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Walking Home: A Traveler in the Alaskan Wilderness, a Journey into the Human Heart Paperback – May 10, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Having lived in Alaska for 40 years, working as a commercial fisherman, shipwright, wilderness guide and wildlife photographer, Juneau resident Schooler (The Blue Bear) set out in 2007 on a solo trip through his adopted state, in part to get away from his failing marriage. Jettisoning the pontification and redundancy that can weigh down man-against-nature stories, Schooler's account boils over with adventure and exploration: there are rivers to cross, glaciers to maneuver, a trek through "boulder hell," eerie mountainscapes, and a panoply of spooky histories to recount. An escape of sorts, Schooler's journey proves a harrowing diversion, related with nail-biting immediacy: "the current heaving against my legs was getting stronger with every step... What at first might seem manageable becomes suddenly and startlingly on the verge of taking control, like the slow, easy coils of an anaconda becoming a muscular squeeze." A bear encounter is so frightening as to be exhausting, culminating in his decision to sleep outside with an escape route already carved out: "There was no way I was going to spend the night in the tent... wrapped in a sleeping bag like a burrito." Armchair adventurers will be captivated. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Alaskan Schooler, a prizewinning wildlife photographer and author, reclaims the state’s true wilderness aesthetic in his chronicle of a solo trip along the southeast coastal region. He infuses his personal story with astute observations about the area’s history, from a Russian landing in the mid-eighteenth century to the impact of the greatest recorded tsunami ever (over 1,700 feet) in Lituya Bay in 1958. Their relevance to his own travels is clear as he reflects upon those who suffered years before, friends in Juneau, and his own deteriorating marriage. A frightening episode with a disturbed bear will remind readers that this is no programmed nature special. Instead, Schooler shares his hiking experiences in a style reminiscent of Richard Nelson and Barry Lopez. It is in the artful blend of the intimate and the historical that Schooler’s prose truly sings, and his resistance to hyperbole should appeal to fans of natural history. Schooler is the real deal and he proves it on every gorgeous page. --Colleen Mondor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Lynn Schooler lays bare his soul to the reader. He hopes the trip by himself into the wilderness will enable him to think about the priorities of life and his future. There are agonizing flashbacks of the incidents in his life which have precipitated this trip. His constant indecision about whether to go on or turn back and go home to his wife.
I resisted, with great effort, going to the end of the book to find out what happened because I was on this journey with him now.
These soul searchings are intermingled with the realities of being alone in a dangerous place. He goes over and over the things to take with him to cater for every eventuality. His worry about how to leave his boat safely in Lituya Bay because the boat is his lifeline. It is all so beautifully and poignantly described that I felt for him all the way. It is a memorable book.
He provides an in depth description of the area he visits as well as the activities of his trek. A series of events changes this from a meditative hike to a fight for survival, where he must reach for the resources to escape. Mr. Schooler is definitely the kind of man that you would want as a companion in a bad situation. I plan to reread this book, and I have purchased his other. I wish that I had found him sooner.
detailed the finding of a 500 year old body of a young native man by some glacier travelers in the late '90's. The analysis of the remains and remnants of clothing, contents of pockets (pollen grains, etc.) and speculation of why anyone would be at that place at the season surmised (fall) with meager supplies/clothing is like reading a detective episode. The author speculates why this might be--drawing from his own young motivations.
I am eager to read more of the Russian history of the region
which is interwoven with the author's travels.