Cover image for A blistered kind of love : one couple's trial by trail
A blistered kind of love : one couple's trial by trail
Ballard, Angela, 1973-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Seattle, Wash. : The Mountaineers Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
264 pages : map ; 24 cm
Details their 2,655-mile backpacking trek along the Pacific Crest Trail, starting at the U.S./Mexico border and ending in Canada.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV199.42.P3 B35 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Winner of the 2003 Barbara Savage Miles from Nowhere Award and Winner of the 2004 National Outdoor Book Award A blend of romance, humor, and adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail Written in "he said/she said" alternating chapters, this young couple each tell their own story They're not sure which came first -- falling in love with each other or falling in love with the idea of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (the length of California, Oregon, and Washington). At the trailhead, the young couple was warned that there would be tears, that each would have to find their own separate pace, and that at times the tent would seem awfully small for the two of them. They were told that their biggest obstacles to success would be . . . each other.

Their first surprise: freeze-dried meals do funny things to your GI- tract. Their first fight: when Angela noticed that Duffy's long legs propel him along the trail faster than she can muster. But on they pressed -- encountering snakes, bears, and fellow thru-hikers with trail names like Crazy Legs and Catch 23. They baked in the deserts of Southern California, gazed awestruck at the snowy, serrated peaks of the High Sierra, and attempted to hide from Northern Washington's seemingly incessant rain. One hundred thirty two days of Pacific Crest Trail later, they made it -- blisters and all.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Alternating chapters, the Ballards describe their arduous 2,655-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, which zigzags its way from Mexico to Canada, crossing three states, three national monuments, seven national parks, 24 national forests, and 33 federally mandated wildernesses. Grappling with thirst, fear, and pain, they completed the trail in 132 days. In addition to providing detailed information on pretrip planning (meal preparation, gear, medicines), they also relate many amusing anecdotes about the characters they met along the way, including one pair whose goal was hiking 1 percent of the trail while intoxicated (they were successful). In between breathtaking descriptions of the many scenic vistas, which they viewed very briefly because of their manic devotion to covering a set amount of miles per day, the couple speak insightfully about their dynamics, which sometimes deteriorated into fights over the size of each other's steps. Although many of the couples they encountered on the trail had broken up by the end, the Ballards got married. This delightful title has appeal beyond hard-core backpackers. --Joanne Wilkinson Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

The 20-something Ballards alternate chapters to detail their 2,655-mile backpacking trek along the Pacific Crest Trail, starting at the U.S./Mexico border and ending in Canada. Angela, an advertising copywriter, is a novice hiker, while Duffy, a pre-med student, is more experienced. Inspired by William R. Gray's The Pacific Crest Trail, the Ballards spend eight months planning and set out; ahead lie three states, three national monuments, seven national parks, 24 national forests and 33 federally mandated wildernesses. They describe the journey's physical, emotional and logistical aspects, including their pre-trip planning, their family's reactions and what they learn about each other along the way. (They marry at trip's end.) The macho couple doesn't want to waste time enjoying the scenery or napping in the sun-their goal is to complete the entire trail, which they do in 132 days. Says Angela upon reaching central Oregon's Crater Lake, "I yearned to find a sheltered cove of grass where I could enjoy the sunset and subsequent sunrise over the lake, stare into the blueness and enjoy a warm mug of hot chocolate." Instead, as usual, "we were tugged by the call of miles." The recommended reading list and numerous practical tips on gear, trail food, first aid and terrain will be a boon to those attempting the Ballards' feat themselves. But less hardy souls may be discouraged from doing so. As the adventurers state in the epilogue, "our trail life wasn't all sunsets, starry nights and self development. Sweat, stench, gritty skin, and exhaustion killed many otherwise profound moments." Map. (Oct.) FYI: The Ballards filed dispatches from the trail, which have appeared at the popular outdoor recreation site, and won the Barbara Savage Miles From Nowhere Award. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved