Like Thoreau's "Walden," Dale Clem's account of his 40-day trek on the Appalachian Trail is part hiking journal, part religious, spiritual and philosophical meditation. Clem muses about how the landscapes he traverses reflect and inform our lives, passions, social values, darker impulses and relationship with God. Along the way, he meets a wide variety of hikers, each with their unique issues - sons in troubled relationships with their fathers, women discovering independence and courage, soldiers returning from war trying to reenter civilian life, and more. Positing that walking in nature can heal psychic wounds of all sorts, Clem's personal quest is a prayer journey that also goes inward - he questions his motivation and purpose in life, seeks to mend wounds of his own and pursues closer communion with God. Yet he never fails to appreciate and celebrate the joys and beauty of the American wilderness and the camaraderie of his fellow hikers whose generosity affirms what is best in us.