Nature and Outdoor Adventure Await

04 May 2019

Spring reads that will inspire you to get outside

Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road, by Kate Harris

Kate Harris chronicle’s her travels along the mythical Silk Road. Inspired as a child by reading about the journeys of Marco Polo along the Silk Road in the 13th century, she decides she wants to see the wilderness Marco Polo feared. After graduating from college, she embarks on the journey with her friend by bicycle. Readers will be able to travel vicariously through her eloquent writing, which fluidly moves between past and present. Famous travel writer Pico Iyer calls her book a modern classic. --Lisa Gieskes

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail, by Cheryl Strayed

This book is a memoir from a time when the author’s life breaks in half. Her mother dies, the rest of her family goes distant, her marriage dissolves, and her lover gets her hooked on heroin. So, when she feels she had nothing left to lose, Cheryl Strayed hiked the Pacific Coast Trail to find clarity. Of course, she gets a lot more than she bargained for – that’s how she’s able to bring such an excruciating realness to her story about her journey. You feel every hunger pain, every bead of sweat, every moment of stark realization that she was not nearly as ready for this as she thought she was. Strayed never wanders off into maudlin meditations on the wonders of nature, but stays true to the grit and very ugly stubbornness it takes to get through tough times. It’s also a great reminder that bears are serious jerks. -- Melanie Griffin

Ranger Confidential: Living, Working, and Dying in the National Parks, by Andrea Lankford

Ranger Confidential: Living, Working, and Dying in the National Parks offers a fascinatingly honest, no-holds-barred portrayal of the life of a park ranger. Andrea “Andy” Lankford, a former National Park Service ranger, who spent twelve years working in some of our nation’s most beloved and iconic parks, shares the nitty gritty details of death-defying rescues at Yosemite, bunking with scorpions in the Grand Canyon, busting renegade BASE jumpers, and wrangling woefully underprepared tourists - all with a frankness and good humor that feels like swapping stories around a campfire. You’ll never look at a park ranger the same way again! – Sarah Cameron

Just Passin’ Thru – A Vintage Store, The Appalachian Trail, and a Cast of Unforgettable Characters, by Winton Porter

Just Passin’ Thru stands out in my mind as one of the most entertaining and funny books about the Appalachian Trail. It’s so different from other books that I’ve read about the AT because it’s told from the point of view of a store owner who owns a “rest-stop” called “Mountain Crossings”, rather than someone walking the trail. This one-stop shop is directly in the path of the trail, so everybody walking the AT comes through. Winton Porter recalls the lively characters and hilarious events that have happened over the years – it’s so funny and so interesting to read about all of the amazing people who “pass thru” this fascinating place. -- Becky Patrick

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