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Oregon's Dry Side: Exploring East of the Cascade Crest Paperback – Illustrated, May 1, 2007

4.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Oregon's Dry Side is a labor of Stetson spirit and tumbleweed love...it captures the sage-scented lifestyle, the granite and ice, the tule dingles, the pine-scented paradises, and sense of spaciousness so many of us treasure."
—Jeff Petersen, La Grande Observer


“The book is beautifully illustrated with striking photographs and historical reproductions, and St. John’s description of Oregon’s dry landscapes is fascinating.”

From the Back Cover

Come explore the sights, sounds, scents, and stories of Oregon's dry side, the stunning, vast, sunny East, which is the state's true West. In three extensive, flexible driving and hiking trous of the region, you'll visit the rugged mountains, mysterious fossils, vanilla-scented ponderosa pines, painted desert colors, wildlife and wildflowers, remote outposts, and rich history.

Our expert guide is Alan D. St. John, a naturalist, photographer, native Oregonian, and lifetime dry-side explorer, who shares it all, including some of his own little-known favorite places in Central, Southeastern, and Northeastern Oregon. Illustrated with hundreds of St. John's magnificent photographs, this treasure of a book will delight armchair travelers and intrepid adventurers alike.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881928291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881928297
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #624,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Theodore Fremd on May 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
The varied wonderlands of Oregon East of the Cascades are largely unknown, even to many Oregonians, who think of it as "the desert". This book finally offers glimpse after glimpse of the diversity of scenery, ecosystems, and satisfying landscapes that exist here.

The photography is absolutely outstanding, and the images are accompanied by accurate captions. The choices of human history photographs and quotes are great. The natural history sections are readable, unlike a field guide, and there is an excellent balance of "charismatic species" coverage. As one of those who prefers places to people, I found the balance between obsession with our own species and appreciation for the others to be perfect.

As far as I can tell, it is extraordinarily accurate - and I learned a few things even after Skylar and I have been exploring the subtleties of these places for over 20 years. There are some excellent perspectives; for example, St. John probably wins the prize for the best way to frame the Columbia River dam "controversy" (see page 177). He is unafraid of "deep time" to explain modern ecosystems and weaves the fossil record throughout the text.

My only concern is purely selfish = he describes some of our favorite haunts so eloquently, readers are going to flock to them and the desert solitaire he praises will change. Oh, well. Maybe those readers will be moved to protect these special places as a result. I just hope the editors of Outside never get a copy...

I plan to buy a few dozen as gifts for friends who wonder "Why are you guys living out there in the frontier instead of in _____ (insert city, bay, whatever)?"

This is on the top of my list of "Books that Work".

Ted Fremd

Paleontologist

John Day Basin
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This book provides, in stunning pictures, as well as words, a picture of Oregon that most people don't know exists. It is a travel guide that covers small towns and natural areas in good detail. Most people don't know that these places exist, an a vacation or weekend trip to these areas will get you away from the crowds (unless you choose to attend a local festival, where the crowds are still not exceedingly large).

St John gives listings of wildflowers and wildlife you might see along the route or at your destination and when the best chances of sightings occur. These helpful hints prove to be very useful. Being a desert rat, I find it easy to see the beauty in the remote areas St John describes.
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I do not understand why this book is out of print. There are beautiful photographs, a well written book. I wasn't expecting the book to be so small, (9 1/4" X 7") but a great size for the shelf. I wasn't happy about the condition it was in. I bought used and it said light wear, ect. Turned out to be very well used (corners bent, creased, dirty pages). I would rate the author and contents of the book itself more than 5 stars, but the seller 3 stars only because I received the book quickly.
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I've read portions of this book, purchased it as a gift for a friend who does lots of hiking/exploring in the area. Provided them with many more features of the area to explore.

Definitely would recommend for someone wanting a guide for exploring Eastern Oregon. Well laid out into various areas.
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By Mule on March 10, 2008
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Having traveled many of these places, this book makes me want to get out and see more. Good history, good recommendations, great photos!!
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I first spotted this book at the Thomas Condon Visitor's Center at the Sheep Rock Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds just a few miles west of Dayville, Oregon. It is filled with the most gorgeous color photos of both the landscape and the wildlife of central and eastern Oregon. Paging through it, I recognized that I had already visited 60% or 70% of the places featured, with my family over the last thirty years, and it brought back so many good memories. I knew I had to have it, but I also knew I wasn't going to pay $30 for a new one, especially in paperback. Amazon to the rescue! I bought three copies, used, and they arrievd in excellent, "like new" condition. I gave them as momentos to my family, inscribed with a dedication recounting the many places described that we had visited together. The author just happens to be an outstanding photographer as well.
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