Book Recollection: Lost in My Own Backyard

It’s all about the reading output this month!  Still kicking myself for a pretty poor performance on last year’s reading stack.  Normally I would be optimistic about going into the new year, but this holiday (and birthday) season brought some great additions to the stack. So, this year I’m being a little more conservative and hoping to get through at least one book a month and then crank through three or four during vacations.  That is actually a great lead into this book recollection post.  The recent trip out to Yellowstone has rekindled my fondness for all things Yellowstone.  I must give Amazon some credit here because they recommended Tim Cahill’s Lost in My Own Backyard based on all the related purchases I had over Christmas.  At some point it went on my Wish List and sure enough Linda came through for my birthday.

When the wrapping paper was removed I was first a little shocked (for reasons which will be explained below) but quickly turned to anticipation to getting some time to start in on it.  It definitely had the feel of Bill Bryson’s Walk in the Woods which I thoroughly enjoyed, but unlike the Appalachian Trail I am actually pretty familiar with our (and later learned the world’s) first National Park.  One excellent feature Tim provides is a map of Yellowstone printed on the hardbound front and back cover of the book.  Whenever he referenced an unfamiliar place it was a simple task to flip to the closest cover and look it up.  The concept of the book is various experiences and thoughts Tim has encountered during his numerous hikes in the park.  Tom Murphy was his companion on some of these adventures.   I am familiar with him being a well known Yellowstone Park photographer … double bonus!  Tim’s book is divided up into small chapters/topics perfect for reading before hitting the sack (as mentioned in a previous post, it is much easier when you do not have to carry plots and topics across multiple days – getting older means the mind is wandering more and more).  Based on his highly entertaining (and quite humorous) descriptions of sights and experiences on his back country jaunts I’m getting the bug to take some longer hikes the next time we get out there.   Of course, now I am much more likely to stop off and pick up a can of bear spray!  It would also be prudent if I could find a nurse to go with us (as Tim was lucky enough to do) in case something bad happens.  One thing for certain, I will not be publishing a book which describes how to get to or has the audacity to give names to the natural features that I discover- there is some serious angst directed toward the authors of a Yellowstone waterfalls book (which Linda owns and really likes).   I also now want to capture the moonbows (night rainbows) Tim experienced (and learned about from Tom Murphy) on one of his hikes.

In summary, I thought this was a great read and would recommend it to anyone that likes to spend time in the woods.  It is written in a very comfortable style and should bring a few smiles (if not all out laughs) during the course of the read.  Unfortunately, there was one downside I need to share.  Remember when I mentioned there was some initial shock at first sight.  The reason for that is … hit the jump to find out why along with my takeaways (what a tease)

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