The Trail Provides

A Boy's Memoir of Thru-Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail
Narrated by: David Smart
Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (73 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Disillusioned by the corporate lifestyle, David finds himself unemployed and desperate for change. Bradley, his older, more adventurous, and slightly-wreckless college fraternity brother presents an enticing offer. Just a few weeks later, the two inexperienced hopefuls abandon society and plunge into a soul-searching sojourn to thru-hike the Pacific Crest trail, a 2,650-mile Mexico-to-Canada footpath - barefoot. At the trail’s mercy from day one, the two hikers face the endless pains of walking, rising tensions, and falling behind to the coming winter.

The Trail Provides is a thru-hiking memoir filled with stories about companionship, lessons learned, dreams and reality, and leaving everything behind for the desire of transformation, insight, and self-discovery. Now, let’s begin the journey....

©2018 David Smart (P)2019 David Smart

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    4 out of 5 stars

Hiking with Napoleon Dynamite

I've enjoyed a variety of long-distance hiking stories since subscribing to Audible. Despite the fact the general stories are the same (person attempts to walk X-number of miles along X-trail in X-amount of time) each story becomes its own animal due to each writer having different experiences along the way. And even when an author encounters similar experiences to other writers, their reactions are their own and the outcomes personal.

David's story of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail becomes far more personal than most of the PCT books I've listened to. There is a lot more personal growth here and he does a fine job weaving those experiences in with the description of life on the trail. David is, in my opinion, a very good writer. However, he is not a great narrator.

I would usually condone the concept of a writer reading his own memoir as I feel it adds honesty to the narration, but in David's case perhaps a professional narrator would have been the way to go. David's method of speech, which often sounds bored or monotone like Napoleon Dynamite, comes across as a series of questions as his voice rises amid points in his sentences. For instance, this line from early in the book comes across as follows:

"It was the small hours of the morning. But I somehow? Managed to lift my head? From the rickety trailer floor? Where I had slept the past two nights? And glanced toward the other end of the trailer. There sat Bradley. Sitting cross-legged beside his backpack? At the foot of his bed? Eyes closed."

So if this speech pattern doesn't bother you, then I would recommend giving this a listen. Otherwise, I would suggest picking up a physical copy and allowing your brain to envision David's voice.

3 people found this helpful

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Good Story

took me a while to get started. the author's voice is your stereotypical San Diego stoner surfer but at 1.4 speed hes a productive member of society lol


I would recommend this to anyone looking for an adventure

2 people found this helpful

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excellent book !!

several times I listened to the sample of this book , and didnt buy it. Because I was unsure of the narrator's voice. But recently decided to take a chance , and so glad I did !!! I loved this book and the adventure !! and got teary eyed along with them as they finished. ❤

2 people found this helpful

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Take the journey!

I was glued to this story and couldn’t wait to hear what happened next. Thank you David for letting us in on your journey.
Ron Sixkiller

2 people found this helpful

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beautiful and inspiring

First- thank you, David, for sharing your story. I'm sure being so open and vulnerable to the world was difficult and challenging at times. Congratulations on furthering your growth after the trail ended.
The book is well written and heartfelt. The narration is honestly a little stiff, but it was brave for the author to read his own words. I enjoyed his honesty and the sharing of fun adventures he had along his journey. I felt that the author did a great deal of introspection and reflection during his journey. He sounds like someone that gets along well with almost everyone. In summary, this was a great book for inspiration and for entertainment.

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Wasn't sure at first but then got sucked in

When the author said he and his friend decided to hike the PCT without shoes, I just about turned the book off. Thankfully, I didn't - and so I got to enjoy his story (and pick up a few insights for my coming Camino de Santiago).

1 person found this helpful

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A Wonderful Journey and Dtory

A great book that was highly entertaining. It gave a deep insight to the authors changes along his journey along the PTC. the narrator was took a little bit to get used to compared to other audio books but it was never a distraction after the story drew me in.

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Another great PCT documentary

This is not the first PCT documentary I have listened to on audible, but most assuredly a worthwhile listen. The narrator had a SoCal valley accent, which I found distracting at first, but eventually embraced. I enjoyed vicariously experiencing the trials and tribulations of trail life, interspersed with joys and comradery.

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Post trail reading

I listened to this in the two months after finishing my own PCT through hike. I found it relaxing and therapeutic to hear the story of another person’s time on trail. David writes in a very honest and thought provoking way. This helped me to think think through my time on trail. I’d recommend it for anyone who wants an honest account of living on the trail; in anticipation of, or in response to, their own hike.

1 person found this helpful

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I loved it!!

The Narrator reminded me of my Son and friends. I liked that the younger men took in the older men. You don't see that much outside of the trail. I hope the people in the story remember that and I hope the older people do the same. I would like to see and hear more. I was sorry when it was over. But, will listen several times in the future to come!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-30-19

Fantastic

A great insight into the PCT, and I'm gutted I've finished it! Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Reuben
  • 08-06-19

An honest window into the the truth of the trail and life

A brilliant story of hardships and joy that is filled with nuggets of hard won wisdom.

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  • Ms
  • 07-23-19

Stick with this - it has great rewards

I nearly missed how good this book was because I was a bit put off at first by the monotone voice of the reader, (sorry David!). I wondered how I would be able to listen to the whole thing when the voice made me tune out, at first listen.

However, I had a complete turnaround during the listening to this book. The author has a very distinct way of thinking and talking which reminds me of long-haired, Californian, avocado-eating, peace-lovers. Truth seekers come in all shapes and sizes and I soon realised this guy was very sincere about learning lessons and trying to understand his experiences. He has a great deal of courage, not just the courage to undertake a months-long hard trail, but also to look within and see the gnarly bits of his own humanity. By a third of the way through the book, I just adored hearing him speak. He also gave lots of detail about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. I hope he writes more as he is a fearless explorer and it is really interesting to share in his journey.

I whole-heartedly recommend this book.

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  • Fiona
  • 05-11-19

Very good

I thoroughly enjoyed this very interesting PCT adventure which is beautifully narrated by the author.