Study Guide

A Walk in the Woods Part 1, Chapter 11

By Bill Bryson

Part 1, Chapter 11

  • During the hike, Bryson realizes just how little the modern American actually walks, and he's about to get a first-hand lesson in this in Waynesboro.
  • In need of insect repellant, Bryson decides to walk to Kmart. He quickly realizes that it's a lot more dangerous to walk through an intersection than a forest and returns empty-handed.
  • Katz, on the other hand, is making moves. He gleefully informs Bryson upon his return that he met a lovely lady named Beulah and has a date with her that night at (where else?) Papa John's.
  • So you can understand Bryson's surprise when Katz abruptly bursts into the restaurant as he eats dinner that night. Beulah apparently has a husband and the dude is none too happy about Katz' proposed rendezvous with his lady.
  • Katz makes Bryson check to see if "the street was clear" before returning to the hotel (1.11.75). He barricades his door that night, refusing to open it even for Bryson.
  • They take a cab to Shenandoah National Park the next morning. They're now near the end of their allotted six-and-a-half week trek, so this will be their final hike for now.
  • This area quickly becomes Bryson's "favorite part of the Appalachian Trail" (1.11.101). He's particularly happy to catch sight of a few deer over the next several days.
  • One night, Bryson is awoken with a start by the sound of a large animal lumbering nearby. Oh no—is it a bear? Katz seems utterly unconcerned and quickly falls back asleep.
  • Bryson isn't so lucky. He stays awake nervously until the animal (which is eventually joined by others) leaves the area.