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The Hard Way Home: Alaska Stories of Adventure, Friendship, and the Hunt (Outdoor Lives)
Synopses & Reviews
In a remote kingdom hidden in the Himalayas, there is a trail said to be the toughest trek in the worldandmdash;twenty-four days, 216 miles, eleven mountain passes, and enough ghost stories to scare an exorcist.
In 2007 Kevin Grange decided to acquaint himself with the country of Bhutan by taking on this infamous trail, the Snowman Trek. He was thirty-three, at a turning point in life, and figured the best way to go at a crossroad was up. Against a backdrop of Buddhist monasteries and soaring mountains, Grange ventured beyond the mapped world to visit time-lost villages and sacred valleys. In the process, recounted here with a blend of laugh-out-loud humor, heartfelt insight, and acute observation, he tested the limits of physical endurance, met a fascinating assortment of characters, and discovered truths about faith, hope, and the shrouded secret of blossom rain.
Beneath Blossom Rain, Grangeandrsquo;s account of his journey, packs an adventure story, a romantic twist, and a celebration of group travel into a single entertaining book. The result is the ultimate journey for any traveler, armchair or otherwise. Along with high adventure, it delivers an engaging look at Bhutanandmdash;a country that governs by a policy of Gross National Happiness and that many regard as the last Shangri-La.
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Day One, and already she was lying in her journal. It was 1993, Suzanne Roberts had just finished college, and when her friend suggested they hike Californiaandrsquo;s John Muir Trail, the adventure sounded like the perfect distraction from a difficult home life and thoughts about the future. But she never imagined that the twenty-eight-day hike would change her life. Part memoir, part nature writing, part travelogue, Almost Somewhere is Robertsandrsquo;s account of that hike.
John Muir had written of the Sierra Nevada as a andldquo;vast range of light,andrdquo; and this was exactly what Roberts was looking for. But traveling with two girlfriends, one experienced and unflappable and the other inexperienced and bulimic, she quickly discovered that she needed a new frame of reference. Her story of a month in the backcountryandmdash;confronting bears, snowy passes, broken equipment, injuries, and strange menandmdash;is as much about finding a womanandrsquo;s way into outdoor experience as it is about the natural world she so eloquently describes. Candid and funny and, finally, wise, Almost Somewhere is not just the whimsical coming-of-age story of a young woman ill-prepared for a month in the mountains but also the reflection of a distinctly feminine view of nature.and#160; and#160;
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A lifelong Alaskan, Steve Kahn moved at the age of nine from the “metropolis” of Anchorage to the foothills of the Chugach Mountains. A childhood of berry picking, fishing, and hunting led to a life as a big-game guide. When he wasnt guiding in the spring and fall, he worked as a commercial fisherman and earned his pilots license, pursuits that took him to the far reaches of the Alaskan wilderness. He lived through some of the most important moments of the states history: the 1964 earthquake (the most powerful in U.S. history), the Farewell Burn wildfire, the last king crab season in Kodiak Island waters, the Exxon Valdez oil spill and cleanup, even the far-reaching effects of the 9/11 attacks.
The landscape of the essays in The Hard Way Home extends from the tip of Admiralty Island in the southeast to the Teocalli Mountains of the interior, from the windswept Alaska Peninsula to the authors present home on Lake Clark. These essays offer a view of Alaska that is at once introspective and adventurous. Here we find the states plants, animals, people, geography, politics, and culture considered from an intimate perspective, leading to hard-earned lessons about conservation, sustainability, and living well. Ever the irrepressible guide, Kahn invites readers to share his experiences and discoveries and to consider questions about a place, and a life, that are disappearing.
About the Author
Steve Kahn is a lifelong Alaskan and former hunting guide who lives a subsistence-based lifestyle on Lake Clark near Port Alsworth, Alaska. He is a contributor to the anthologies Wild Moments: Adventures with Animals of the North and Crosscurrents North: Alaskans on the Environment.
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