Study Guide

A Walk in the Woods Exploration

By Bill Bryson

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Move over Dora—there's a new explorer in town. Discontent with his boring home life, mild-mannered Bill Bryson abruptly decides to hike the entirety of the Appalachian Trail, a walking path that stretches 2,100 miles along the east coast of the United States. That's a lot of miles, folks.

Although Bryson isn't quite as adventurous as the pioneers who first explored this Appalachian wilderness (don't worry; we'll learn about them too), he ends up doing his fair share of trail blazing by the end of A Walk in the Woods.

Questions About Exploration

  1. Do you consider Bryson to be a true explorer? Explain.
  2. How has America changed since the early days of explorers?
  3. Is it still possible to be an explorer in modern times? Why or why not?
  4. Why does Bryson decide to hike the AT in the first place?

Chew on This

Although Bryson wishes he could be like the explorers of yore, that's simply not possible in the modern world.

Bryson is a real explorer, because he is taking part in an experience that relatively few other people have successfully accomplished.

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