Authors: Angela Ballard,Duffy Ballard
“This book was such a page-turner that the co-authors would have been hard-pressed to write anything more exciting even if it had been a fiction thriller. The only question a reader is likely to have after finishing this book is what adventure the Ballards will be writing about next.”
“The usually comical, often insightful view into the workings of the minds of men and women is the strongest feature of this co-authored travel narrative. It's remarkably entertaining to observe two completely different reactions to the same situationâboth equally and logicalÂ .Â .Â .Â If you're planning on hiking the Pacific Crest Trail or anywhere with your significant other, this book would probably be a good supplemental text with some real-life relationship examples that may leave you chuckling at them or yourself.”
“The adventure certainly puts a positive spin on youthful wanderlust. This book is fun to read.”
“[Angela and Duffy Ballard] are both good writers and innovative, tooÂ .Â .Â .Â What makes this book work is the yin and yang of the two. Each has written alternating chapters and that sets up a wonderful interplay of gender perspectives as they deal with the rigors of life and the trail on their long journey northward.”
Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education
2004 National Outdoor Book Awards, Honorable Mention, Outdoor Literature Category
Magazine Awards, Honorable Mention, Sports titles
“You'll cry,” said Meadow Ed,
the itinerant trail angel, “and sometimes, that tent is going to seem awfully small for the two of yaÂ .Â .Â .Â I've seen many couples torn apart on this trail.”
Ahead lay the Pacific Crest Trail, zigzagging from Mexico to Canada for 2,655 miles. Behind? Angela's elementary school conquest of Turkey Mountain, Duffy's adolescent vision quest, and one abbreviated practice hike together. They were green and about to face four and a half months of extremesâscorching heat, numbing cold, bone-aching weariness, and isolation. Not complete isolation, however; they
have each other. But only if they could stand trekking side by side, all day, every day, becoming dirtier, hungrier, and crabbier with each step. They were in love, thoughâand no matter what anyone said, being in love had to help, didn't it?
A Blistered Kind of Love: One Couple's Trial by Trail
chronicles a young couple's clumsy adventures in the wilderness. In alternating voices, they chart their course from the chaparral-lined desert floor, up and over the snowy flanks of the High Sierra, and on through the lush forests of the Cascades. Along the way they wage a food fight, discover the unfortunate effects of freeze-dried food on digestion, and bond with a motley crew of hikers and locals with names like Crazy Legs and Catch-23.
As the journey progresses, Angela struggles to overcome Meadow Ed's skepticism and to keep up with Duffy's long legs, all the while battling pain and panic attacks. Duffy is stricken with profound hair and weight loss, turning him into the incredible shrinking man with the incredible sloughing scalp.
A blend of humor, adventure, and introspection, this engaging narrative ultimately delivers something moreâa (blistered kind of) love story.
Trial by Trail
The Mountaineers Books is the nonprofit publishing arm of The Mountaineers Club, an organization founded in 1906 and dedicated to the exploration, preservation, and enjoyment of outdoor and wilderness areas
Â© 2003 by Dustin and Angela Ballard
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form, or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, without permission in writing from the publisher.
First printing 2003, second printing 2005, third printing 2008, fourth printing 2010
Distributed in the United Kingdom by Cordee,
Manufactured in the United States of America
Project Editor: Mary Metz
Editor: Christine Clifton-Thornton
Cover and Book Design: Ani Rucki
Layout: Ani Rucki
This book is a compilation of notes and memories; as such it is full of subjective perception and opinion. Still, we have done our best to truthfully recreate our summer's adventure. For the sake of not boring the reader comatose, however, we must admit to taking a degree of creative license. Additionally, some names have been changed (to protect the “innocent,” and ourselves from lawyers).
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Ballard, Angela, 1973â
A blistered kind of love : one couple's trial by trail / Angela
Ballard, Duffy Ballard.
Â Â Â Â Â Â p.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â cm.
ISBN 0-89886-940-4 (hardcover)âISBN 0-89886-902-1 (trade paper)
Â Â 1. Ballard, AngelaâJourneysâPacific Crest Trail. 2. Ballard, DuffyâJourneysâPacific Crest Trail. 3. HikingâPacific Crest Trail. 4. Pacific Crest TrailâDescription and travel. I. Ballard, Duffy, 1972â II. Title.
Â Â Printed on recycled paper
ISBN (paperback): 978-0-89886-902-6
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-59485-210-7
First, we'd like to acknowledge the peanut. What a fantastic legume. Without it, our trail diet would have been dangerously unappetizing and protein-poor. We'd also like to thank those who've helped make the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT) a reality. Visionaries like John Muir, who saw the importance of protecting our nation's wilderness areas, and the builders and protectorsâmembers and staff of the Pacific Crest Trail Association and beyondâwho lobby for and maintain the 2,655-mile trail.
Of course, we must thank everyone who supported our crazy notion of hiking from Mexico to Canada. Phil and Roberta Ballard were instrumental at every step, allowing us to turn their home into re-supply headquarters, believing when it was illogical to do so, mailing packages, and providing moral support. Duffy's brother, Chris, deserves particular mention because his 1998 literary project,
, was a seminal inspiration, and his wisdom as a writer has since proven invaluable.