Study Guide

A Walk in the Woods Part 1, Chapter 12

By Bill Bryson

Part 1, Chapter 12

  • There's actually a lot of controversy surrounding this area of the AT. It centers on the construction of Skyline Drive, which is a small road that mirrors the AT.
  • Even the shelters are nice here, though. One night, the duo ends up shacking up with a Boy Scout troop and meets a new friend named John Connolly.
  • In fact, Connolly even temporarily joins their merry band. The now-trio stops by "Big Meadows" campgrounds to pick up hamburgers and have a grand old time the next day (1.12.22).
  • Bryson decides to pick up some hot dogs and buns for good measure. The chow down and continue their walk.
  • The next day, Bryson ends up chilling by a small pond to wait for Connolly and Katz to catch up. By coincidence, this is the same spot where two hikers are murdered just months later.
  • After splitting up from Connolly, the boys still have "three days" of hiking left (1.12.48). These are tough times: Bryson loses his walking stick, which Katz adorably wants to go back and find.
  • That night at the shelter is even worse. Although the shelter is empty when they arrive, it eventually becomes invaded by a group of rude broskis who basically kick them out.
  • The next morning, Katz proudly reveals to Bryson that he had stolen the dudes' fancy suede shoelaces while they were sleeping. Score!

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