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.
‘It’s not just about me walking a trail. It’s a journey of faith and hope and pointing to the One who cares for all on us….He will see me through to the end.’ – Blissful
What a fascinating book! I am not a hiker, and thus found this first person account of the author’s adventures hiking The Florida Trail almost unbelievable. I love a good walk, but 1,100 miles through bogs, streams, sucking mud, drought and more does not sound like an adventure I would be interested in. Never mind the idea of sleeping outdoors in a tent! It renewed my faith in mankind to read of those who willingly stepped out to help with places to stay, food, rides and even water caches. The amount of time and energy put into preparation for such an undertaking is only dwarfed by the actual hike itself. Mail drops with food, new shoes, clothing, etc. had to be planned and implemented.
The amount of detail really made me feel like I was hiking along and honestly wondering what interesting dilemmas might come next.
Learning more about this journey certainly makes me concur with the this line taken from the book – ‘Placing one’s faith in the unknown can be nerve-racking’! The exclamation point is my own addition and is indicative of my agreement with that statement, something we all learn whether we are hiking far from civilization or not.
I received an ARC through Whitefire Publishing and CelebrateLit. The impressions and opinions are my own.
Bugs , backpacks and beautiful trails oh my. I am not a camper nor a hiker so this book intrigued me. Why would someone want to hike for days with weather that changes daily and lack of water becomes a reality?
The author has a lot of determination and a thirst for adventure in this book. It is chalked full of inviting trails which seem to go on forever. It surprised me that she was pretty calm when meeting strangers on her journey and I especially loved her endurance as she traveled to see God’s beauty.
The author really did her research before taking off and I thought how prepared she must have been. I’m pretty sure I would not last an hour on a trail. My idea of hiking is making a trip to the mailbox. Camping for me is in an RV with all the luxuries minus bugs, and bad weather.
I was shocked when she went home with one of the ladies she encountered on her hike. The offer of a soft bed and ice cream is tempting but I would never go with someone I didn’t know. I’m not as trusting as the author and it sounded like she had a great time visiting with the lady and her husband. They do seem to become friends and that encouraged me to have more faith in mankind . There always seemed to be a big issue with water. Staying hydrated is very important and I worried about our hiker throughout the book.
The different places the author visits on her journey were quite interesting . There are good people in this world and it was evident as the author gets help from strangers. I loved that she was able to witness and pray with people along her journey. The book was interesting but I’m still not convinced I want to go hiking.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
“Gators, Guts, & Glory” by Lauralee “Blissful” Bliss was a interesting read. It is a journal,( at least that is what I call it).
“I’m walking the trials I know best-those that traverse mountain rangers, cross streams plying over moss-covered rocks, meander through hardwoods and spruce, and deliver stunning views and a great finish.” She has hiked many times but she wrote this about the 1,100 mile Florida Trail from Big Cypress National Preserve to Gulf Islands National Seashore. But, she decides to hike it anyway and this book tells her journey.
While reading chapter 2, I was asking myself, why do hikers hike when there are dangers like thorns, tree stabbings , ankle injuries, food deprivations, dehydration, and getting lost? I was telling myself, this hobby is not for me. After finishing the book I am still saying “Not for Me.”
The author says “It’s not just about me walking a trail. It’s a journey of faith and hope and pointing to the One who cares for all of us. He is our Provider in times of need, even in the darkness and the challenges and the good times. He is in the forefront of all we do. He is our all in all. And He will see me through to the end.”
I read this book because of the book tour, but it isn’t one that I would have checked out of the library on my own because I am not interested in hiking. After reading this book , I do have to say I have more respect and awe for hikers, and just more awareness for courageous individuals who do hike.
I was amazed at all the help the author received from strangers, in this day and age I would be afraid to accept rides and etc. from someone I just knew from online groups. I guess that is where the author trusted God.
I probably still won’t check out a book like from the libray, but I have to say I am glad I was on this tour and got a chance to read this book and I’m not sorry for the time I spent reading it.
This book has pictures showing some of the scenes. I have both the print and the kindle copy and the kindle copy the pictures are in color.
I was given a complimentary copy by the author and Celebrate Lit. These opinions are my own.
Cara Grandle (verified owner) –
This is a blend between a hiker guide and a heart journey/devotional. I have lots of friends who hike and have done some short treks myself. This is exactly what you encounter and there is sage advice for both gear and preparation and the journey you make on the inside. Hikers will love this.
I will admit that hiking along a trail that is amongst the gators and cottonmouths does not appeal to this yuppy girl (lol), but I did find Lauralee’s account of her adventure a lot of fun to read! Her style of writing drew me in from the get go. Lauralee is hilarious and her adventures keep readers wondering “what will she encounter next?”. I enjoyed that she wove her physical and spiritual stories together with this book. Whether you are into hiking or not, this is a delightful book to pick up!
I receive this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.