From Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods:Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail:

“Eventually you reach a height where you can see the tops of the topmost trees, with nothing but clear sky beyond, and your faltering spirit stirs–nearly there now!–but this is a pitiless deception. The elusive summit continually retreats by whatever distance you press forward, so that each time the canopy parts enough to give a view you are dismayed to see that the topmost trees are as remote, as unattainable as before. Still you stagger on. What else can you do?”

“It never escaped me for a moment that he didn’t have to be there.”

“Here, the mountains and woods were just backdrop–familiar, known, nearby, but no more consequential or noticed that the clouds that scuddled along the ridge lines.”

“What is it with this town? I’ve blown more intelligent life into a handkerchief.”

“If a product or enterprise doesn’t reinvent itself, it is superseded, cast aside, abandoned without sentiment in favor of something bigger, newer and, alas, nearly always uglier.”

“Though he moved much faster than I did and never seemed to rest, he was always there…It was like following a ghost. I tried to catch up but couldn’t…the man ahead never paused, never varied his pace, never looked back. In the late afternoon he vanished and I never saw him again.”