Study Guide

A Walk in the Woods Part 1, Chapter 10

By Bill Bryson

Part 1, Chapter 10

  • The Appalachian Mountains—where Bryson and Katz are currently en route to—are pretty magical. Interestingly, however, they're most notable for their plant life.
  • Bryson goes into detail about the many famous botanists who cut their teeth in the region. You should really read this—it's fascinating stuff.
  • But, as we've seen before, this incredible natural diversity is being wiped out. Bryson sees the extinction of the "massively graceful American chestnut" as a symbol of this decline (1.10.13).
  • Bryson is thinking about these issues as he and Katz trudge through the Virginia woods. Even though it might have been prettier before, it's pretty darn impressive right now.
  • It certainly helps that the trail is completely empty—they hardly see a soul for a week.
  • One evening, they spot a town—Waynesboro—in the distance. They decide to set up camp and trek the eight miles down in the morning.

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