Back in Paperback,
with a new afterword by the author
Of the thru-hikers who set out to walk the entire Appalachian Trail, most don't make it. Robert Rubin's chances didn't look good. Thirty-eight years old, dispirited, and burned out by a job he no longer loved, he decided to leave mortgage and wife and cul-de-sac life behind for a journey that could take half a year—or perhaps never end. On the trail's wooded ridges, Rubin found himself part of a strange vagrant culture of pilgrims and dropouts, a world with its own rules and rituals. With eloquence and humor, he recounts his trek—the people he met, the landscapes he passed through, the spiritual and physical endurance involved (despite a diet heavy in Snickers bars and macaroni & cheese, he lost seventy-five pounds along the way). On the Beaten Path is a wise, witty look at one of the few remaining pilgrimages in our disillusioned age.