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Ranger Confidential: Living, Working, And Dying In The National Parks Paperback – April 2, 2010
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"Andrea tells the real story about what she calls the best job in the world, carefully picking away at the mainstream postcard- perfect image of the park ranger." Wend Magazine
A National Geographic "Top Ten Book About U.S. Parks"..."Ranger Confidential dispenses with the wilderness romance and cuts straight to the heart of how difficult it can be to manage America's National Parks....the book delves into the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of today's park rangers."
"Part Sand County Almanac, part Backpacker Magazine, Lankford's stories will have you laughing raucously one minute and planning your vactaion the next." Sacramento Book Review
About the Author
Andrea Lankford is a former national park ranger and the author of three books, including Haunted Hikes: Spine-Tingling Tales and Trails from North America’s National Parks, which was featured in USA Today, chosen by People as a 2006 Travel Pick, and described by Newsday as “spell-binding.” Her articles have appeared in USA Today, Arizona Highways, and Backpacker.
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Top Customer Reviews
I finished this 241 page book in 2 days. I could probably count on one hand the number of books that gripped me this much.
This book offers an open, honest, gritty look at the lives of rangers. The joys of saving lives, sadness at lives not saved, dangerous Search And Rescue, frustrations of "politics" within the NPS, personality issues, idealism, burn-out...it's all here. Lankford is an excellent story teller. This book involves the reader emotionally. While reading the book I laughed, cried, anxiously held my breath and felt my heart pounding; feeling as if I were right there, a part of the experience.
The majority of this book deals with 2 National Parks, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. I found an especially close emotional attachment to these accounts, having helped author hiking DVDs on each of these parks (Yosemite National Park (Jon's Hiking Guides); Jon's DVD Hiking Guides - Grand Canyon National Park) . I could really put myself there because I've been in all the places mentioned in Yosemite, and most of the ones in the Grand Canyon.
When I was a kid I wanted to be a NPS Ranger. While others talked about becoming astronauts or Firemen, I dreamed of wearing a "Smokey Bear". That didn't happen, and after reading this book, I know that I wouldn't have been cut out for it anyway. Many people today get labeled "hero" without real reason. I now know that many NPS Rangers have earned that title.
Two thumbs up!!!
Former National Park Service Ranger Andrea Lankford wrote a very powerful, affecting account of her experiences, co-workers, family and friends during a decade and a half spent serving in our National Parks. She could have told her story in a very superficial, macho, "There I was" fashion, and the anecdotes would have been entertaining, but still nothing special. Instead, Ms. Lankford took the more courageous path, sharing not only what she and her fellow Rangers did, but how they were affected physically and emotionally. Even though I am aware first-hand of the toll being a first responder exacts on our minds and bodies, reading "Ranger Confidential" still hit me like a punch to the gut. My palms sweated while Ms. Lankford recounted rescues and recoveries in the Grand Canyon and Yosemite; one incident she described occurred at the same time my wife and I were riding mules down to Phantom Ranch. I remember thinking at the time, "I sure wouldn't want to be the one having to rappel down those sheer cliffs!" That time-honored definition of courage: "Being scared to death but doing the task anyway" was never more apt when describing what Park Rangers volunteer to do with terrible frequency.
Some Amazon reviewers have negatively commented about Ms. Lankford's frank commentary on "Ranger Burnout" and Critical Incident Stress among law enforcement Park Rangers.Read more ›
This is a must read for anyone who at times may not appreciate that every day is a gift and that the young can and do touch the lives of many.
Ranger Confidential is interesting when author Andrea Lankford explains what really goes on behind the scenes at such famous U.S. national parks as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Denali, and others. The stories are disjointed, but it is still interesting to read about clueless hikers, ranger love and loss, park deaths (more than you think), arrests and transporting of prisoners, short haul helicopter rescues, and even tragic park employee suicides.
The Grand Canyon averages over 300 rescues a year. When you figure in that most visitors come in the summer, the number actually averages out to several rescues per day during the high season. Despite numerous warnings, signs, and patrolling rangers, people still get in trouble there every day. On our two day rim to rim Grand Canyon hike, for example, we were repeatedly warned not to try to go down to the river and back in one day, and yet we ran into at least five exhausted hikers doing just that. They were in real trouble at the halfway mark heading back, but luckily a ranger station was nearby and they were airlifted out. People routinely underestimate the trip, carry little water, have no map, think their cell phones have service everywhere in the canyon (they do not), etc.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very well written book that tackles the fun and hardships that park rangers have to face in their low-paying, yet extremely rewarding job. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Chrisreyesiii
I climb, hike, backpack, chatted with Rangers, visited the National Parks mentioned in this book. I never knew any of this, wow.Published 1 month ago by NSilver
I was gifted this book as a holiday pressie this year. I cannot be more happy with the book's down-to-Earth style, humour, and downright cold, hard, truths about what it means to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by VercingetorixBushcrafter
Kinda grim-mostly about how people die in national parksPublished 1 month ago by Gwendolyn Bellermann
This author can write!! I throughly enjoyed this fast paced narrative jam packed with amazing stories. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Rita
I found this book so interesting, you always think Rangers have an easy job living in the National parks but this book changed my mind on that, but the stories are incredible of... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jamrom Productions
Fantastic book. This is one of the best non fiction books I have read in a long time. Andrea's story is a page turner as she goes through the national parks and shares her stories... Read morePublished 4 months ago by RJ
a good personal real life view of the trials and tribulations of rangers in our national parks. I loved it. SheilaPublished 5 months ago by Sheila A. Marshall
Excellent overview of our National Parks from the inside. Funny at times, dramatic and emotional at others. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Seven Seas Sailor