From Bill Bryson's 1998 A Walk in the Woods:
Not long after I moved with my family to a small town in New Hampshire I happened upon a path that vanished into a wood on the edge of town.
A sign announced that this was no ordinary footpath but the celebrated Appalachian Trail. Running more than 2,100 miles along America's eastern seaboard, through the serene and beckoning Appalachian Mountains, the AT is the granddaddy of long hikes. From Georgia to Maine, it wanders across fourteen states, through plump, comely hills whose very names -- Blue Ridge, Smokies, Cumberlands, Green Mountains, White Mountains -- seem an invitation to amble.
Who could say the words "Great Smokey Mountains" or "Shenandoah Valley" and not feel an urge, as the naturalist John Muir once pit it, to "throw a loaf bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence"?
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