For twelve years Andrea Lankford lived in some- of the biggest, most impressive national parks in the world, working as a ranger-a job she loved. She chaperoned baby sea turtles on their journey to sea. She pursued bad guys on her galloping patrol horse. She jumped into rescue helicopters bound for the heart of the Grand Canyon. She won arguments with bears. She slept with a few too many rattlesnakes.
Hell yeah, it was the best job in the world! Fortunately, Andrea survived it.
In this candid and wryly humorous account of her and others' extraordinary careers, Lankford unveils a world in which park rangers struggle to maintain their idealism in the face of death, disillusionment, and the loss of a comrade killed while holding that thin line between protecting the park from the people, the people from the park, and the people from each other. Ranger Confidential is the inside story of the nation's crown jewels-including Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Denali. In these iconic landscapes, where nature and humanity constantly collide, scenery can be as cruel as it is redemptive.
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)|
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.
Table of Contents
1 This Is Your Brain on the Grand Canyon 1
2 Plover Patrol 7
3 Faint at Heart 16
4 As Yosemite Falls 23
5 Our First Summers in the Sierra 31
6 Dead Bear Walking 42
7 The Ranger Olympics 49
8 A Girl in Boys Town 58
9 The Partner 68
10 The Tell-Tale Backpack 74
11 Mary, the Split-Tail Clerk-Typist 79
Gateway to the Underworld 91
13 Scorpion Karma 94
14 Predator-Prey Relationships 103
15 Cruel World 113
16 Crash 119
17 A Cold Wet One 125
18 Dry Heat 136
19 The Devil's Corkscrew 146
20 Friday the Thirteenth 150
21 The Gut of Darkness 154
22 Thunder and Lightning 157
23 Pine Pigs 165
24 Dangerous Types 170
25 Thanksgiving Ledge 180
26 Stuck in the Fee Booth 191
27 What's So Wonderful about Wonder Lake? 197
28 Separation Canyon 204
29 Place of Emergence 212
30 On the Mountain 217
31 The Ranger's Burden 226
32 The Last Call 233
About the Author 246
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Even though I spent more than 32 years as a National Park Ranger and lived many experiences similar to those depicted in Ranger Confidential, I found the book exciting and riveting. Andrea Lankford is a gifted writer and story teller who passes on experiences she lived first hand in some of our most popular and risk filled parks. The risks portrayed in this book are taken by park visitors and result in the danger and stress placed on park rangers attempting to protect them from the park, themselves, and other human predators. I remember hearing of many of the adventures in this book in National Park Service Morning Reports and at ranger training courses and meetings. Ms. Lankford relates the inside back-story of these incidents in an accurate and colorful way. I found the book hard to put down. The book honestly reflects the emotional and physical consequences of being a National Park Ranger. Although I was not there hanging off Half Dome or the edge of the Grand Canyon with these rangers, this book stirred many of the same emotions, frustrations, and challenges I faced in my career. I highly recommend Park Ranger Confidential to anyone interested in our National Parks or what it takes to be a National Park Ranger in a major park today. Bruce W. Bytnar, Author of A Park Ranger's Life: Thirty Two Years Protecting Our National Parks
Loved the variety of stories . Gives an honest glimps into the lfe of a ranger without glorifying it or exageration.
This book was interesting to me because I have been a National Park Ranger in Yosemite, and have friends at Grand Canyon, and have known, loved and visited the locales in the book... but Lankford's writing is not good. She includes "juicy" details, but in the dry, blunt style of a report. Still, a good eye-opener into the tough job of being a law enforcement ranger in a large national park.
Although the stories are true, the first few stories peak interest but midway through it gets boring as it appears to be similar stories. I couldn't finish after the first several chapters.
Great read. Needs to be turned into a TV series (are you listening Netflix?). Found myself looking up all the landmarks she mentioned just so it would take longer to finish
Good read!...I could not book this book down!! This book has everything adventure, romance, humor, and a couple of brought tears to my eyes....
‘Ranger Confidential’ is an uncensored look at those who protect America’s National Parks. Well written and poignant, the book is a must read for those who are thinking about working in the national parks, and those starting to learn about the outdoors. However if you’re looking for something that makes you want to grab your back and head out to the trail look somewhere else. Reading the article about this book in ‘Backpacker’ magazine I knew parts were going to be sad and gory but I figured that they would be interspersed with sun antidotes about pranks or fun times in the back country, but I was wrong. While there are some (very few) times where the beauty of the parks shows through, or something goes write, if you were to believe this book the life of a ranger really sucks. The book seems to say that they pretty much go from one search and rescue to another while getting paid like crap, and after a while it makes the author seem to be a bit whiny.
This book was okay. I wish I could give it two and a half stars. I was expecting more humor. I don't regret reading it, but I certainly won't re-read it.