Study Guide

A Walk in the Woods Part 2, Chapter 16

By Bill Bryson

Part 2, Chapter 16

  • In 1983, a dude walking the AT in Massachusetts saw something that had never before been seen in the region: a mountain lion. In the years that followed, sightings of this predator increased.
  • As it happens, this is the region where Bryson finds himself today. Yay? Although it's unlikely that he'll run into a fearsome feline, Bryson is pretty nervous (as usual).
  • Later that afternoon, Bryson comes across "an older guy with [...] a curiously bewildered look" (2.16.14). He introduces himself as Chicken Joe.
  • Bryson has heard of Chicken Joe before—his gimmick is that he constantly gets lost. Bryson leads Chicken Joe to the nearby city of Dalton before checking into a motel for the night.
  • He spends another day on the trail, stopping for a night in the town of Adams. He leaves first thing in the morning to meet his wife at a Burger King in Williamstown.
  • Bryson is back on the trail before you know it. On Mount Stratton, he has a humorous interaction with a fellow who's obsessed with his super-expensive (but highly useless) weather-monitoring device.
  • Before long, Bryson has made his way across Vermont. Although he's still using his car, he finds the experience way more enjoyable being able to return home at the end of a long day.

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