memoir About Nature You Won’t Want to Miss

I love reading books about people surviving nature. This offering from NetGalley caught my eye:

Weathered: Finding Strength on the John Muir Trail

by Christy Teglo

A new hiker decides to try the 222-mile John Muir Trail–and survives!

I picked up Christy Teglo’s memoir, Weathered: Finding strength on the John Muir Trail (Perspective Through Adventure 2021) mostly out of curiosity. How does a thirty-something woman who wasn’t a hiker (though she did love the outdoors) decide her first great hiking adventure should be the daunting 220-mile John Muir trail. That is a monster of a hike, started by many finished by few, that starts in Yosemite Valley, winds its way through the California High Sierra mountains, and finishes at Mount Whitney. That’s the 14,494-foot tall Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous United States. Not only does she pick this hike, she finishes it, proving her chops at preparation and tenacity for a grueling ordeal.

In this book, Christy provides a template on how she does it, including preparation, foods she bought, equipment she selected, physical preparation, and everything in between. Then, she takes you on the trek with her, each of the twenty-one days, what she covered, saw, ate, people she met, how she became stronger each step of the way. In the end, she discovers she not only proved to herself she can do anything she sets her mind to, she figures out what to do about her failing marriage and the rest of her life.

Here is a sampling:

I asked, “Mount Whitney? Tell me more about the trail.” Barry explained, “Mount Whitney is the
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You see, hikers have a distinct look. They wear khaki and earth tones; they’re fit, they eat granola, and they love to “live off the land.”
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it was so cold. The trees were blocking the sun again, but my clothes mostly dried. I packed up and set off. Everyone around that area was gone, of course. I wore shorts and a T-shirt because I figured it would warm up again, but it didn’t for several hours.
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If you like outdoors stories about people who push themselves to the limit just because they can, this is the book for you. The author isn’t a Peter Matthiessen (one of the greatest nature writers ever) or even close, but her story is exceptional. That’s why I awarded it 5/5.
–received free from NetGalley in return for an honest review
–a note about my reviews: I only review books I enjoyed. I need to be inspired to write. That’s why so many of my reviews are 4/5 or 5/5

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Man vs. Nature saga, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the acclaimed Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Spring 2022

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82 thoughts on “A Memoir About Nature You Won’t Want to Miss

  1. This must be a very interesting book, Jacqui! Did you pack enough food for the 21-day hike? And water? That’s amazing. And she’s not a hiker? I wonder what motivated her to take on such a challenge. Did she hike alone, even though she met some hikers along the way? I’m not sure if I can go on a 21-day driving trip on my own.
    I’ve been to Yosemite twice. Love to go back. A great review, Jacqui.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds a bit like “Wild” – the famous memoir by Cheryl Strayed who hiked the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail). During our time here in Baja, we have met a few people who hiked these incredible and long trails (PCT, AT – Appalachian Trail, CDT – Continental Divide Trail) that take months to complete. Crazy stuff!! I could never do this. Better to read about it. 🙂

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  3. Sounds like a good book!

    The last memoir I’ve read that also happens to have some nature stuff in it, is this month’s IWSG book club book “Plunge – One Woman’s Pursuit of a Life Less Ordinary” by Liesbet Collaert. Highly recommended.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for sharing!!.. “No road is too long for him who advances slowly and does not hurry, and no attainment is beyond his reach who equips himself with patience to achieve it.” (Jean de La Bruyere )… I had heard stories about the Appalachian Trail and had toyed with the idea of making such a journey but in the past I did not have the time, today the only way I would make that journey is with four wheels… 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May you always be blessed
    with walls for the wind,
    a roof for the rain,
    a warm cup of tea by the fire,
    laughter to cheer you,
    those you love near you,
    and all that your heart might desire.
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

      • Probably the best book is Bill Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods.” He only did a part of the trail but the book is funny. I liked Earl Shaffer’s “Walking with Spring” as he was the first to “thru-hike” the trail. Cindy Ross’, “A Woman’s Journey” is an interesting “artistic/poetic” take on the trail, but I would really recommend her book on the Pacific Crest Trail, “Journey on the Crest”. She has also written a lot about helping children learn through nature.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. These kinds of people fascinate me. My friends and I were on a backpacking trip and ran into two young guys in their 20s who took a year off work to hike the Pacific Coast Trail from Canada to Mexico. Can you imagine? They asked us many questions about what was going on in the world.

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  6. I know about this book but haven’t read it. Thanks for the review. I do a lot of wilderness walking (I don’t call it hiking because I don’t stay overnight any more – these days, I need to sleep in a bed!) and I should add this title to my TBR pile. That pile is taller than me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sounds like a great wilderness trek. I am amazed how people take on climbing mountains. In Colorado they call them fourteeners as they climb the fourteen thousand feet to the top of the Rockies. Makes me tired just thinking about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You’ve made a genre I hadn’t considered enticing. I related to the preparation and tenacity, essentials for people who like to get things done. Thanks, Jacqui!

    Liked by 1 person

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  10. Hi Jacqui – I’m sure I heard about her … and your summary of her memoir sounds fascinating – one I might read at some stage. John Muir also sounds another fascinating person … again … one day I’d like to know more about him. Thanks for the introduction … we can all learn by reading different ways of writing … cheers Hilary

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