Walking to Vermont

A distinguished former foreign correspondent embraces retirement by setting out alone on foot for nearly four hundred miles, and explores a side of America nearly as exotic as the locales from which he once filed Traveling with an unwieldy pack and a keen curiosity, Christopher Wren bids farewell to the New York Times newsroom in midtown Manhattan and saunters up BroadwaA distinguished former foreign correspondent embraces retirement by setting out alone on foot for nearly four hundred miles, and explores a side of America nearly as exotic as the locales from which he once filed Traveling with an unwieldy pack and a keen curiosity, Christopher Wren bids farewell to the New York Times newsroom in midtown Manhattan and saunters up Broadway, through Harlem, the Bronx, and the affluent New York suburbs of Westchester and Putnam Counties As his trek takes him into the Housatonic River Valley of Connecticut, the Berkshires of Massachusetts, the Green Mountains of Vermont, and along a bucolic riverbank in New Hampshire, the strenuous challenges become as much emotional as physical Wren loses his way in a suburban thicket of million dollar mansions, dodges speeding motorists, seeks serenity at a convent, shivers through a rainy night among Shaker ruins, camps in a stranger s backyard, panhandles cookies and water from a good samaritan, absorbs the lore of the Appalachian and Long Trails, sweats up and down mountains, and lands in a hospital emergency room Struggling under the weight of a fifty pound pack, he gripes, We might grow less addicted to stuff if everything we bought had to be carried on our backs He hangs out with fellow wanderers named Old Rabbit, Flash, Gatorman, Stray Dog, and Buzzard, and learns gratitude from the anonymous charity of trail angels His rite of passage into retirement, with its heat and dust and blisters galore, evokes vivid reminiscences of earlier risks taken, sometimes at gunpoint, during his years spent reporting from Russia, China, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South America, and Africa He loses track of time, waking with the sun, stopping to eat when hunger gnaws, and camping under starry skies that transform the nights of solitude For all the self inflicted hardship, he reports, In fact, I felt pretty good Wren has woven an intensely personal story that is candid and often downright hilarious As Vermont turns from a destination into a state of mind, he concludes, I had stumbled upon the secret of how utterly irrelevant chronological age is This book, from the author of the acclaimed bestseller The Cat Who Covered the World, will delight not just hikers, walkers, and other lovers of the outdoors, but also anyone who contemplates retirement, wonders about foreign correspondents, or relishes a lively, off beat adventure, even when it unfolds close to home.
Walking to Vermont A distinguished former foreign correspondent embraces retirement by setting out alone on foot for nearly four hundred miles and explores a side of America nearly as exotic as the locales from which h

  • Title: Walking to Vermont
  • Author: Christopher S. Wren
  • ISBN: 9781416540120
  • Page: 358
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Walking to Vermont”

    1. Rating: 3.5 starsI picked this one up as part of my preparations for an upcoming trip to Vermont. Unfortunately, since Wren was walking to Vermont, there wasn't really much of the state in the book. However, I did end up enjoying it.Wren is a retiring journalist - a foreign correspondent - for the New York Times, and decides to literally walk into his retirement. He is walking from his apartment in NYC to his house in Vermont. This involved walking through the city and its suburbs and then walki [...]

    2. 2.5 stars. not sure if i'll get to the end of this. it isn't what i thought it would be -- so far. --spoiler alert--where is the reflection and recollection of his prior days as a journalist? those moments are so few and far betweenwhat also is missing is the history of the places he's traversing. granted, most are riddled with suburbs, but the content of most of what i've read so far seems so surface level. i wasn't expecting a LITERAL play-by-play of everything he was walking past, nor did i c [...]

    3. Interesting perspectives on the AT and Long trail (VT), both of which the author traipsed on his journey. His tales from his career as a foreign correspondant are pretty neat, too.

    4. Right after finishing a book featuring the sprawling town of Concord in Massachusetts, I went on to read a copy of Christopher Wren's "Walking to Vermont" thinking that I can envision the eastern side of the United States in a more personal frame, albeit in a specific lens. I picked this book alongside the previous one at the Book Stop Project book exchange. And so far, the titles I took home with me have been in the middle of the road.In the opening chapter, the tone was reminiscent of Bryson's [...]

    5. Ironically finished this one in Vermont. Many weeks after I started it. I love a good journey, and one that involves walking (especially on the Long Trail) holds a lot of fascination for me. This one was a bit slow going though. I liked the concept--a man retires after a long career as a foreign correspondent, and walks from his office to his new home in retirement--but it may have been a little overly detailed--probably could have skipped a couple of days of hiking, pitching tent, cooking dinne [...]

    6. Christopher Wren retired as a foreign correspondent for the New York times, departing for his retirement home in Fairlee, Vermont - on foot! This book is the story of his journey. I loved this book. Wren talks about the landscape and the history of the areas he hikes through. He describes the people he meets along the way, those who help him, those that he helps, those are mean and those who are nice. Throughout the story, when events that happen on the trail remind him of something that happene [...]

    7. Someday I'll walk the Appalachian Trail, or at least large sections of it. This is similar to Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods, but it isn't funny or goofy. Instead it is about walking into a new phase of life, for this author, it's retirement. He walks out of his office in New York City all the way to Vermont, mostly on the AT. I particularly liked his stories about "trail magic," where people would leave things behind for other hikers. The author always seemed to find what he needed, just at [...]

    8. "Walking to Vermont" is a worthy addition to anyone who collects, reads, and enjoys books on the culture of walking. I especially enjoyed it because it is also a worthy addition to literature related to the Appalachian Trail, and sits on my bookshelf besides Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods", Emblidge's "Appalachian Trail Reader" and Hall's "A Journey North."This is not a book of discovery -- Mr. Wren knows who he is and is comfortable in his own shoes (but perhaps not his socks). The story reads l [...]

    9. A enjoyable book by Christopher Wren as he makes his way from NY City to his retirement home in Vermont and he does the whole trip walking often alone and much of it along the Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail in Vermont. At one point he describes the four geographical zones he pass thorough as, "Go Away, Don't Bother Me, Hello and How Can I Help You" which describes his reception as he travels north away from the city and suburbs into the less settled country. The writing is good and I could [...]

    10. This book was so inspiring! Christopher wren was a foreign correspondent for the NY Times, and upon his retirement at 65, decided to walk from NYC up to his planned retirement home in Fairlee, VT. He meets up with friends along the way, is bitten by a deer tick, suffers from blisters and aches, meets many new acquaintances on the Appalachian Trail, and paints a picture that would make anyone want to abandon their car and start walking. I loved the story and recognized many of the places in VT he [...]

    11. This is a pleasant read. I found Wren's tale of his post-retirement walk from Times Square to his Vermont home quite entertaining. He spent much of his journey (once he cleared the hurdles of New York City and its suburbs) on the Appalachian Trail, and he humorously describes the through hikers he meets along the way. I was less interested in the anecdotes of his time spent as a foreign correspondent for the New York Times, but overall this is an entertaining book. He makes some lovely observati [...]

    12. At age 65, Chris Wren ended his career one day and started his journey from New York to Vermont the next. This is the story of a world news journalist who finally took the time to explore his own country by walking the Appalachian Trail. A blend of observations about his age and current perspectives along with news anecdotes, this is a philosophical essay that is a reflection of Henry Thoreau's values.

    13. Christopher Wren retires from his job as a foreign correspondent for New York Times and walks 400 or so miles from Manhattan to his retirement home in Fairlee, VT. As he walks, he encounters and reflects on the culture of fellow Trail walkers and the areas that he walks through.He shares his challenges, his gratitudes and memories of some of his difficult assignments overseas and in war zones. A good read.

    14. Christopher S. Wren begins his retirement from the New York Times, from Times Square in New York to his retirement home in Vermont. He battles mosquitoes, blisters, torrential downpours, an arthretic ankle, and Lyme disease along the way. Wren recounts some of his adventures as a foreign correspondent in the memoir, which is quite good. Love to read different tales from the Appalachian Trail, as I probably will not get to walk it!

    15. Enjoyed traveling along with Mr. Wren, former foreign correspondent, bureau chief, reporter andeditor of the NY Times. At 65 and the first day of his retirement he walks/hikes from NYT newsroomsthrough Manhattan to the new family home in Vermont. Here's a well written memoir that includesthe significant ritual and magic of the Appalachian Trail or perhaps any long distance walk throughthe Natural world. Thank you for this one, Mark.

    16. I absolutely loved this book. I now want to walk the Appalachian Trail. I loved the snippets of info about the authors foreign affairs days. He gives little tidbits about when he lived and worked in other parts of the world. The book was insightful and really a great read. I enjoyed every moment that it took to read this book.

    17. I really really wanted to love this book and I'm sad that I honestly didn't. The author went into too many tangents about his memories as a journalist in this or that place. He also came across as a very very grumpy old man with a "damn kids these days" mentality. I guess my quest for an awesome Vermont hiking memoir continues

    18. This is the story of a foreign correspondent for the New York Times who upon retiring, left his office and walked to his former summer, now permanent,home in Vermont. The journey was about 400 miles. I was interested in reading his account of it, since I will never do it myself. I found the hikers culture and 'trail names' amusing. He still lives in Vermont so I guess it was a good choice.

    19. Being from Vermont, I was very excited to read this book! Overall I enjoyed it, but it was a bit random and I was wishing for more insight and depth into how this journey effected him. The few scattered comments about women's features were random and did not bring anything to the book, especially when I would have liked to have heard more about his wife and family.

    20. I read this book as I saw it was the Georgetown library book club book - I thought I would finally attend a book club meeting but now I have a work event. Anyway - I really liked the book. The combination of the hiking story along with his recollections of his journalism work and moving forward to retirement was very interesting, entertaining.

    21. '.I had stumbled upon the secret of how utterly irrelevant chronological age is. Just imagine how old you would feel if your parents never told you how old you ought to be."Again, a story about walking; it seems to be my favorite.

    22. I really liked this book - it was easy-to-read and interesting. Definitely made me think differently (about aging, hiking, driving my SUV on narrow roads, the Appalachian trail) and I liked the writing.

    23. This book is a little sneaky in that there's less about the actual hiking after the first few chapters, and more memoirs of time spent abroad as a journalist. It's fairly charming and interesting, though, and a nice quick read (a day or two, if you have some time).

    24. Wren retires in style, walking out of his office in Times Square on the last day of his job and continuing up to the Appalachian Trail on his way to his vacation home in Vermont. A satisfying and nicely written account.

    25. Perfectly fine, entertaining read. Nothing terribly earth shattering. If you like Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods, this will do. Not up to Bryson standards, but a good read none the less.

    26. Moral of the story - you can still do stuff even when you are 65. This is a pretty interesting and totally enjoyable read, but Wren does go into old man rants throughout the book.

    27. Because of this book, I will one day hike the entire state of Vermont, and with any luck, I'll walk from DC to get there.

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