Book picks similar to
Lost on Purpose: Adventures of a 21st Century Mountain Man by Patrick Taylor
Hiking Through: Finding Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail
Paul V. Stutzman - 2010
He quit his job of seventeen years and embarked upon a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, a 2,176-mile stretch of varying terrain spanning fourteen states. During his nearly five-month-long hike, he battled brutal trail conditions and overwhelming loneliness, but also enjoyed spectacular scenery and trail camaraderie.With breathtaking descriptions and humorous anecdotes from his travels, Stutzman reveals how immersing himself in nature and befriending fellow hikers helped him recover from a devastating loss. Somewhere between Georgia and Maine, he realized that God had been with him every step of the way, and on a famous path through the wilderness, he found his own path to peace and freedom.
Lucy Letcher - 2008
"Highly recommended." --trailsbib.blogspot.comFrom the book: "We stood for a moment before the venerable signpost marking the summit. Scored with graffiti and the constant onslaught of weather, it stands perhaps three feet high, a wooden A-frame painted Forest Service brown with recessed white letters: KATAHDIN 5268 ft.Northern Terminus of the Appalachian TrailBelow this were a few waypoints: Thoreau Spring, 1.0, Katahdin Stream Campground, 5.2. At the bottom of the list: Springer Mountain, Georgia, 2160.2. More than two thousand miles. It was simply a number, too large and incomprehensible to have any bearing on me. The farthest I had ever walked in a day was ten miles and that was with a daypack. Now I was contemplating a journey of months, covering thousands of miles. All of a sudden, there on the summit with the clouds screaming past us, it didn't seem like such a great idea.I turned to my sister, half-expecting to see the same doubt mirrored in her face. But her eyes were shining, and she smiled with an almost feral intensity. It was a look I would come to know all too well over the next year and a half, and it meant, I am going to do this and no one had better try to stop me. 'We're really doing this, ' she shouted over the wind's howl and the lashing rain. 'We're hiking the Appalachian Trail!'"At the ages of twenty-five and twenty-one, Lucy and Susan Letcher set out to accomplish what thousands of people attempt each year: thru-hike the entire 2,175 miles of the Appalachian Trail. The difference between them and the others? They decided to hike the trail barefoot. Quickly earning themselves the moniker of the Barefoot Sisters, the two begin their journey at Mount Katahdin and spend eight months making their way to Springer Mountain in Georgia. As they hike, they write about their adventures through the 100-mile Wilderness, the rocky terrain of Pennsylvania, and snowfall in the Great Smoky Mountains--a story filled with humor and determination. It's as close as one can get to hiking the Appalachian Trail without strapping on a pack.Listen to the Barefoot Sisters read excerpts from their book here: Southbound Podcast - part 1 and here: Southbound Podcast - part 2
Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival
Norman Ollestad - 2009
Resentful of a childhood lost to his father’s reckless and demanding adventures, young Ollestad was often paralyzed by fear. Set in Malibu and Mexico in the late 1970s, the book captures the earthy surf culture of Southern California; the boy’s conflicted feelings for his magnetic father; and the exhilarating tests of skill in the surf and snow that prepared young Norman to become a fearless surfer and ski champion--which ultimately saved his life.In February 1979, just as he was reaping the rewards of his training, a chartered Cessna carrying Norman, his father, his father’s girlfriend, and the pilot, crashed into the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California and was suspended at eight thousand feet, engulfed in a blizzard. Norman’s father, his coach and hero, was dead, and the 11-year old Ollestad had to descend the mountain alone and grief-stricken, through snow and ice, without any gear.Stunningly, the boy defied the elements and put his father’s passionate lessons to work. As he told the LA Times after his ordeal, “My dad told me never to give up.”
The Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds
Caroline Van Hemert - 2019
Worried that she was losing her passion for the scientific research she once loved, she was compelled to experience wildness again, to be guided by the sounds of birds and to follow the trails of animals.In March of 2012, she and her husband set off on a 4,000-mile wilderness journey from the Pacific rainforest to the Alaskan Arctic, traveling by rowboat, ski, foot, raft, and canoe. Together, they survived harrowing dangers while also experiencing incredible moments of joy and grace -- migrating birds silhouetted against the moon, the steamy breath of caribou, and the bond that comes from sharing such experiences.A unique blend of science, adventure, and personal narrative, The Sun is a Compass explores the bounds of the physical body and the tenuousness of life in the company of the creatures who make their homes in the wildest places left in North America. Inspiring and beautifully written, this love letter to nature is a lyrical testament to the resilience of the human spirit.Winner of the 2019 Banff Mountain Book Competition: Adventure Travel
Highs and Lows on the John Muir Trail
Inga Aksamit - 2015
It is a must-read for those who plan to hike the trail or anyone interested in the trail. Written in journal style, the author’s description of the majestic scenery, camaraderie of trail friends and challenges of the terrain are engaging and informative. Along the way, trekkers will see how she and her husband met challenges head-on, lightened their load, planned meals and managed daily logistics for more than three weeks on the trail. The John Muir Trail traces an undulating path along the crest of the High Sierra with legendary elevation gains and losses of more 84,000 feet, topping out at 14,505 feet on the summit of Mt. Whitney. Updated to include a northbound section from Horseshoe Meadows to Onion Valley. Full-color photographs are included in the Kindle version only.
One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey
Sam Keith - 1973
Thousands have had such dreams, but Richard Proenneke lived them. He found a place, built a cabin, and stayed to become part of the country. One Man's Wilderness is a simple account of the day-to-day explorations and activities he carried out alone, and the constant chain of nature's events that kept him company. From Proenneke's journals, and with first-hand knowledge of his subject and the setting, Sam Keith has woven a tribute to a man who carved his masterpiece out of the beyond.
Miracle in the Andes
Nando Parrado - 2006
He soon learned that many were dead or dying—among them his own mother and sister. Those who remained were stranded on a lifeless glacier at nearly 12,000 feet above sea level, with no supplies and no means of summoning help. They struggled to endure freezing temperatures, deadly avalanches, and then the devastating news that the search for them had been called off.As time passed and Nando's thoughts turned increasingly to his father, who he knew must be consumed with grief, Nando resolved that he must get home or die trying. He would challenge the Andes, even though he was certain the effort would kill him, telling himself that even if he failed he would die that much closer to his father. It was a desperate decision, but it was also his only chance. So Nando, an ordinary young man with no disposition for leadership or heroism, led an expedition up the treacherous slopes of a snow-capped mountain and across forty-five miles of frozen wilderness in an attempt to find help.Thirty years after the disaster Nando tells his story with remarkable candor and depth of feeling. Miracle in the Andes—a first person account of the crash and its aftermath—is more than a riveting tale of true-life adventure: it is a revealing look at life at the edge of death and a meditation on the limitless redemptive power of love.
The Twenty-Ninth Day
Alex Messenger - 2019
The story follows Alex and his five companions as they paddle north through harrowing rapids and stunning terrain. Twenty-nine days into the trip, while out hiking alone, Alex is attacked by a barren-ground grizzly. Left for dead, he wakes to find that his summer adventure has become a struggle to stay alive. Over the next hours and days, Alex and his companions tend his wounds and use their resilience, ingenuity, and dogged perseverance to reach help at a remote village a thousand miles north of the US-Canadian border.The Twenty-Ninth Day is a coming-of-age story like no other, filled with inspiring subarctic landscapes, thrilling riverine paddling, and a trial by fire of the human spirit.
Ted Kerasote - 2004
But what if your canoeing partner brings along a satellite phone to use in case of an emergency? And, struck by the novelty of anywhere-on-earth communication, he proceeds to use the phone to check in with his law office, his wife, kids, sisters, father, and friends? Noted wilderness traveler and author Ted Kerasote deals with just such a situation as he journeys along the Horton River through the largest ice-free, roadless area left on Earth, a stunning wilderness of grizzly bears, caribou, and migrating birds. Between navigating rapids, slipping around musk ox and grizzlies, and being pinned down by Arctic storms, the two friends prod each other into a finer understanding of love, marriage, parenting, and the meaning of solitude in an increasingly wired world. Contrasting his own experiences with those of the regions earliest explorers--Sir John Franklin and Vilhjalmur Stefansson--Kerasote provides a compelling and humorous take on how travelers from any age adjust to being away from their civilizations and how getting "out there" has inevitably changed but has also remained the same--especially if you shut off the phone.
The Last Season
Eric Blehm - 2006
Blehm narrates this true account of the disappearance and search for Randy Morgenson, a National Park Service ranger who, one morning after 28 seasons on the job, failed to answer his radio call.The introverted Morgenson was more comfortable with the natural world than with people. A gifted photographer and a lyrical writer, he dropped out of college to begin a career that would send him into the remote parts of California's Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Passionate about the mountains, he excelled at his responsibilities, which ranged from clearing away garbage left by careless campers to rescuing injured hikers. Dedicated to keeping the wilderness undisturbed, he was proud of his ability to leave no trace of himself wherever he camped.That skill would prove costly when, at age 54, he went missing. Blehm seamlessly combines a detective story with a celebration of nature that calls to mind the works of classic American writers like Thoreau and Emerson. His gripping narrative will cause readers' hearts to ache at the disappearance of this undervalued soul. But their spirits will soar at the grandeur and mysticism of nature expertly captured in its most primal state.
If I Live Until Morning: A True Story of Adventure, Tragedy and Transformation
Jean Muenchrath - 2018
After skiing 200 miles along California's John Muir Trail, Jean faces death from a mountaineering accident on Mount Whitney. Broken and bleeding on the highest peak in the continental United States, she vows to realize her greatest dreams if she lives until morning. Her escape from the Sierra Nevada Mountains turns into a five-day ordeal for survival. Jean's recovery is equally daunting. Her journey spans three decades and takes her from the depths of despair and chronic pain to the heights of the Himalayas. When the specter of Mount Whitney continues to shatter her world, Jean befriends Tibetan lamas. Their ancient wisdom guides her on a path beyond her wildest dreams.
Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival
Joe Simpson - 1988
He and his climbing partner, Simon, reached the summit of the remote Siula Grande in June 1985. A few days later, Simon staggered into Base Camp, exhausted and frost-bitten, with news that that Joe was dead.What happened to Joe, and how the pair dealt with the psychological traumas that resulted when Simon was forced into the appalling decision to cut the rope, makes not only an epic of survival but a compelling testament of friendship.
Whistler's Walk: The Appalachian Trail in 142 Days
William Monk - 2018
Based on Monk's journal entries written daily along the way, readers are afforded the up-close and intimate privilege of witnessing his very real trials and triumphs, and each incredible, beautiful moment as he experienced it. Anyone who has hiked, or plans on hiking the Appalachian Trail, lovers of nature, and those who know what it's like to accomplish a seemingly insurmountable feat will relish the uplifting story of Monk's successful, 2,189-mile trek. With every milestone achieved throughout his life-changing, unbelievably difficult journey, Monk paints a magnificent portrait of the outdoors, and what it's like to fully immerse oneself in nature's glorious, awe-inspiring-and challenging-beauty.
Braving It: A Father, a Daughter, and an Unforgettable Journey Into the Alaskan Wild
James Campbell - 2016
So when James Campbell's cousin Heimo Korth asked him to spend a summer building a cabin in the rugged Interior, Campbell hesitated about inviting his fifteen-year-old daughter, Aidan, to join him: Would she be able to withstand clouds of mosquitoes, the threat of grizzlies, bathing in an ice-cold river, and hours of grueling labor peeling and hauling logs?But once there, Aidan embraced the wild. She even agreed to return a few months later to help the Korths work their traplines and hunt for caribou and moose. Despite windchills of 50 degrees below zero, father and daughter ventured out daily to track, hunt, and trap. Under the supervision of Edna, Heimo's Yupik Eskimo wife, Aidan grew more confident in the woods.Campbell knew that in traditional Eskimo cultures, some daughters earned a rite of passage usually reserved for young men. So he decided to take Aidan back to Alaska one final time before she left home. It would be their third and most ambitious trip, backpacking over Alaska's Brooks Range to the headwaters of the mighty Hulahula River, where they would assemble a folding canoe and paddle to the Arctic Ocean. The journey would test them, and their relationship, in one of the planet's most remote places: a land of wolves, musk oxen, Dall sheep, golden eagles, and polar bears.At turns poignant and humorous, Braving It is an ode to America's disappearing wilderness and a profound meditation on what it means for a child to grow up--and a parent to finally, fully let go.