1) Bill and Katz were covered in mud, it was raining constantly, and they felt awful. They decided to go to Gatlinburg, which is a city near the Smokey Mountains. There they got clean and they ate good food, although it cost a lot. Bill gave many figures showing how everything in America is new and tacky.
While Katz was buying bootlaces, Bill saw a map of the AT. The map was four feet long, and they had only gone about two inches. Instead of getting upset, they felt happy; if the Appalachian Trail was really that long, they wouldn't need to walk the entire way.
Bill decided that they could skip to Virginia. They called a cab driver, and they rented a car, in which they drove to Virginia.
Throughout Chapter Nine, the author went on and on about all of the people who had walked the entire trail, ranging from an overweight person to a blind man.
2) According to biblio.com, Bill Bryson was born on December 8, 1951 in Des Moines, Iowa. Starting in 1972, he hiked around Europe, first by himself and later with Stephen Katz (not his real name). He worked at a psychiatric hospital where he met and married a nurse named Cynthia.
He went to the United States to complete his college degree and then returned to England in 1977. He became the chief copy editor of the business section of The Times. His book Notes from a Small Island was voted as the book that best sums up the British identity. He has also written books on science and the English language.