John Dalton had always wanted to do a long distance trek. Not just a week-long backpack, but a walk that covered a truly significant distance - like the length of a state. As a youth he devoured books on the marathon hikes of Colin Fletcher who hiked the length of California from Mexico to Oregon and then the entire Grand Canyon below the rim. More recently, he'd been inspired by Ned Rozell's traverse of Alaska from Valdez to Prudhoe Bay and Christopher Wren's retirement hike from his office in New York City to his home in Vermont.
And he didn't just read about the exploits of Fletcher, Rozell and Wren, he dreamed about them. He longed to feel worn out after a full day of walking. To get to the point where setting up camp and being self-sufficient became second nature. To have the toned, tanned muscles and clean lungs developed through day after day of self-propulsion. In August, 2005 at the age of 64, he applied for membership in that fraternity, and he's now writing a book about it (Walking Nevada – From Idaho to Arizona on Foot.)
But the book's also the tale of his niece and hiking companion Laura Hall, a 22 year old Midwesterner who took a year off between college and medical school and impulsively wanted a physical challenge and total change of routine.
Walking Nevada not only describes John and Laura's 10-week journey, but also the simultaneous development of a loving rapport and irreverent friendship created between the pair. Although John is the principal author, he will have access to Laura's journal as well as her personal edits to help portray her experience as interestingly and accurately as possible.
As a result, the reader will see the trip not only through the eyes of a West Coast senior, familiar with Nevada and the West, but also that of a Mid-Western Gen Y'er who had never seen the state before. Together they discover hidden beauty, meet eccentric but helpful residents and, in the process, dispel the misconception of Nevada as a place lacking charisma.
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