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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.
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“Schooler 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…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.”—Booklist
This book sat with me for weeks after I read it. I literally felt guilty when reading other novels because my mind was still planted deep within Lynn Schooler's latest book. His writing and his experiences touched me and took me back to a land that has always been close to my heart. His knowledge of Alaska, it's gifts and dangers along with the wildlife was incredible. His ability to tie his adventure in with the personal issues he was dealing with is unlike anything I've ever read. I rarely read books twice, but this one will be reread. I also recommend Blue Bear which he wrote prior to this.
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Posted January 14, 2013
What an incredible mental and emotional journey you have taken your readers (including me) on. You have taken this journey physically while I for one have had the privilege of seeing it all through your writings.
In the world of art, Thomas Kincaid has been called the “Painter of Light” and justly so. Now you have opened up a new inner perspective on my part to be ~~~ Lynn Schooler, “Master of Literary Visual Art.”
Thank you so much for Sharing
Posted October 9, 2011
You step into Lynn Schooler's boots when you read this book. You don't get told about it, you live it, see it like he sees it, feel it like he feels it. A first class wilderness experience with some natural history thrown in to feed your curiosity and remind you that the wild parts of our state and country are not for the timid.
Read it once for the story; then read it again for the feeling all over again. Home is where Lynn's heart is and your's will be too.
Posted December 14, 2010
Posted February 16, 2011
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