Killing the Buddha on the Appalachian Trail
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Killing the Buddha on the Appalachian Trail

Walking On through Self-Doubt and Aging

John Turner

Illustrated by Liliana Vittini

Title Details

Pages: 264

Illustrations: 5 maps

Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in

Formats

Paperback

Pub Date: 10/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6773-6

List Price: $29.95

eBook

Pub Date: 10/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6775-0

List Price: $29.95

eBook

Pub Date: 10/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6774-3

List Price: $29.95

Killing the Buddha on the Appalachian Trail

Walking On through Self-Doubt and Aging

John Turner

Illustrated by Liliana Vittini

A personal journey that explores the relationship between the natural world and the inner pursuit of peace

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  • Description
  • Reviews

The allure of the Appalachian Trail has drawn hikers from all around the world to walk its 2,193 miles from Georgia to Maine. In Killing the Buddha on the Appalachian Trail John Turner hikes those rugged miles with us on a journey that begins in the forested southern mountains but also winds through the history of the trail, its geology, its unique hiker culture and the hazards, physical demands, and glories of some of the most beloved and beautiful landscapes on America’s eastern seaboard.

The journey also takes us to some unexpected places – to Africa in the aftermath of a terrible war, into philosophical exploration about the ethics of hiking, and the author’s own inner turmoil as he struggles with past failures. We are introduced to characters as varied, brave and determined as any cast of a Broadway musical, each of them contending with the challenge of climbing steep mountains day after day through rain, mud, cold, and heat.

Throughout this epic trek, we walk alongside Turner to experience the daily hardships, the milestones reached, the hike-ending accidents and the little victories along the way to the great mountain at the northern terminus – Katahdin in Maine. Turner guides us to Katahdin through a background of Buddhist teaching that gives meaning to the fellowship, solitude, suffering and ultimate triumph of the men and women who seek to hike the entire Appalachian Trail.

Why read about hiking the Appalachian Trail from someone who at first seems ill-equipped for the task ahead? That is part of the point of this story and the charm of this thoughtful book, which quickly grows on you: to learn from mistakes, to keep going, despite failures. There are the rigors of the AT, the doubts over physical ability and confidence, the way chance and life interfere, but also good things that keep showing up—sunsets, trail magic, ravens—if one just keeps going.

—Rick Van Noy, author of Sudden Spring: Stories of Adaptation in a Climate-Changed South

About the Author/Editor

JOHN TURNER is a member of the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club board of directors, a Trail Ambassador, a maintainer of a short section of the A.T., and editor of the club’s flagship publication, the Georgia Mountaineer Quarterly. Turner began his career in journalism as a reporter first for the Macon Telegraph and then the Atlanta Journal. He lives, writes, and hikes in the mountains of North Georgia and beyond.