Archive of ‘Book & Movie Reviews’ category

8 books that will tug at your inner adventurer and wanderlust

Here is a list of 8 books that I have read in the past few months that will tug at your inner adventurer and wanderlust.

1. The New American Road Trip Mix tape. by Brendan Leonard

Following in Kerouac and Steinbeck’s tire tracks, a 32-year-old, post-breakup Brendan Leonard hits the road in search of healing and a new, post-economic-downturn American Dream. Sleeping in the back of a beat-up station wagon, he seeks answers—and hopefully, the occasional shower—in the postcard-worthy places of the American West. Learn More.


Mile, Mile & A Half an Epic Adventure that started from a simple idea – Movie Review

In the words of The Muir Project Team “In an epic snow year, five friends leave their daily lives behind to hike California’s historic John Muir Trail, a 211-mile stretch from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney (the highest peak in the contiguous U.S.).  Their goal — complete the journey in 25 days while capturing the amazing sights & sounds they encounter along the way.  Inspired by their bond, humor, artistry & dedication, the group continues to grow: to include other artists, musicians & adventure seekers.  Before they all reach the summit, hikers and viewers alike affirm the old adage — it’s about the journey, not the destination. Mile… Mile & A Half is the feature-length documentary of that journey…”  – See more at: The Muir Project Website

The trailer for this video hit the interwebs and was quickly spread across all social media outlets. The trailer alone made the John Muir Trail a must do on my bucket list of life. I know I am not the only one who did the same thing. I started to research their project and followed the adventure to get the documentary funded and then completed. The Muir Project team used Kickstarter to successfully help fund the documentary. I funded the video and was able to get a DVD sent to me as a perk for funding the project.  When the DVD arrived in the mail I put it directly in the DVD Player and hit play. The excitement to watch it was beyond words.

The Muir Project team did not disappoint. A fantastic adventure of heartbreak, friendship, and determination. Throw in some crazy characters with hundreds of pounds of extra video, sound, and various other equipment and you have a great time. Add in amazing music by Opus Orange and its Aces in my book.   If you are hiker, backpacker or even couch adventurer this movie is a must see.  They are currently traveling around the United States on a premier tour. To find out their next stops check out their tour schedue.

You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Movie Review: The Cairngorms in Winter with Chris Townsend

The Cairngorms in Winter with Chris Townsend is an amazing video produced and shot by Terry Abraham and Narrated Chris Townsend. A Kickstater crowd funded success story that is a must watch. Brilliant views stunning photography and well narrated. I had never heard of the Cairngorms until I had spoken with Terry about his upcoming video project. He was kind enough to share several early clips of what he had been shooting and I feel in love with the breathtaking scenery. Terry and Chris kept us in huge anticipation of the documentary film and I was incredibly excited when  the electronic version was sent  out to all of the Kickstarter backers several weeks ago.


Terry and Chris describe the Cairngorms from their Kickstarter as this “The Cairngorms is a magnificent mountain range of huge alpine-arctic plateaux rising above deep cliff-lined corries, high passes and remote lochs. Here is found the largest area of land over 800 metres in Britain and the largest remnants of the ancient Caledonian forest. Most of the area lies in the Cairngorms National Park, at 4528 km² over twice the size of the Lake District National Park in England and Scotland’s other National Park, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. The only habitations lie round the edges of the mountain core. This is big country requiring long days and good outdoor skills. The Cairngorms are Britain’s most snowy region and snow can lie long and deep on the mountains. Winter here is harsh but also beautiful and spectacular.”.

dawn from cairn gorm

The magic of this video is not that of the beautiful sights and scenery but how the documentary is written. It is written and narrated in such a way that we actually see the world through the eyes of Chris Townsend. Chris is a well known and highly respected backpacking, hiking, and backwoods aficionado. His adventure resume alone will have you stunned. With Chris’ knowledge and love for the Cairngorms and Terry’s keen eye a spectacular beautiful documentary was born. A 96 minute eye catching documentary that will have you watching it again and again to make sure you did not miss anything.

You can purchase or rent The Cairngorms in Winter with Chris Townsend from Steep Edge.

To learn more about the documentary please visit Terry’s Blog, Chris’ Blog and the video Sponsor Salomon. You can also follow them on twitter at @terrybnd, @townsendoutdoor and @solomonsports to find out their latest adventures and also keep track of video showings near you.

The Appalachian Trail : How to Prepare for & Hike It

“The Appalachian Trail : How to Prepare for & Hike It” by Jan D. Curran is an amazing resource for anyone wanting to hike the AT or just wanting to know what it is like to hike the AT. As the title suggests it is more informational than a hiking story. There are lists of which books to read to learn the history of the area, gear suggestions, and my favorite part a list of all of the post offices no more than a few miles off the trail. The one thing I might warn you is the gear information is a little dated however many of  the brands that are recommended are still top of many backpackers gear lists just not the models.  I highly recommend this as a must read for any aspiring thru-hiker.


Five Million Steps

Over the weekend I finished reading “Five Million Steps” by Lon Chenowith. What a great book. I felt like I was right there on the trail with him. His observations and ability to capture even the littlest details in his writing was amazing. If you plan on hiking the AT or just would like to learn more about it I highly recommend this book.

Here is a description of the book. Copy courtesy of Amazon

Something happened there that is too rare among men: We touched the soul, and we touched heaven. The encounter put fire in my bones and brought a deep humility to know that God was at work in this crazy project of mine. Hiking from Georgia to Maine sounds incredulous to most. To Lon Chenowith, it is a journey that calls him into the wild–a journey that reveals true tests of faith and will in the direst circumstances. What began as a dream in his teens to trek the Appalachian Trail takes flight with a preliminary hike with his two young boys from Amicalola Falls to Unicoi Gap. The initial intrigue wears off, and Lon quickly realizes he will be making a long, arduous journey alone, save for a few hiking partners and unique characters met along the way. As a section-hiker, Lon, best known as the Arkansas Traveler, spans the course of fourteen years, climbing 237 mountains in a backcountry with a culture all its own. The romance of trekking across the mountains quickly wears off, and the presence of God teaches him perseverance and faith. While at times lonesome and hard, the undeniable urge to return to nature keeps Lon climbing and chronicling his Five Million Steps.


On Days Like This

As I unpack boxes of books that I have not read in a very long time.  I had kept these books for a reason, but what was that reason? As i opened them skimmed them I noticed that many of them had something written in them by my mom, friends, and other family members. As I unpack these books I thought I would share some of them with you. Not only will this make me go back and remember why I kept them and also give you all another glimpse into who I am. Today’s book is a collection of poems. The book is titled On Days Like This. It is written by Dan Quisenberry.  Some people might know that name but others may not. Dan Quisenberry was A hometown hero back in the 80′s. He was a pitcher for the Kansas City Royals.

Notable for his submarine-style pitching delivery and his humorous quotes, he led the American League in saves a record five times (1980, 1982–85), and retired in 1990 with 244 saves, then the 6th-highest total in major league history.   – Wikipedia

After his career with the Kansas City Royals came to an end he became a poet where he had three poems published in 1995 and then had On Days Like This published in 1998 also that year he would die after a rough battle with brain cancer.

His poems where observations of his life and everything around him. He writes about baseball, his family, and everything around him.

This book brings back many memories of my past. They remind me that diving into books that were of far off lands to help escape the harsh relativity of life. I would also use poetry and writing to help me through a very rough time in my young life. This book was published only 5 years after I had been diagnosed with ALL Leukemia. Another connection we both shared. This book is a great read and unlike many things done today truly comes from the heart. A heart of a man that simply just enjoyed life and everything about it. One of the things that this has really reminded me is to think about is that even if things seem really bad at that moment someone else has it much worse.

Happy  Trails.




Movie Review: Running The Sahara

A great movie about endurance, strength, and will power.  The story is of three men who on a whim decide to run across the Sahara desert. They also use this as a platform to help spread the word about the water problem in Africa. The video is narrated by Matt Damon who helped the runners create H2O Africa Foundation witch later merges into in 2009.

Overall this is a great adventure with its ups its downs and everything in between. I would highly recommend watching this movie if you like real life adventure .

To learn more about the movie and the Foundation please visit the Running the Sahara website.

Buy The movie today.