Author: Robert Moor
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Winner of the Pacific Northwest Book Award “The best outdoors book of the year” —Sierra Club A New York Times Bestseller A Best Book of the Year—as chosen by The Boston Globe, The Seattle Times, Amazon, National Post, New York magazine, The Telegraph, Booklist, The Guardian Bookshop From a debut talent who’s been compared to Annie Dillard, Edward Abbey, David Quammen, and Jared Diamond, On Trails is a wondrous exploration of how trails help us understand the world—from invisible ant trails to hiking paths that span continents, from interstate highways to the Internet. In 2009, while thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Robert Moor began to wonder about the paths that lie beneath our feet: How do they form? Why do some improve over time while others fade? What makes us follow or strike off on our own? Over the course of the next seven years, Moor traveled the globe, exploring trails of all kinds, from the miniscule to the massive. He learned the tricks of master trail-builders, hunted down long-lost Cherokee trails, and traced the origins of our road networks and the Internet. In each chapter, Moor interweaves his adventures with findings from science, history, philosophy, and nature writing—combining the nomadic joys of Peter Matthiessen with the eclectic wisdom of Lewis Hyde’s The Gift. Throughout, Moor reveals how this single topic—the oft-overlooked trail—sheds new light on a wealth of age-old questions: How does order emerge out of chaos? How did animals first crawl forth from the seas and spread across continents? How has humanity’s relationship with nature and technology shaped world around us? And, ultimately, how does each of us pick a path through life? Moor has the essayist’s gift for making new connections, the adventurer’s love for paths untaken, and the philosopher’s knack for asking big questions. With a breathtaking arc that spans from the dawn of animal life to the digital era, On Trails is a book that makes us see our world, our history, our species, and our ways of life anew.
Author: Robert Moor
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
From a brilliant new literary voice comes a groundbreaking exploration of how trails help us understand the world, from tiny ant trails to hiking paths that span continents, from interstate highways to the Internet.
Author: Robert Moor
Publisher: Aurum Press Limited
Category: Sports & Recreation
A strikingly original debut from a tremendous new talent, Robert Moor explores how trails help us understand the world, from the biological phenomenon of how ant trails are formed to hiking paths that span continents and oceans, from migration routes to the Internet. In 2009, while thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Robert Moor began to wonder about the paths that lie beneath our feet: 'How do they form? Why do some improve over time while others devolve? What makes us follow or strike off on our own?' Over the course of the next seven years, Moor travelled the globe, exploring trails of all kinds, from the miniscule to the massive. He learned the tricks of master trail-builders, hunted down long-lost Cherokee trails, and traced the origins of our road networks and the Internet. In each chapter, Moor interweaves his adventures with findings from science, history, philosophy, and nature writing. This deep search for meaning introduces the reader to experts who work with trails of all kind, outrageous anecdotes from his own experiences and spectacular descriptions of landscapes and animal behavior. On Trails gives an eye-opening tour, leaving us with a much richer, prismatic take on what we constantly take for granted: how we get where we're going.
An American Saga
Author: David Dary
A major one-volume history of the Oregon Trail from its earliest beginnings to the present, by a prize-winning historian of the American West. Starting with an overview of Oregon Country in the early 1800s, a vast area then the object of international rivalry among Spain, Britain, Russia, and the United States, David Dary gives us the whole sweeping story of those who came to explore, to exploit, and, finally, to settle there. Using diaries, journals, company and expedition reports, and newspaper accounts, David Dary takes us inside the experience of the continuing waves of people who traveled the Oregon Trail or took its cutoffs to Utah, Nevada, Montana, Idaho, and California. He introduces us to the fur traders who set up the first “forts” as centers to ply their trade; the missionaries bent on converting the Indians to Christianity; the mountain men and voyageurs who settled down at last in the fertile Willamette Valley; the farmers and their families propelled west by economic bad times in the East; and, of course, the gold-seekers, Pony Express riders, journalists, artists, and entrepreneurs who all added their unique presence to the land they traversed. We meet well-known figures–John Jacob Astor, Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, John Frémont, the Donners, and Red Cloud, among others–as well as dozens of little-known men, women, and children who jotted down what they were seeing and feeling in journals, letters, or perhaps even on a rock or a gravestone. Throughout, Dary keeps us informed of developments in the East and their influence on events in the West, among them the building of the transcontinental railroad and the efforts of the far western settlements to become U.S. territories and eventually states. Above all, The Oregon Trail offers a panoramic look at the romance, colorful stories, hardships, and joys of the pioneers who made up this tremendous and historic migration. From the Hardcover edition.
An 8-Year-Old Boy and His Father Take on the Appalachian Trail
Author: Paul Molyneaux,Asher Molyneaux
Publisher: Stackpole Books
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Imagine a 7-year-old boy asking his father if they can hike the entire Appalachian Trail, and then imagine that the father says yes.
A Journey on Foot
Author: Robert Macfarlane
From the acclaimed author of The Wild Places, an exploration of walking and thinking In this exquisitely written book, Robert Macfarlane sets off from his Cambridge, England, home to follow the ancient tracks, holloways, drove roads, and sea paths that crisscross both the British landscape and its waters and territories beyond. The result is an immersive, enthralling exploration of the ghosts and voices that haunt old paths, of the stories our tracks keep and tell, and of pilgrimage and ritual. Told in Macfarlane’s distinctive voice, The Old Ways folds together natural history, cartography, geology, archaeology and literature. His walks take him from the chalk downs of England to the bird islands of the Scottish northwest, from Palestine to the sacred landscapes of Spain and the Himalayas. Along the way he crosses paths with walkers of many kinds—wanderers, pilgrims, guides, and artists. Above all this is a book about walking as a journey inward and the subtle ways we are shaped by the landscapes through which we move. Macfarlane discovers that paths offer not just a means of traversing space, but of feeling, knowing, and thinking.
Legends, Explorations, and Preservation of Maine's Highest Peak Mountain
Author: John W. Neff
Publisher: Appalachian Mountain Club
Maine historian John Neff's compelling and comprehensive narrative traces the history, legend, and legacy of Mount Katahdin--the spectacular peak that looms over Maine's Great North Woods--from the earliest Native American stories to colonial exploration through the logging industry's peak to today's conservation successes and opportunities.
A Hiker's Companion
Publisher: Die Gestalten Verlag-DGV
Explore the world one step at a time. Wanderlust presents legendary walking routes with inviting maps, practical tips, and inspiring landscape photographs. The exciting Canyon Trail in Zion-National Park, the spectacular El Caminito del Rey in Spain, the pilgrim trail on the holy Kumano Kodo in Japan or a mythical hiking path in the land of the giants in Norway - Wanderlust explores legendary hiking trails in enchanting corners of the world and over a variety of terrain: thin ice and desert sands; coastal tracks and forest pathways. Spectacular photography illustrates journeys to sharp summits, astonishing vistas, and phenomenal locales. With maps featuring noteworthy locations alongside background information and practical tips by Cam Honan, an expert who has hiked many of the trails himself, Wanderlust will suit both intrepid beginners and seasoned trekkers. From modern-day transcendentalists or those who simply desire a casual break from concrete scenery, Wanderlust allows readers to live vicariously through vivid portraits or use the trips as impetus for their own hiking journey. Following faded footsteps of migrating animals or paths of ancient trade routes, the trails featured in Wanderlust offer both outdoor exploration and enjoyment.
An Exploration of England
Author: Hugh Thomson
Publisher: Random House
WINNER OF THE 2014 THWAITES WAINWRIGHT PRIZE In the past, Hugh Thomson has written acclaimed books about Peru, Mexico and the Indian Himalaya. Now he returns to the most exotic and foreign country of them all âe" his own. Walking right across England, along ancient trackways and green grass roads, Hugh explores the way the country was and the way it is today: the legends, literature and natural world that define us, and the undercurrent of regret running throughout our history; what he calls âe~the unicorn disappearing into the treesâe(tm). From coast-to-coast and through the heart of the countryside, he shows how older,forgotten cultures like the Celts, Saxons and Vikings lie much closer to the surface than we may think. It is a journey enriched and partly told by the characters he meets along the way. By taking it, Hugh casts unexpected light âe" and humour âe" on the way we live now.
Author: Dan Egan
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
A landmark work of science, history and reporting on the past, present and imperiled future of the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes—Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Superior—hold 20 percent of the world’s supply of surface fresh water and provide sustenance, work and recreation for tens of millions of Americans. But they are under threat as never before, and their problems are spreading across the continent. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes is prize-winning reporter Dan Egan’s compulsively readable portrait of an ecological catastrophe happening right before our eyes, blending the epic story of the lakes with an examination of the perils they face and the ways we can restore and preserve them for generations to come. For thousands of years the pristine Great Lakes were separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the roaring Niagara Falls and from the Mississippi River basin by a “sub-continental divide.” Beginning in the late 1800s, these barriers were circumvented to attract oceangoing freighters from the Atlantic and to allow Chicago’s sewage to float out to the Mississippi. These were engineering marvels in their time—and the changes in Chicago arrested a deadly cycle of waterborne illnesses—but they have had horrendous unforeseen consequences. Egan provides a chilling account of how sea lamprey, zebra and quagga mussels and other invaders have made their way into the lakes, decimating native species and largely destroying the age-old ecosystem. And because the lakes are no longer isolated, the invaders now threaten water intake pipes, hydroelectric dams and other infrastructure across the country. Egan also explores why outbreaks of toxic algae stemming from the overapplication of farm fertilizer have left massive biological “dead zones” that threaten the supply of fresh water. He examines fluctuations in the levels of the lakes caused by manmade climate change and overzealous dredging of shipping channels. And he reports on the chronic threats to siphon off Great Lakes water to slake drier regions of America or to be sold abroad. In an age when dire problems like the Flint water crisis or the California drought bring ever more attention to the indispensability of safe, clean, easily available water, The Death and the Life of the Great Lakes is a powerful paean to what is arguably our most precious resource, an urgent examination of what threatens it and a convincing call to arms about the relatively simple things we need to do to protect it.
An Unexpected History of a Revolutionary Invention
Author: Alexander Monro
A sweeping, richly detailed history that tells the fascinating story of how paper—the simple Chinese invention of two thousand years ago—wrapped itself around our world, humankind’s most momentous ideas imprinted on its surface. The emergence of paper in the imperial court of Han China brought about a revolution in the transmission of knowledge and ideas, allowing religions, philosophies and propaganda to spread with ever greater ease. The first writing surface sufficiently cheap, portable and printable for books, pamphlets and journals to be mass-produced and distributed widely, paper opened the way for an unprecedented, ongoing dialogue between individuals and between communities across continents, oceans and time. The Paper Trail explores how the new substance was used to solidify social and political systems that influenced China even into our own time. We see how paper made possible the spread of the then new religions of Buddhism and Manichaeism into Japan, Korea and Vietnam . . . how it enabled theologians, scientists and artists to build the vast and signally intellectual empire of the Abbasid Caliphate and embed the Koran in popular culture . . . how paper was carried along the Silk Road by merchants and missionaries, finally reaching Europe in the late thirteenth century . . . and how, once established in Europe, along with the printing press, paper played an essential role in the three great foundations of Western modernity: the Renaissance, the Reformation and the Scientific Revolution. Here is a dramatic, comprehensively researched, vividly written story populated by holy men and scholars, warriors and poets, rulers and ordinary men and women—an essential story brilliantly told in this luminous work of history. From the Hardcover edition.
A Year in America's National Parks
Author: Mark Woods
Category: Biography & Autobiography
"In this remarkable journey, Mark Woods captures the essence of our National Parks: their serenity and majesty, complexity and vitality--and their power to heal." --Ken Burns Many childhood summers, Mark Woods piled into a station wagon with his parents and two sisters and headed to America's national parks. Mark’s most vivid childhood memories are set against a backdrop of mountains, woods, and fireflies in places like Redwood, Yosemite, and Grand Canyon national parks. On the eve of turning fifty and a little burned-out, Mark decided to reconnect with the great outdoors. He'd spend a year visiting the national parks. He planned to take his mother to a park she'd not yet visited and to re-create his childhood trips with his wife and their iPad-generation daughter. But then the unthinkable happened: his mother was diagnosed with cancer, given just months to live. Mark had initially intended to write a book about the future of the national parks, but Lassoing the Sun grew into something more: a book about family, the parks, the legacies we inherit and the ones we leave behind.
An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads
Author: Tim Cope
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Grand Prize Winner, Banff Mountain Festival Book Competition The relationship between man and horse on the Eurasian steppe gave rise to a succession of rich nomadic cultures. Among them were the Mongols of the thirteenth century ? a small tribe, which, under the charismatic leadership of Genghis Khan, created the largest contiguous land empire in history. Inspired by the extraordinary life nomads lead, Tim Cope embarked on a journey that hadn't been successfully completed since those times: to travel on horseback across the entire length of the Eurasian steppe, from Karakorum, the ancient capital of Mongolia, through Kazakhstan, Russia, Crimea and the Ukraine to the Danube River in Hungary. From horse-riding novice to spending months in the saddle, he learnt to fend off wolves and would-be horse-thieves, and grapple with the haunting extremes of the steppe as he crossed sub-zero plateaux, the scorching deserts of Kazakhstan and the high-mountain passes of the Carpathians. As he travelled he formed a close bond with his horses and especially his dog Tigon, and encountered essential hospitality ? the linchpin of human survival on the steppe ? from those he met along the way. Cope bears witness to how the traditional ways hang in the balance in the post-Soviet world ? an era that has brought new-found freedom, but also the perils of corruption and alcoholism, and left a world bereft of both the Communist system upon which it once relied, and the traditional knowledge of the nomadic forefathers. A journey of adventure, endurance and eventual triumph, On the Trail of Genghis Khan is at once a celebration of and an elegy for an ancient way of life.
A History of American Hiking
Author: Silas Chamberlin
Publisher: Yale University Press
The first history of the American hiking community and its contributions to the nation’s vast network of trails In the mid-nineteenth century urban walking clubs emerged in the United States. A little more than a century later, tens of millions of Americans were hiking on trails blazed in every region of the country. This groundbreaking book is the first full account of the unique history of the American hiking community and its rich, nationwide culture. Delving into unexplored archives, including those of the Appalachian Mountain Club, Sierra Club, Green Mountain Club, and many others, Silas Chamberlin recounts the activities of hikers who over many decades formed clubs, built trails, and advocated for environmental protection. He also discusses the shifting attitudes of the late 1960s and early 1970s when ideas about traditional volunteerism shifted and new hikers came to see trail blazing and maintenance as government responsibilities. Chamberlin explores the implications for hiking groups, future club leaders, and the millions of others who find happiness, inspiration, and better health on America’s trails.
Author: Bill Bryson
Publisher: Anchor Canada
God only knows what possessed Bill Bryson, a reluctant adventurer if ever there was one, to undertake a gruelling hike along the world's longest continuous footpath—The Appalachian Trail. The 2,000-plus-mile trail winds through 14 states, stretching along the east coast of the United States, from Georgia to Maine. It snakes through some of the wildest and most spectacular landscapes in North America, as well as through some of its most poverty-stricken and primitive backwoods areas. With his offbeat sensibility, his eye for the absurd, and his laugh-out-loud sense of humour, Bryson recounts his confrontations with nature at its most uncompromising over his five-month journey. An instant classic, riotously funny, A Walk in the Woods will add a whole new audience to the legions of Bill Bryson fans.
Author: Jon Krakauer
In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild. Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir. In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his cash. He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and , unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented. Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away. Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild. Jon Krakauer constructs a clarifying prism through which he reassembles the disquieting facts of McCandless's short life. Admitting an interst that borders on obsession, he searches for the clues to the dries and desires that propelled McCandless. Digging deeply, he takes an inherently compelling mystery and unravels the larger riddles it holds: the profound pull of the American wilderness on our imagination; the allure of high-risk activities to young men of a certain cast of mind; the complex, charged bond between fathers and sons. When McCandless's innocent mistakes turn out to be irreversible and fatal, he becomes the stuff of tabloid headlines and is dismissed for his naiveté, pretensions, and hubris. He is said to have had a death wish but wanting to die is a very different thing from being compelled to look over the edge. Krakauer brings McCandless's uncompromising pilgrimage out of the shadows, and the peril, adversity , and renunciation sought by this enigmatic young man are illuminated with a rare understanding--and not an ounce of sentimentality. Mesmerizing, heartbreaking, Into the Wild is a tour de force. The power and luminosity of Jon Krakauer's stoytelling blaze through every page. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The First Thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail
Author: Earl Victor Shaffer
Category: Sports & Recreation
In April 1948, the 11-year-old Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia was pretty much a wreck: Volunteer maintainers who hadn't been called to combat couldn't get rationed gasoline to get out there to keep it clear. In April 1948, so, pretty much, was Earl Shaffer, self-dubbed The Crazy One. He had come home from war in the Pacific where he had lost the dearest friend of his life. He needed to walk it off, and he did with the most primitive of gear. In four months, he walked with the merging spring from Georgia to Maine, bushwhacking to find the route more often than not-becoming the first to report a complete, single-journey trek on this footpath of more than 2,000 miles. More than 7,000 have since followed in his footsteps. These reflections on and from his first of three thru-hikes are often lyrical, full of history and local legend and his own quiet insights on life in the woods in a much different era all around.
A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness
Author: Sy Montgomery
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction * New York Times Bestseller * Starred Booklist and Library Journal Editors’ Spring Pick * A Huffington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of the Year * One of the Best Books of the Month on Goodreads * Library Journal Best Sci-Tech Book of the Year * An American Library Association Notable Book of the Year “Sy Montgomery’s The Soul of an Octopus does for the creature what Helen Macdonald’s H Is for Hawk did for raptors.” —New Statesman, UK “One of the best science books of the year.” —Science Friday, NPR Another New York Times bestseller from the author of The Good Good Pig, this “fascinating…touching…informative…entertaining” (Daily Beast) book explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus—a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature—and the remarkable connections it makes with humans. In pursuit of the wild, solitary, predatory octopus, popular naturalist Sy Montgomery has practiced true immersion journalism. From New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, she has befriended octopuses with strikingly different personalities—gentle Athena, assertive Octavia, curious Kali, and joyful Karma. Each creature shows her cleverness in myriad ways: escaping enclosures like an orangutan; jetting water to bounce balls; and endlessly tricking companions with multiple “sleights of hand” to get food. Scientists have only recently accepted the intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees but now are watching octopuses solve problems and are trying to decipher the meaning of the animal’s color-changing techniques. With her “joyful passion for these intelligent and fascinating creatures” (Library Journal Editors’ Spring Pick), Montgomery chronicles the growing appreciation of this mollusk as she tells a unique love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about the meeting of two very different minds.