Going It Alone : Ramblings and Reflections from the Trail

Going It Aloneis the story of Tim Hauserman’s conflict between wanting to be alone in the wilderness, and finding himself with deep feelings of fear and loneliness once he’s gets there. Sure, he revels in the quiet of a dense forest, the soft lines of the shoreline of a shimmering mountain lake and the stark gray beauty of granite peaks, but he also gets the heebie jeebies in the face of a trail with a steep drop off or the sound of a bear crunching sticks next to his tent. After day hiking for years, he decided he wanted to stay in the wilderness when the sun set and be there again for its rising. So he set out on a series of backpack trips by himself. Solo takes the reader along as Tim hikes on the John Muir Trail through rainstorms and challenging climbs while facing stoves that don’t work and lonely nights in the tent. Next, he heads out from his driveway onto a 14 day thru-hike of the Tahoe Rim Trail. Despite writing the guidebook to the TRT, he only truly discovers the trail when he thru-hikes it by himself. Finally, he travels to Minnesota to face bugs, drought, and sometimes non-existent trails on a section of the Superior Hiking Trail that he seems to have all to himself. The story combines self-deprecating humor, Stupid Tim Tricks and delightful descriptions of the natural surroundings. While some might call the wilderness the middle of nowhere, or nothingness, Tim believes it is everything. While his love for nature remains undaunted, he also discovers that he has overly high expectations for his capabilities and that just wishing loneliness away doesn’t work. He eventually discovers that his long walks in the woods are less about hiking, than about learning how he wants to live his life.