Synopses & Reviews
Ron Strickland has spent a good deal of time walking. He hiked the 1200 miles of the Pacific Northwest Trail in 1983. In 2004, he completed the Pacific Crest Trail, with a 1500-mile hike from the Mojave Desert to the Columbia River. In 2009, he hiked the length of the New England Trail.
He has also held a longtime dream of showcasing the best hiking of the Rockies, Purcells, Okanogan, Cascades, Olympics, and Wilderness Coast. He spent years raising funds, recruiting volunteers, cutting brush, digging dirt, and lobbying landowners, officials, and politicians--and in 2009, the Pacific Northwest Trail, which runs from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean, traversing three National Parks and seven National Forests, was finally declared a National Scenic Trail.
In this adventurous and moving memoir, Strickland--known in the backcountry as "Pathfinder"--shares his insider view of the joys and adventures of long-distance hiking. He intersperses colorful portraits of memorable trail characters and lush descriptions of hikes he knows firsthand. He also describes the experience of conceiving and establishing the Pacific Northwest Trail, detailing the setbacks and triumphs along the way.
Pathfinder offers the rich insights and experiences of a longtime hiker, inspiring readers to the wonder of hiking and the outdoors.
"Ron Strickland is the father of the 1,200-mile Pacific Northwest Trail. He is a latter-day trailblazer, author and the paterfamilias of the nation's newest national scenic trail.
Pathfinder is Strickland's eighth book, and for a zealot -- being 'focused' alone doesn't drag a wild-dream mountain trail into reality -- Strickland is more than a passable scrivener. Pathfinder interlaces tales of the trail's founding with steep ascents and descents to match the Pacific Northwest Trail's jutting terrain together with a potpourri of Northwest outback characters, other trail 'bad boys' like himself, love in the outdoors (nee sex), backpacking tips and a vision of hiking's future." Barney Mann, The Oregonian (Read the entire Oregonian review)
"In the early 1970s, Ron Strickland--a young, novice hiker with an audacious idea--launched a campaign to link Glacier National Park's alpine meadows and the Pacific Ocean with a new, 1,200-mile footpath across three national parks and seven national forests. He--along with countless other volunteers--lobbied landowners, raised money, and dug dirt until, in 2009, Congress added the Pacific Northwest Trail to the National Trails System.
In Pathfinder, Strickland describes the process of untangling brush and bureaucracy to establish one of the world's most beautiful trails. He intersperses colorful portraits of memorable trail characters, insider's tips about favorite hikes, and news about the coming renaissance of hiking. "The adventure," he says, "is just beginning."