Sometimes a Walk in the Woods Is All You Need

Even if it isn’t an epic hike

Andrew Knott
Human Parts

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All photos by the author

When I was in my twenties and extremely bored, I came across a book by humorist Bill Bryson called A Walk in the Woods. As I remember it, the author and a very sad and angry friend, neither of whom were equipped for long-distance hiking, decided to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. It is a very funny and entertaining book, but it did make hiking seem extremely miserable. So, while I was somewhat interested in the concept of taking on a big mountain hike, it’s not something I ever seriously considered.

Until a couple of weeks ago.

Just kidding. There’s no way I’m hiking the Appalachian Trail anytime soon or probably ever, but I did take a walk with my seven-year-old, Bennett, at the nature preserve where he and his older brother attend an eco-camp in the summers. It was a Friday morning when we sallied forth. A school day, but I had promised to let Bennett take a day off and he was finally collecting on that promise.

He deserved it. He’s a hard worker, rarely complains about having to go to school, and after the last few years we’ve had, it’s literally the least I could do for him.

As we walk along the trails on this almost summer-like morning, around a small pond choked with greenery, the sun hot on our skin, he talks…

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Andrew Knott
Human Parts

Essayist, humorist, novelist. Dad of three. Editor of Frazzled. Debut novel LOVE'S A DISASTER (May 21, 2024, Bayou Wolf Press). Website: AndrewKnottAuthor.com