Study Guide

A Walk in the Woods Part 1, Chapter 7

By Bill Bryson

Part 1, Chapter 7

  • Although Katz is a little grumpy at first, he's back to his regular, merely semi-grumpy self within a few days.
  • They reach the Rockies. They had expected there to be a food-filled visitors' center there, but are sad to learn that it's closed for the next few months. They'll have to keep moving.
  • This is actually a pretty uniquely impressive natural ecosystem—it's been dubbed "'the finest mixed mesophysic forest in the world,'" whatever that means (1.7.19).
  • Sadly, much of this diverse natural wildlife is dying out in record numbers. Like the Forest Service, the National Park Service is doing some serious harm to local ecosystems.
  • The duo has just arrived at the Birch Spring Gap Shelter. This one is particularly nasty, which is saying something—Katz ends up killing seven mice before the night is over.
  • They spend the next day walking ten miles in the rain to reach the next shelter. This one's a bit better—it even has a fireplace.
  • They spend the next few days hustling their butts off. Finally, after being soaked to their cores by near-incessant rain, the duo decides to head for the one-and-only city of Gatlinburg.

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