Four Legs Good

When Robert Louis Stevenson set off from Le Monestier in the Upper Loire for France's mountainous Cévennes region in 1878, the Scottish poet and novelist spent much of his 220-km walk cursing and goading Modestine, the recalcitrant "she-ass" he'd hired to carry his load. But by the time he reached St. Jean du Gard 12 days later, he'd had a change of heart about his long-eared companion, and the encounters they shared inspired his memorable account, Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes. Today, the Stevenson Trail — also known as GR-70 (Grande Randonnée, or long hiking trail) — is one...

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