On Trails by Robert Moor PDF

By Robert Moor

From a super new literary voice, an striking exploration of ways trails may help us comprehend the world—from insect pheromone trails to the Appalachian path, from neural pathways to the Internet.
In 2009, Robert Moor thru-hiked the Appalachian path. It used to be the end result of a dream he'd held on account that early life and the start of a trip that may lead him to enquire trails of all kinds—from tiny insect trails and neural pathways to sprawling buffalo trails, street platforms, even the web. the results of his travels, On Trails, explores what unites those networks and divulges in flip how trails let us make feel of our global. this can be a booklet that mixes the nomadic joys of A stroll within the Woods with the uncooked knowledge of Zen and the artwork of bike Maintenance.

Over the process seven years, Moor travelled the globe, climbing from the Appalachians to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. He tracked down the world's oldest...

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Extra resources for On Trails

Example text

As a writer and a walker, I am limited by my experience, my background, and my place in history. If this book strikes some readers as too Americentric, or too anthropocentric, I beg their forgiveness; I am, after all, just one American human, doing my best to make sense of a deceptively complex topic. It is also important to note that although the structure of this book is loosely spatial and chronological—moving from the tiny and ancient to the huge and futuristic—this book is not what philosophers call a teleology, a succession of rungs leading up to an ultimate goal.

My route had been carved out by scores of volunteer trail-builders and a continuous flow of prior walkers. I often felt this way on the trail: I was able to hold both one notion and its direct opposite in my mind at the same time. Paths, in their very structure, foster this way of thinking. They blear the divide between wilderness and civilization, leaders and followers, self and other, old and new, natural and artificial. It is fitting that in Mahayana Buddhism, the image of the Middle Path—and not some other metaphor—is used as a symbol of dissolving all dualities.

It stayed cool that year, rained often. Newspapers likened it to the freak summer of 1816, when cornfields froze to their roots, pink snow fell over Italy, and a young Mary Shelley, locked up in a gloomy villa in Switzerland, began to dream of monsters. My memories of the hike consist chiefly of wet stone and black earth. The vistas from many of the mountaintops were blotted out. Shrouded in mist, rain hood up, eyes downcast, mile after mile, month after month, I had little else to do but study the trail beneath my nose with Talmudic intensity.

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On Trails by Robert Moor

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