A friend of mine has convinced me to join him on a walking/hiking adventure along the west coast of the United States from the Canadian border to the Mexican frontier. Part of our preparations along with daily hikes and walks is to read as many books and journals written by others who have taken on epic journeys. Our initial inspiration stemmed from John Francis, author of The Planet Walker. When I discovered that Francis’s book was the inspiration for Nate Damm’s book, Life on Foot, I knew I’d want to read it too. My review of Life on Foot follows:
I had mixed feelings about how best to review this non-fictional account of a young man’s adventure while walking across the United States. I thoroughly enjoyed reading and learning from the author’s experiences, while at the same time wasn’t impressed with his writing style.
I’ve read other first person accounts of cross country walkers, of which I found John Francis’s The Planet Walker to be the most inspirational. To Nate Damm’s credit, he acknowledged John Francis as his initial source of inspiration before setting out on his journey across North America, which took him over 7 months to accomplish.
Mr. Damm did an excellent job of providing readers with a chronological blow by blow of the places and people he encountered during his travels. He shared his personal challenges along with the stories of others he met along the way. I recommend this book to anyone interested or curious about what it is like to walk great distances over an extended period. Readers seeking deep philosophy or refined writing might be disappointed with this book, but I found there were enough interesting and surprising aspects to it to enjoy reading every page.