About the Book
Book: Gators, Guts, & Glory
Author: Lauralee “Blissful” Bliss
Genre: Non-Fiction, Hiking, Adventure
Release date: July 15, 2019
Wander on the wild and humorous side of adventure with long distance hiker Lauralee Bliss (trail name Blissful), hiking the 1,100-mile Florida Trail from Big Cypress National Preserve to Gulf Islands National Seashore. From alligators and cottonmouths to tenting among the palmettos and walking on water, from forests of cypress knees and lofty pine to the help of trail angels along the way, “Blissful” uncovers the hidden gems of glory in this National Scenic Trail with a unique journey unlike any other.
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I enjoyed Bliss's account of trudging through Florida. What an adventure. As a day hiker, I could identify with some of her experiences, such as maps not representing what is seen in front of you, getting painful blisters, being confronted with surprising weather, and meeting some scary people on the way. I liked her descriptions of the landscape as I have never been in the Florida wilds.
I appreciated learning how long distance hikers complete treks of hundreds of miles. I realize now the importance of community, such as being part of a hiker group and using social media. I found out how hikers restock their supplies along the way and get interludes of rest. I was surprised to find out about burning sugar cane fields before harvesting.
This is a good book for those who love hiking and readers who like armchair adventures. Bliss's writing style is a pleasure to read and kept my interest through the more than one thousand miles of trail.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
About the Author
Lauralee Bliss is an avid adventurer, one of only a few women to hike the entire Appalachian Trail both north and south. She is also the published author of over 25 romance novels and novellas. Lauralee’s desire is that readers will come away with both an entertaining story and a lesson that ministers to the heart. She makes her home in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
More from Lauralee
Why hike the Florida Trail of all things?
L – I’ve had several adventures under my belt, like completing the Appalachian Trail twice (see book one in the Hiking Adventure Series – Mountains, Madness and Miracles – 4000 Miles Along the Appalachian Trail)! We used to vacation in Florida as many do come winter, and once we came upon the Florida Trail sign. I couldn’t imagine hiking among the palm trees. After talking to other hikers who had done it, I knew it would be a unique experience unlike any other. After all, why should life be boring?
It all sounds kind of dangerous – the alligators, the swamps. Were you scared?
L – I’ll admit there are facets of hiking that can cause scary situations. Once I got stuck in mud-like quicksand. In Florida it’s known as sucking mud, and I thought I’d never get out of it. Can you imagine? I also had some rough weather, dangerous water crossings, and an encounter with a cottonmouth. Btu through it I learned about God’s peace and His saving hand in situations where you really have no control.
What did you do to prepare?
L – I hiked as much as I could. I talked with other hikers and asked questions. I joined online trail forums to find out about the Florida Trail. I bought the guidebook for it. I believe one should always try to prepare and not venture into something blind. But of course there’s always the unexpected, which adds to the adventure aspect.
What lessons did you learn?
L – What one can accomplish in life if you keep going and not give up, despite the challenging situations thrust your way. I like to go on these journeys to witness God’s care in my life firsthand and seeing the kindness of others to help a hiker in need. I’ve had people try to give me money. Folks that invited me into their homes or given me rides. The human spirit is amazing and one of the most valuable things I experienced.
What else can you tell us about yourself?
L – I am an avid adventurer covering thousands of trail miles in the US from east to west including two completions of the Appalachian Trail, the Colorado Trail, the Long Trail of Vermont, the Allegheny Trail of West Virginia, and the Foothills Trail of South Carolina. I have also authored of over 25 romance novels and novellas and when not writing or hiking, I love to talk to others about hiking. My motto is – make your dream come true! (and it has, in more ways than one)
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I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the content of this post waas provided by Celebrate Lit.