Suzanne Roberts’ “Almost Somewhere: Twenty-Eight Day on the John Muir Trail” is a great adventure story for the everyday explorer. One thing I thoroughly enjoyed was how relatable the story is, even though I have never done a month-long hike before.
“Almost Somewhere” details the thru-hike of the John Muir Trail for three female friends after they graduated from college. Roberts describes it as part memoir, part travelog, and part nature writing.
I was introduced to this book by the Hike Like A Woman Adventure Book Club. It was our March book of the month. I listened to the audio book, but liked it so much I’m going to buy the paperback copy, because it will be a great read for a lazy camping trip.
One of the main draws to the book for me was how relatable it is. Roberts talks about having girl power in that the three women hiked independent of a man and used the time to bond with each other as friends.
Roberts hiked with her friends, Erika and Dionne, and each woman brought something different to the hike.
The trip was organized and planned by Erika, who Dionne and Roberts called the commander. Erika was a lot more fit and had more experience at hiking. She pushed Dionne and Roberts, who sometimes struggled to keep up.
I felt like I am the Erika in my group of friends. Not only because I’m the one who initiates and leads hikes and trips, but sometimes I can push my friends too much or not have enough grace.
Dionne struggled with an eating disorder, which doesn’t go well with hiking more than 200 miles. In the story, Roberts becomes close with Dionne. And I love how she illustrates their friendship’s growth by showing how Dionne opened up to Roberts.
In “Almost Somewhere,” Roberts’ friendship with Erika also grows as she realizes that in her annoyance with Erika’s lack of grace she shows a lack of grace towards Erika.
Another aspect of the story I really enjoyed was the growth of Roberts in the way she views herself. She describes herself as boy crazy in the begining of the story. She shows how her self-worth comes from the attention of man. And yet on the trail, she grows into a more mature and self confident person.
Looking for more adventure reads? Check out my “Walking the Himalayas book review.”
The story is also a great trip report. If you are like me and simply love hearing about other people’s trips, you’ll love “Almost Somewhere.”
Roberts also intertwines John Muir’s writings and hikes along with the ghost of John Muir.
I also really enjoyed hearing Roberts’ description of the John Muir Trail, and one day hope I am able to hike it. And maybe I’ll hike along with two best girlfriends, and I’ll try not to be “The Commander.” But if I am, that just means we’ll meet our goals.
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