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Don't Step on the Dirt: A Comedic Travelogue through America's National Parks Paperback – November 2, 2012
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About the Author
Ryan Elson, the 30-year-old transplant from the Midwest, has camped all over the country. As an avid outdoorsman and former Eagle Scout, Ryan has camped everywhere; from the cornfields of the Midwest to the desert that is West Texas; from the mountains of Colorado and California to the frigid shores of Antarctica. Perhaps his propensity for enjoying sub-zero outdoor activities stems from the fact that he was born during one of the most brutally cold Januaries that Chicago has ever seen. Or perhaps not. In his youth, Ryan lived in the suburbs of Chicago, outside of Dallas, and finally followed his parents to the great state of Indiana where, in high school, he played football and ran track, even trying his hand at pole-vaulting, something he probably should have had a coach for. Afterwards, he graduated from Iowa State University with a black belt in Taekwondo and an electrical engineering degree. Before quitting his job and moving to Nevada to enter the world of writing full-time, Ryan had relocated to California to work as the electrical supervisor at a cement plant and after being laid off, for a defense contractor. These maintenance positions put Ryan in a location where he could camp regularly and gave him a unique perspective on the world that one only acquires after years of early morning call-outs and rocket-fuel coffee. In his free time, Ryan enjoys ignoring his girlfriend’s cats, rock climbing, hiking, camping, traveling, genealogical research, reading, skiing, beer, solving crossword puzzles, spreadsheets, and pretty much anything in the great outdoors. Although Ryan's interests have changed over the years, some hobbies from his youth included eating far too many eggs and mixing the pieces from several puzzles together before proceeding to solve each one--at the age of two. Having previously visited Ecuador and Antarctica using the scant vacation a maintenance position afforded him, Ryan now desires nothing more than the time and ability to experience new places and see new things. Oh, and beer. He also desires a tasty beer.
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The humor is smart and consistent, and the asides the author takes are full of pieces of information you never wanted to know, but are somehow glad you now know. That's what Ryan Elson does. He gets you to listen... or read, I suppose. Because he's funny, he's informed, and he's a fun writer in a genre that's difficult to do well even without the humor.
If you hate reading, you probably shouldn't buy this book. Otherwise, I don't know why you wouldn't.