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My first impression when meeting Charles "Linguini" Duane was that he reminded me of my brother Earl in many ways. Slender, not a towering giant but rugged and determined. Earl always did say that hikers were surprised many times when they met him to find a person of ordinary build, not a muscular hulk. Long-distance hikers need to be wiry and tough but not necessarily huge and domineering. I think the reader will find this book interesting from the standpoint of presentation of the four separate hikes described in detail with photos and reflections along the way.

"Racing Light" immediately brings to mind a speedy trip, however as you venture further into the book, the idea of traveling "light" as Earl did on all his hikes begins to shine through. The big difference is Charles used modern fabrics and more unique camping items than Earl, which afforded him very light loads with more comfort than Earl allowed himself.

The "Photo-Diary" format is a new twist. The phrase "A picture is worth a thousand words" rings true and is a pleasant change from many of the books on scenic trails available today. I'm sure Earl would be pleased to see so many photographs along the various Trails. Earl had the foresight to use color film for his slides so that much of the beauty is preserved. In the late 1940’s color film was scarce. Black and white pictures can also be exciting, it just takes a little more care in selecting and presenting the subjects.

Relax and enjoy hiking and traveling with " Linguini." I know I did when he afforded me the opportunity to review his manuscript.

John H. Shaffer