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Publisher's Summary

Following her best-selling memoir, Thirst, here is the next step in Heather “Anish” Anderson’s adventurous life journey - one of deep emotion and self-discovery

Despite her success setting a self-supported Fastest Known Time record on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2013, Heather “Anish” Anderson still had such deep-seated insecurities that she became convinced her feat had been a fluke. So two years later she set out again, this time hiking through mud, rocks, and mountain blazes to crush her constant self-doubt and seek the true source of her strength and purpose.

The 2,189 miles of the Appalachian Trail, from Maine to Georgia, did not make it easy. Anderson struggled with its infamous rain, humidity, insects, and steep grades for 54 days. But because she had to fight for every step, she knew when she reached the summit of Springer Mountain, the AT’s southern terminus, that she had fully earned the trail. Of greater value, she learned to love herself and her body, and to feel the depth of her power. Examining emotional scars as well as her relationship with her mother, Anderson’s deeply internal yet highly physical journey in Mud, Rocks, Blazes is an essential story.

©2021 Heather Anderson (P)2021 Blackstone Publishing

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What listeners say about Mud, Rocks, Blazes

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Good story.... of self doubt and self pity

Let me start off by saying this review is in no way to take away from Heather Anderson's accomplishments, her FKTs, hiking abilities, etc. I can only hope to one day thru hike one of three long trails in the US. I couldn't imagine how difficult and the situations a thru hiker must overcome to keep going on a daily basis. That being said, this review is just my opinion,
I have a long commute to work (an hour each direction) and this is my 49th audio book in the last year+. I listened to "Thirst" about her FKT hike of the PCT prior to buying this book. Heather is a great writer. She describes her hikes vividly and in detail making you wish you were there. The biggest problem I have is her REPEATED self doubt, lack of confidence, self pity, whoa is me attitude. We all (not just thru hikers) question our abilities, question how far we can push ourselves, have fear of failing, etc. This is absolutely normal. No one is 100% confident in their own skin and 100% mentally strong. I understand this. What I don't understand is why Heather has to keep stating it over and over and over in the book. I may had thought the same when listening to Thirst but there's been too many books in between. Listening to her self doubt is like listening to a broken record. We as a reader (listener in my case) want to hear the story and be excited, not keep hearing the author questioning why her abilities and why she is doing this. Heather - you ARE strong. You ARE an accomplished hiker! Stop questioning yourself (or at least don't repeat it over and over in your books).

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The Narrator Almost Killed a Great Book

Over-dramatic performance. Several mispronunciations. Great book, just like Thirst, though I do find the former to be the better work.

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Personal, honest, engaging... wonderful.

I’m a sucker for hiking memoirs but this one had something special. So much vulnerability and honesty from such a brave and badass woman. Anish is so humble, a little neurotic, self deprecating and stubborn, so very human. The whole way through I never knew whether she’d make it, it was a total rollercoaster ride of expectation, hope, and futility. It’s a beautiful adventure of the body and of the spirit. Thank you, Anish, for another wonderful read.

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Wonderful account

Self-love is hard. Opening, understanding, and getting rid of all of the parts of you that you wish weren't there, or wish you could silence. Mud, Rocks, Blazes was wonderful and I really enjoyed hearing how Anish vanguished her demons and attained her goal!

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Great Story!

I’m planning my own hiking of the AT and this book made me smile, cry, and long to seek my own answers. Read it, it’s great!

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So much to un-pack

I wasn't thrilled with the narrator's voice/tone. That's out of the way. The story was excellent. About so much more than backpacking but, all about journeys. HAA is an inspiration.

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A Raw Journey

Heather takes the reader on a raw, authentic journey with her. The FKT takes a sideline and, instead, internal thoughts and challenges are at the forefront. Highly recommend this book if hiking is more then just miles to you, but the value behind them.

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The Essence of Determination

Very inspiring and motivating. The next timeI struggle to walk 10 miles, I'll think of Heather and push on.

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Vulnerable, Authentic, and Incredible!

The reader is invited to experience what it is like to endure such a physical feat and also how the trail through the Appalachian Mountains can change you forever.

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Great inspirational story of overcoming hardships

I really enjoyed this story. Wr all need to do something to push our personal limits and find what makes us tick. This story shows us how owr limits are not a line in the sand, but rather something that is fluid and ever-changing.

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  • Jacob Russell
  • 03-19-21

the best thru hiking book of all time?

I love this book. Anish is hard.core! the opening is mind blowing. you ain't never walked like this girl. what a legend. and it brought all my memories back of the AT '12 and the JMT as well. loved it. she writes so well. it's utterly inspiring and I've been doing 10 miles a day and losing weight since I read it... going to do some thru hiking this summer as a direct result of this book