By just about any measure, Capitol Reef National Park in south-central Utah is a sleeper. It falls in the shadow, largely, of the state's four other national parks. And for most people, a visit to the Fruita orchards, campground, and visitor center is the long and short of their experience with Capitol Reef.
In Dirt Work: An Education in the Woods, Christine Byl recalls long days of working on trails in Glacier and Denali national parks. She clears brush, digging ditches, building bridges, cleaning up after forest fires, and blasting snow. An inside look on what it takes to make trails accessible to hikers.
Dick Griffith might not be the last great American adventurer, but if such a tally is ever made he certainly deserves a place in the top two or three. For more than six decades, Mr. Griffith has been exploring wild and rugged corners of the world, and on the cusp of 86 he's still not finished.
If you, too, have paused before an faded and worn map of Yellowstone and wondered the same, then Yellowstone, Land Of Wonders: Promenade in North America's National Park is for you. But not only does this travelogue carry you back to the Yellowstone of 1883, but it's cast through the eyes of a Belgian writer who spent 10 days in the park that summer.
"Anyone who tells you portaging is fun is either a liar, or crazy, or maybe both."
That's hard wisdom from the late Bill Mason, a legendary canoe paddler, naturalist, and author, to dispute. It's just one of the gems to be found in the second edition of Wilderness Wisdom, a pocket-sized book of inspiring quotations well-suited for the outdoors.
Turn-of-the-century Alaska was a harsh, demanding, and yet exhilarating place, a landscape that didn't suffer greenhorns. Nineteen-year-old Harry Karstens thrust himself into this setting in 1897 to join the Gold Rush, and went on to cast a long shadow in the state's history, and not just because of his role in summiting Mount McKinley.
This "illustrated history" offers a concise and readable overview of "America's most famous battle and the turning point of the Civil War." Although the target audience is older children and young adults, the book provides a nice visual summary of the Battle of Gettysburg for almost any reader.
Just in time for travel season, National Geographic has added another title to its collection of national park-related books. This one entices with a promise to reveal the "Secrets of the National Parks."
Just in case I wasn’t aware that I very badly need to do more birding in the Southwest, a copy of Birding the Southwestern National Parks by former Park Service employee Roland Wauer arrived in my mailbox. Now I find myself checking plane fare to Las Vegas, El Paso, and Los Angeles. This may be one of the most expensive book reviews I’ve ever written.