Excerpt from Heather ‘Anish’ Anderson’s “Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home” (Plus Your Chance for a FREE Copy)

Heather “Anish” Anderson is an all-star hiker who needs no introduction. The first woman to complete the Calendar Triple Crown, she also has set fastest known time (FKT) records for self-supported completion of the AT, PCT, and AZT. Most recently, she was named one of National Geographic’s 2019 Adventurers of the Year. Impressive as her hiking accomplishments are, she can now add one more accolade to the list: author.

Photo courtesy of Heather “Anish” Anderson

In her memoir Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home, Heather details her 2015 FKT attempt of the PCT while offering readers glimpses into her personal life and background that led her to hiking. Here at The Trek, we are fortunate enough not only to bring you a sneak peek of Thirst, but also to promote a giveaway. After reading the below excerpt, leave a comment explaining why you want to read the whole book. We will pick three winners from the comments to receive a free copy.

Excerpted with permission from Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home (Mountaineers Books, March 2019) by Heather “Anish” Anderson.

Mission Creek, California
Day 8 / 44 Miles

Photo courtesy of Heather “Anish” Anderson

At 5 a.m. the large thermometer hanging in the shade of the awning read 80 degrees. I got up from where I’d laid down on the ground just outside Ziggy and the Bear’s door the night before and threw my gear into my pack. The other hiker was still sound asleep a few feet away. I forced some food into my uninterested body—surprised that it still functioned on less than two thousand calories a day when I was expending five times that much energy. On my way out, I slid the thank you card and donation I’d been carrying into the box by the door. I smiled and silently asked for blessing on the two angels of the desert who were still asleep inside the house. I crept out of the gate and began my ascent into the barren hillsides.

A few hours later I was walking along Whitewater Creek. I reached the ford, which was merely a shallow rock hop, and checked my water supply. Just enough to get me up and over the dividing ridges between the Whitewater drainage and that of Mission Creek.

As I climbed so did the mercury. I pulled out my umbrella and held it aloft. There was no tangible difference in temperature under my portable shade, but the intensity of the sun was diminished and for that alone I was grateful.

I felt a bit wobbly as I walked along the ridgetops between the two large river drainages, thousands of feet below. A familiar sucking sound indicated that I’d just drained the final drops of water from my hydration bladder. Thankfully, the trail had begun to descend.

The water of Mission Creek was reddish and long blooms of algae swayed in the shallow, warm flow. I grimaced, but I was desperate. Painstakingly, I filled one bottle and stuck in my SteriPEN. Once the UV light had sterilized the water, I poured it into my hydration bladder. I repeated the process until I’d treated three liters of water. Then, as a failsafe because I found the magic of UV too good to be true, I dropped a chlorine tablet in each bottle.

I consulted the water report I’d printed before I left home. Of the many crossings of Mission Creek over the next eighteen miles, three were reported to have had good water within the last two weeks. I hedged my bets on better water ahead and departed the algae-laden oasis.

As I worked my way up the twisted canyon, carved by Mission Creek’s floods, I pondered how daily it was already sweltering when I awakened and how by noon the air shimmered with the heat. Even though no one was around to see me, I couldn’t help but wonder: what would someone think of a woman walking alone across this austere landscape, clutching a silver umbrella? And what would they think about my clothes and body, caked in dirt, salt, and sunscreen, and stained by nosebleeds brought on by the arid climate?

I wasn’t even sure what I thought of it.

I want to set a record because of the challenge. Is that really why I’m here? Or am I here because I need to thru-hike again, and the record is merely justification to repeat what most people call a once-in-a-lifetime experience?

Perhaps thru-hiking was the only way I could cope with modern life. Some people drank. Others used drugs. Some zoned out in front of the screen. My escape was the trail, where life was not easy or comfortable. It was longing for the life of a thru-hiker that had pulled me away from an otherwise comfortable and idyllic life on Bellingham Bay. My unhappiness with being a weekend warrior around a career and trips with my husband to the farmer’s market had grown to unmanageable proportions.

I stepped across a mucky bit of ground thick with vibrant green grasses. In the back of my mind I had a nagging feeling. This is the water source. I dismissed it. The water report said the creek was flowing well. These muddy puddles were nothing.

A mile or so later the trail curved and dropped back to cross Mission Creek again. I was nearly out of water and ready to plop down and get more. My internal odometer told me that I’d traveled the right distance. I reached the edge of the creek bed and saw nothing but sand.

I stood in disbelief for several moments. The creek was bone dry.

Bellingham, Washington /  December 2010

“I’m not making you happy anymore.”

The words hung in the air above us as we lay in bed the morning after Christmas. I had nothing to say because I knew it was true. I wasn’t happy. With myself. With anything. I couldn’t find my way out of the depression that had been growing since we’d reached the end of our last thru-hike together four years before. I knew it wasn’t his fault—or mine. I’d left Anish there along the Mexican border at the southern terminus of the Continental Divide Trail. Her voice called to me every day.

“Please. Can we not say divorce? Just . . . splitting up?” My voice seemed tiny in the space that had opened between us. Remy nodded.

Months later as we sat in the living room, now emptied of his half of our possessions, he asked me what it was that would make me happy again.

“What can you do to stop being depressed? What will you do now that I am gone?”

I sat there, too numb to verbalize. I picked up a notepad and pen and wrote the words that were a constant mantra in my mind: “I want to make hiking my life.”

“How? How will you support yourself? Will you become a guide?”

“No. I don’t know. I just can’t do this anymore.”

He was worried that I couldn’t explain it or monetize it. He turned the notebook to a new page and wrote: Hikes I Want to Do.

I filled in a long list.

He labeled the top of the next page: Ways to Make Money Hiking.

I wrote guide and then crossed it out. Guiding was just as much of a cell as any other career. I didn’t want to babysit. I wanted to walk my own path.

“I’ll be poor and live in my tent year round. I’d rather be homeless and happy than anything else.”

He sighed and closed the notebook. We were getting nowhere.

Eventually he left.

Day 8 (Continued)

Photo courtesy of Heather “Anish” Anderson

Each day on the trail I felt myself slipping a little farther into a primal state of mind, where all that mattered—all that existed—was surviving the day. I sought water and a safe place to sleep. I walked until I literally couldn’t stand up because I was driven. Yet, I still had no idea what drove me, or where the drive came from. Am I insane? I preferred to believe that at least my escape was back in the direction from which humans had evolved. That somehow digression was superior to being dispassionate. But that drive, to be here, on the Pacific Crest Trail, attempting the record alone, had led to a dangerous crossroads. I pulled out my SPOT tracking beacon. I held it in my hand and opened the cover on the SOS button. All I had to do was push it and help would come. Local emergency personnel would receive my coordinates almost instantly. They would bring me fluids. Fly me to safety. I would sleep in a cool room and eat and drink until my body recovered. I wouldn’t have to walk anymore. I could forget that I’d ever tried this.

“I might die of thirst out here,” I said to the orange SPOT in my hand.

Tears rolled down my face. The moment of quitting I’d imagined on my first day hadn’t been like this. It hadn’t involved me sitting in the desert sun, dehydrated and dizzy, three miles down trail from the nearest water. I’d imagined simply being too tired or incapable of continuing. I had imagined being in control of my journey, even the end.

“Damn it, Anish, if you can cry then you are not too dehydrated to keep going!”

Angrily, I resecured the cover on the SOS button and put the SPOT device and my phone back in my pack. I rolled onto my hands and knees, coughing from the effort of speaking aloud with my dry throat.

“Get up. You haven’t been through everything you’ve been through to quit because you’re thirsty. It’s three miles. Three fucking miles.”

I heaved myself to my feet with great effort. “I might die out here, but I refuse to let it be today.”

It was nearly 5 p.m. when I staggered into the parking area near the next water source. I looked around wild-eyed for the way to the spring. I knew it was a quarter of a mile off of the trail. A couple were just getting into their car.

“The spring?” I croaked. “Is it that way? Does it have water?”

“Yeah, follow the markers. You can’t miss it.” The man didn’t seem to sense my urgency.

I hurried across a field and entered the woods. The temperature dropped noticeably as I entered a small cove of rock. Water, percolating through the soil above the stone grotto, dripped in a small but steady stream off of roots hanging down from the ceiling, pouring into an overflowing barrel.

I held my water bottle under the strongest drip and watched anxiously as it slowly filled. Giardia be damned, I chugged the liter of icy water. Then I filled and drank another. I pulled out my hydration bladder and began to fill it. My hands began to shake, and then the rest of me. I began to feel even more dizzy and then cold. Nausea threatened to empty me of the necessary fluids I’d just consumed. Shivering uncontrollably, I dropped the bladder and fumbled in my backpack for my sleeping bag. I draped it around my shoulders, leaned against the wall of rock with my eyes closed, and resumed filling the bladder.

I knew I was in shock from the sudden drop in temperature and the massive amount of cold water I’d consumed in a matter of seconds. I felt even dizzier now than when I’d been broiling in the sun. I noted the irony of feeling like I would die of heat for hours, and then moments later wrapping myself in a sleeping bag.

My vision started to go black. Screwing the lid onto my bladder, I just managed to stumble back to the sun-drenched field between the grotto and the trail before my legs buckled. I sat on the ground, unable to move for several minutes. In the depths of the canyon of Mission Creek, Death and I had again danced under a wicked sun. How many more times will I be allowed to bow and walk away? Finally, I got to my feet and headed north.

San Gorgonio Wilderness, California
Day 8 (Continued) / 44 Miles

It was several hours before I again achieved equilibrium in both body and mind. As night was falling, I realized that it was many, many miles to the next water and that I had taken only about half of what I needed from the spring. I wished I had gone back after I’d recovered from nearly passing out, rather than simply walking off in a daze with what I’d already collected. Resigned, I knew I would simply have to walk long into the night until I found water.

One of the quirkiest landmarks of the PCT is the housing of a variety of large stage animals at a private residence fifty yards off of the trail. In between their Hollywood performances, lions, tigers, bears and other animals watch hikers pass by from within their cages. I looked at the waypoints on my map and saw with apprehension that I was almost there. Emerging onto a network of dirt roads, I wound through a dark forest, feeling edgy. What if one of the animals has escaped? What if this all ends with me getting eaten by a lion?

I tried to calm myself by repeating over and over that I was being irrational. These animals are in very strong cages. You’re afraid of all kinds of irrational things like this when you’re alone at night. Has anything ever happened? No. Now just keep walking. I focused on the repetitive sound of my footsteps crunching on the gravel and the tiny spot of illuminated ground from my headlamp a few feet ahead. Just then, I heard a faint rustle to my right—a movement I didn’t recognize. It was accompanied by a strong scent—not fecal matter or rotting carcasses—just the overwhelming odor of wild animal. I fought the rising panic that comes in the presence of an unseen predator by counting my breaths.

“Breathe 1, 2, 3 . . . breathe 1, 2, 3 . . . ”

I walked quickly, steadily. I felt eyes watching me—the eyes of instinctively curious nocturnal predators.

The road deteriorated into a two-track trail and soon the feeling of being watched dissipated. My breathing eased and the panicked feeling lessened. Still, I knew I had farther to travel before I’d be able to rest. I believed in the fences I couldn’t see, but not completely.

Near midnight I crossed a rough jeep road. The moonlight illuminated three jugs of water alongside the trail. I bent down to examine them. They were full with a note that said, “For PCT hikers.” If I’d had any energy at all I would have jumped for joy. Instead I unscrewed the cap off of one and drank half of it without stopping. Five hours later my alarm woke me. I opened my eyes and realized I was lying in the road, curled around the half empty jug. I imagined myself crawling toward a gallon jug of water beneath circling vultures, only to find it empty. My throat made a croaking noise as I tried to talk myself into sitting upright. I would need to envision survival rather than demise if I was going to make it out of the desert.

How to Win a Copy of Thirst

To enter, leave a comment below explaining why you want to read Thirst.  That’s it.  We’ll select three winners from the list of commenters below.  Winners will be selected on 4/21/19 and notified by 4/23/19.  No purchase necessary to enter.

If you do not want to leave a comment, or if you do leave a comment but are not one of the lucky three winners, you can purchase Thirst through Mountaineers Books or another fine retailer.

For a limited time, use coupon code ANISH at checkout for 20% off the cover price at Mountaineers Books.

More on Anish


Sources:

  1. Schnitzspahn, Doug. “Meet the Trailblazing thru-Hiker Who Walked 8,000 Miles in a Year.” Meet Heather Anderson, National Geographic 2019 Adventurer of the Year, National Geographic, 28 Feb. 2019, www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/2019/02/national-geographic-2019-adventurers-of-the-year/heather-anderson-hiker/.
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Comments 78

  • Carl Ring : Apr 15th

    Since my then 11 year old son announced a year ago that he is going to thru hike the AT someday, I’ve been reacquainting myself with long distance trails. I was once a back packing guide, but spent the last 20 years racing bikes. After reading Jennifer Phar Davis’s books I’m interested in what motivates people to pursue multiple thru hikes & FKTs. I am also fascinated with the emotional needs and transformations that happen on the trail. Thanks for all you do here at the Trek

    Reply
  • Miki : Apr 15th

    Wow… that sounds brutal. Heather is such an inspiration. I actually already bought a copy as a gift for a friend who’s thru-hiking right now (the e book version! it weighs nothing!) but I’d love to read it myself too!

    Reply
  • Holly Mueth : Apr 15th

    WOW! This excerpt alone was captivating. I wasn’t sure if reading a book by someone attempting an FKT would help me in my thru-hiking aspirations but I was wrong! I would love to read this whole book because this book seems to focus on overcoming. Overcoming fear, doubting yourself, doing something everyone else questions. To me, that describes thru hiking perfectly! If I don’t win this giveaway, this is on my purchase list for sure!

    Reply
  • Scott A Brotherton : Apr 15th

    You just teased me a bit and got me interested – a good follow to “Eiger Dreams” which I just finished up !

    Reply
  • Bob Taylor : Apr 15th

    I want to read Thirst because, after 30 years of planning, I’m going to hike the PCT next year.

    I have been fascinated by everything I’ve read by or about Anish, and her written ‘voice’ closely mirrors my internal narrator.

    As a compulsive writer and aspiring thru-hiker I need all the help I can get.

    Reply
  • Keith : Apr 16th

    I loved hearing her on Backpacker Radio! This book is on my wishlist for sure!

    Reply
  • Will Harmon : Apr 16th

    I am interested in reading Thirst because I want to know how someone can push themselves that hard for that long. I want to know more specifically what her life became on the trail and what her thoughts were throughout the day, e.g., only on trail or anything in life. I want to continue to read stories of empowered women.

    Reply
  • Francis : Apr 16th

    Adventure memoirs are the best. And worst. They make you dream about someday doing something as crazy yourself.

    After finishing the AT last year, I’m looking for a job, but thinking daily about my next hike. In the meantime, I’m living vicariously through others’ accounts.

    Reply
  • Stacia : Apr 16th

    I’ve followed Anish’s adventures for a long time and I can’t put into words how much I admire her! I’ve been in a hiking slump lately but I have a feeling this read might just snap me out of it.

    Reply
  • Ron Solo : Apr 16th

    Looks like a great read. I’ve read Barefoot Sisters Southbound, Dances with Marmots, A walk in the woods, AWOL on the AT and others. Anish’s Book looks like it is equal to these great reads about long trails.

    Reply
  • Angela D : Apr 16th

    This excerpt from Heather’s adventures is inspiring and captivating to read! My friend John has been hiking the Appalachian Trail through PA with 30 miles to go. I’ve done some of it, and I am awe struck every time with the beauty of the outdoors. Our goal is to some day hike the entire trail and explore across the U.S. I would love to read more about Heather’s experience. Thank you for this amazing giveaway! #HappyHiking #LoveMotherNature #HugATree

    Reply
  • Theresa : Apr 16th

    My daughter Lindsay, @outrowalks (also a Triple Crown Thru Hiker) introduced me to Anish several years ago and I have followed and supported her (and other thru hikers) ever since. Largely these are amazingly courageous and inspiring individuals who are connected to each other and to nature. They inspire others to see the good in our world and to get out, breathe and walk lightly
    In nature, near and far. God bless Anish, @thetrek and all who promote getting outside!!

    Reply
  • Rebecca : Apr 16th

    I want to read Thirst because it is inspiring to me to read about other women who are passionate about and determined to accomplish similar goals as myself. It reminds me that women are capable of anything and this includes myself!

    Reply
  • Harriett Myers : Apr 16th

    I grew up in the Appalachian Mountains and it wasn’t until I moved away when I realized how lucky I was. I regret not taking full advantage of all the years so close to the AT, but I now try to hike sections of it when I can during vacation days. It is inspiring to me to hear the stories of those who did not grow up in the mountain trials but are still drawn to it. The mountains bring people from all walks of life together in ways nothing that is man-made can. I am grateful for my childhood in the Appalachian mountains and I am so grateful that I can experience the AT and PCT through the eyes of other inspiring hikers.

    Reply
  • Andrea James : Apr 17th

    Thru-hiking the PCT has recently become one of my dreams. I only just started backpacking recently, after years of being tempted and doing many day hikes in the Rockies. My mind has always told me I could do it, but being a very petite, young woman has its challenges. I just love being able to read someone else’s experiences and thinking that if they got through it, I can too. That is why I’d most like to read this book.

    Reply
  • Jenson Smith : Apr 17th

    I hike a new location every Sunday, connection with nature on a weekly basis is a must. I got my first taste of thru hiking on the John Muir trail in 2016. 18 glorious days on the trail. I recently registered to start the AT, with an official start date of Wednesday, April 1, 2019. I’m super excited, along with daydreaming every day, and planning I am also watching every thru hiking film I can find along with reading any documentation I can find.

    Happy Trails

    Reply
  • Ash Czarnota : Apr 17th

    I’m planning on taking on the PCT in 2020. While women are slowly but surely starting to stake their claim in the hiking, backpacking and thru-hiking community I feel it’s still very much a “boys club” out there. Annish’s story will provide ample inspiration going into my own thru and a story I can seriously relate to.

    Reply
  • Katrina : Apr 17th

    Doing the PCT in 2020 and really want to keep the stoke alive for the next year! Going to read Thirst.

    Reply
  • Nannette Moore : Apr 17th

    I’ve read over 20 hikers’ memoirs from Earl V. Shaffer’s Walking With Spring to Grandma Gatewood’s Walk. I would love to read Thirsty too!

    Reply
  • Monica Hernandez : Apr 17th

    At 36 I’m finally figuring out who I am. I am a woman who loves the forest and loves adventure. This book is talked about so much in the hiking groups I’m in and I am eager to read it.

    Reply
  • Nikki : Apr 17th

    I want to be a PCT thru-hiker. No matter where I’m at or what I’m doing this need is a constant in my head. 5 years ago I stumbled across a YouTube video that sealed the deal for me. Before that this dream that I just can’t shake never even existed. I feel like this is something that I MUST do! I am a mother of 3 and my journey will have to wait until my children are old enough but for now I will continue to do what I’ve done for the last 5 years….live vicariously thru others adventures, read up on equipment and strategies and continue to stare in awe at all the beauty in the pictures of this majestic trail. I love hearing people’s stories and their journey on the trail. This will just push me further into my dream of making it reality.

    Reply
  • Dennis Battern : Apr 17th

    Well I did not follow the rules, I did not read the excerpt above. It would be like reading a menu before you go to the restaurant, it spoils the fun and excitement. I would rather wait, win and enjoy the trill of opening another book about the great adventure of thru hiking. I am sure anyone with you energy and drive will put amazing excitement in their writing. Have fun sending me my copy as we are traveling in a Motorhome but will be along the AT next spring for some trail magic.
    Best wishes
    Dennis

    Reply
  • Jan Rose : Apr 17th

    My boys are teens and on our bucket list is hiking a portion of the PCT and the AT. I love reading the personal accounts of those who have hiked and hope to use their valuable info for our own hike one day.

    Reply
  • Kevin Iverson : Apr 17th

    My wife and I begin our flip flop AT hike in 12 days. I’ve enjoyed following Ms Anderson’s exploits via The Trek, both for her informational writing, and for the example she sets for all women, but mostly as an inspiration for our two daughters, who already have the outdoors exploration bug. Hike on.

    Reply
  • Tammy M. : Apr 18th

    I’ve met Anish in person and she is absolutely amazing! Very genuine and personable. She is an incredible writer as well. Her natural skill with words is a thrilling discovery for those seeking to devour writings about hiking experiences and who have a “Thirst” to perceive not only what’s around the next corner of the trail but also, what’s hidden deep inside each of us that compels us to hike!

    Reply
  • Annie Nelson : Apr 18th

    I hope there is a digital version because I’d love to bring this book with me on my half-thru hike of the North Country Trail, about 2,400 miles. I start May 6. I didn’t have the confidence to attempt the full thru hike of 4,600 miles because of the winter hiking that requires. I suspect reading Anish’s experience would help me come to terms with my own desires to “digress” away from a dispassionate life, and believe in myself more. I also identified strongly with her fears about being insane, or hiking being an obsession on par with an addiction. I’m dying with curiosity to know what answer she found to that question.

    Reply
  • Elizabeth Meni : Apr 18th

    10 long years.
    That’s how long it’s been caring for sick parents, my own severe illness, and now grief.
    And I need to be done. I got a new pair of hiking boots, and I’m breaking them in. I’m doing walks and getting ready. I need something major to reawaken my soul. And then I come across this post for this stunning book! Meant to be! Winning or buying, whichever, it will be mine!
    Looking so forward to this inspirational woman’s words, thank you!

    Elizabeth

    Reply
  • Donna Tozer : Apr 18th

    Strong women like this are both inspiring and motivating!

    Reply
  • Katie : Apr 18th

    I would love to read Thirst because there’s nothing more inspiring than Adventure memoir, especially ones from powerful women! This is particularly pertinent as I start my own solo sobo CDT thru-hike in a couple of months! I also plan to pass this on to my dad who loves to live vicariously through the hiking community (but can no longer hike himself due to health conditions). He would be thrilled to read Thirst.

    Reply
  • Kieara : Apr 18th

    More intrigued now than I was before I read the excerpt!

    I want to read this book because I first heard of Anish in JPD book the Pursuit of Endurance. Anish’s story is an inspiration to me and I’d love to read about her journey.

    Reply
  • Tracy : Apr 18th

    I would love to read Thirst because Anish is so inspiring.

    Reply
  • Darrien : Apr 18th

    oh man!! my thru hiking plans for the next two years (wonderland this fall, PCT next summer) were thwarted by a broken ankle. I’m four weeks into an unknown healing time, out of work until I can walk, looking at a lot of PT, and torturing myself by reading adventure books and binge watching Survivor. I’d love to live vicariously though this book.

    Reply
  • Buck Rogers : Apr 18th

    When somebody writes a play-by-play account of a feat such as this, they’ll never know the true impact they’re making in people’s lives. The savage lifestyle she describes reminds me of the attitude on my time in the infantry. After a while you quit caring about anything except the mantra: Shoot, Move, Communicate. Worry about tomorrow tomorrow.

    Win the book or not, I need to read this!

    Reply
  • Michael : Apr 18th

    Anish reaches her goal but the story of how and at what cost is what’s compelling. Living vicariously, I want to experience the lows and setbacks. It is only through knowing the whole story that I can fully appreciate the Anish’s accomplishment .

    Reply
  • Anish : Apr 18th

    If you don’t win. can also buy a signed copy direct from me here: https://squareup.com/store/Anishhikes

    And I’ll mail it with love from my tent (hikertrash book tour)

    Reply
  • Jeff Santos : Apr 18th

    Because I’m starting my PCT hike in 20 days. Could read the book during the first miles and pass it to inspire other hikers

    Reply
  • Laura Hubbard : Apr 18th

    I was half way through this excerpt when I jumped up and grabbed my shoes and went walking, like Anish says on some breathe 1-2-3 where steps and courage and the present all mingle rightly, maybe even righteously. I just got back and finished the excerpt. Like many reading this piece, I too, plan to move along the PCT next year, and like many here, I too seek women that inspire, shatter molds/ expectations/ obvious paths. If reading this small piece propelled me to immediately hike with out a second though, I can’t imagine what the rest will do, including perhaps sprinkle a little light on ways I might write my own PCT wanderings.

    Reply
  • Kathy Borrell : Apr 18th

    I want to see how she did it.

    Reply
  • Susan Carey : Apr 18th

    Thisn is awesome.She really brings the story to life!

    Reply
  • Cheryl Thibeault : Apr 18th

    I have been captured and intrigued by reading this excerpt from the book. I want to know more of her trials and tribulations and how she found the strength every time to get back on her feet and continue on. What an amazing lady, such dedication and strength! I want to be inspired even more by reading the whole book.

    Reply
  • Gary Kirk : Apr 19th

    “…I’d rather be homeless and happy than anything else.”

    “Perhaps thru-hiking was the only way I could cope with modern life.”

    And perhaps if I had the whole book to reaad there would be enough of Anish in me to pacify my soul until I finally break free and take my first thru-hike step.

    Reply
  • AIMEE A BALLARD : Apr 19th

    I wish to read Thirst as I want to reacquaint myself with being driven, having a purpose and getting to know an accomplished woman so I can find my drive again. Thank you.

    Reply
  • Kate : Apr 19th

    I would like this book because every time I start to doubt myself, I think about the women’s thru hiking experiences I’ve read and watched, and think, ‘they made it through, so will I’! I also need some inspo for my first thru hike, the Colorado Trail this summer.

    Reply
  • Lorrie Hess : Apr 19th

    I want to read her book because Anish writes well. The excerpts are very compelling and her story is especially interesting.

    Reply
  • Brian BB Benford : Apr 19th

    WOW!- I am a 6o year old person of color who has the extreme privilege for an African American to be close to my natural surroundings and to have had many profound connections with nature through hiking and putting myself outdoors with every opportunity. I am dedicating the rest of my life to help to foster connections with women and children of color who have never had the opportunities(or rights) to reconnect with their natural environments. I believe that this book could serve to inspire those (especially women) that I will serve and myself. As I attempt to draw on the experiences of women connected to the outdoors-I cannot think of any other book that could serve this purpose better.

    Reply
  • George Linthicum : Apr 19th

    So many stories of travel begin with the overused “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” Fine, but then we need to hear about the rest of the steps. It would be enjoyable reading about the rest of her steps. 🙂

    Reply
  • Demarie Kapler : Apr 19th

    What an inspiration!

    Reply
  • Laurie Ewing : Apr 19th

    I live in Maine and hike in the White Mountains frequently; I’ve done the NH48 and now I am working on my NE67 list. I am Facebook friends with Anish and have been following along on her treks. She is also the good friend of my friend Arlette who is another amazing hiker. I would love to read the entire book and learn more details about the trails and her emotions along the way. She is amazing to have finished the 3 big ones like that!! <3

    Reply
  • Jen : Apr 19th

    I want a copy of Anish’s book because I find her fierceness, honesty, and determination to be unbelievably inspiring. I’m not yet a thru-hiker and don’t have ambitions to set FKTs or complete calendar year triple crowns, but her approach to life resonates really deeply with me, so getting to spend a few hundred pages inside her head (and her worn-out trail runners) is something I’d really like to do.

    Reply
  • Hanah : Apr 19th

    I just finished Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and I would love to continue with more tales of strong women hiking these trails. I plan to hike some of the AT myself this year since I now live right next to it.

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  • Asanka Meththa : Apr 19th

    I listened to all your podcast and very much admired the one with Anish on it…
    Congrats on these great achievements and very much look forward to reading this book.
    Also, look forward for more of your adventures….

    Reply
  • Pete : Apr 19th

    Who doesn’t love a good book?

    Reply
  • wanda greatorex : Apr 19th

    i have been in awe of Heather since i first heard if the hiker of the AT who hiked because she loved to hike. No fanfare or followers for her–no blog–no support from others. Hiking as she always had, because she loved to hike. i want to hear her entire story!!!!

    Reply
  • Leo-Yermo : Apr 19th

    I would love to read Anish’s book. I love to read and for some reason, though of the male persuasion, I always find books by those of the female persuasion the most interesting. Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart by Carrot Quinn a good example.
    Regardless if I am a lucky winner or not, I will read Thirst. Anish is a real deal hiker, and writes so well.
    Perhaps I will get lucky.

    Reply
  • Dennis Washer : Apr 19th

    What a writer! For those of us who have had our days of backpacking and hiking, and who are now slowly being sidelined by age, it is with utter enjoyment to be able to vicariously enjoy the trail through books such as this!

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  • TicTac : Apr 19th

    As a fellow female hiker, I am always interested to read blogs of women who also use hydration bladders (as opposed to water bottles hanging all over my pack) and an umbrella to protect from the sun. While I am 40 years older than Anish and have little in common with her life experiences, I would love to read her book to find if we have more in common than simple equipment choices.

    Reply
  • Andrew : Apr 19th

    Well I’m hooked and I need to reas it all now. I have young children so I don’t have the opportunity right now to thruhike so I live through the stories of other hikers!

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  • Adam W : Apr 19th

    In the world of thru hiking, Heather Anderson is a rock star. I’ve read quite a few hiking memoirs, and judging from the excerpt, this one appears to be a great read. I look forward to adding ‘Thirst’ to my list. As a side note: I’d just like to thank everyone who shares their experiences for their knowledge and inspiration.

    Reply
  • ROSE WRIGHT : Apr 19th

    I would love to read Anish’s journey! Endurance, faith, strength and determination are just some of the things I’m sure I’ll read about. What a motivational story! Thanks for the chance to win this book.

    Reply
  • Drew Boswell : Apr 19th

    Having just written and published my own memoir about my fight with throat cancer and the difficulties of readjusting to my life even after I survived, Anish’s self-doubts and difficulties seem quite familiar. There has never been any question that I would one day own and read Anish’s book. Maybe I’ll win one of these copies; regardless, I’ll buy it anyway. But I must read it because of the way it resonates. I heard about Heather Anderson some years back. She and other hikers like her were inspirational in getting me through my own dark days, and she continues to amaze and delight me. While I’m way too old to be in the same league as Anish, I do hope my daughter can be inspired by Heather, as I have been.

    In case the above sounds like BS made up to win a freebie, you can check me out at: amazon.com/author/drewboswell

    Reply
  • Susan Crowell : Apr 19th

    I want, no, I need this book. Forget the records and the masses, as her previous interview with The Trek says, “she was hiking only for herself.” Ah, if only all of us realized that truth in life.

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  • Glenn : Apr 19th

    The description above hit home. I hiked the AT in 2014 after getting divorced after 26 years of marriage. I had never backpacked before. I still find solace in the woods and trail friends. I went back to the “real” world to work because not having income is a big anxiety producer for me but my goal is to retire early and hike the PCT CDT and other long trails. I still miss the AT every day. I’m living vicariously thru current hikers and books for the now. This excerpt is a great read.

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  • Craig Thompson : Apr 19th

    Sounds like a great read one day I would love to tackle the PC thanks

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  • Mark Harrington : Apr 19th

    Who wouldn’t want to read the words of such a passionate pursuer of their love? This book would introduce anyone to the experience of having to do something and doing it up to one’s own standards.

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  • Terry Backman : Apr 19th

    I became disabled at the age of 40. I used to love hiking until my back surgery that paralyzed my leg/legs, a was basically told that I would never walk right again or even at all . 12 years later I am back to hiking; not far distances but let alone, hiking. I like motivation and sounds as if I would like reading to get more of my life back. Thanks…

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  • Riley Dunn : Apr 19th

    I have the good/bad habit of doing crazy things and not worrying about the consequences. I never want to lose that, but I also need a taste of fear every once in a while. I think this book can give me both.

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  • Taskmaster : Apr 19th

    It’s been three years since my AT thru hike and the confusion and depression is real! I want to know if more thru hiking helps.

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  • Brad Wood : Apr 19th

    Well I am hooked on the first pages. I do want to read more. Hiking a portion of the PC trail in August and this snippet of her experiences whets my appetite for a personal AND vicarious adventure. Thanks

    Reply
  • Clyde Walenbaugh : Apr 19th

    This book sounds very inspirational and it is always interesting to hear about what inspires others to do magnificent things!

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  • Kim : Apr 19th

    I hope to some day complete a thru hike of either the AT or PCT, so I am currently devouring other hikers’ (especially women hikers) accounts of their thru hiking experiences.

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  • john wilson : Apr 19th

    Amish is an inspiration to us all – old, young, male, female, and everyone in between. Her trail savvy, knowledge of herself and recognition of her beliefs, the clear direction of her life path choices and her dedication to these are admirable. I imagine her book will go into such great depth that everyone who reads it will benefit in some way, small or large. That’s what I call an extremely worthy read. I have heard her speak and have such admiration of her as a person. Any reader of Anish’s book would be guided to a better understanding and reflection of one’s self.

    Reply
  • Tim Nicholls : Apr 19th

    I would like to read Thirst because, as an Australian, these adventures are quite foreign for us. To have someone achieve such an amazing feat, I think makes a awesome read.

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  • Mark Schutte : Apr 19th

    To read about the day to day minute parts which make up the months long journey that is a long hike, brings to the average person’s level the understanding that anything is possible if broken down into small steps. Thank you Heather!

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  • Laura S : Apr 19th

    For several years I have had a secret dream of hiking the PCT. I knew my husband didn’t want to do it, and would think I was nuts to go do it on my own. Last year I found out that my daughter has also had a driving desire to hike the PCT. So now we have a plan! I will retire and she will take a break in her career, and we will hike the PCT together! Both our dreams will come true and it’s going to be amazing!!
    Reading and hearing the tales of women thru-hikers, inspire us and excite us! I can’t wait to read the rest of your book!!

    Reply
  • Liz Thoreen : Apr 20th

    I’ve always loved the outdoors and I’ve always wanted to Through Hike the AT.

    Reading about another woman’s efforts will be inspiring.

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  • Susan Hollister : Apr 20th

    Would love to get further into the mind of an endurance athlete. She is an inspiration to me. At age 70 I’m prepping for my own first attempt a thru hiking; the AZT.

    Reply
  • Locahontas : Apr 20th

    I think going outdoors is so much more about just looking and observing. It is becoming one with nature and entertaining ourselves and blending into the environment and leaving no trace along the way. It is one of self discovery along the path and I don’t think one can truly know their own path until we return to nature and become one with it which is exactly what I assume Amish discovered on the trail & in her book. I’d like to read a copy to see if that’s in fact true.

    Reply
  • Larry Bowman : Apr 21st

    What do I think? Well, I’m “Thirsting” for more! She just grabs you and sucks you right in to her adventure. I can’t wait to read more!

    Reply

What Do You Think?