Monday, December 02, 2002

Into the Bookstore

A few years ago I lost a car in a flash flood. Remember that rainy Sunday night game a few years back between the Chiefs and the Seahawks? That was the night.

I swore that the next vehicle would sit higher, and I wound up with an SUV. It's also handy for all the moving I do, and it can pull a decent sized loaded trailer up a decent hill at 70+ MPH.

But then, shouldn't I have the lifestyle to go with it? No, not as a suburban mom. I'm talking something straight out of the Jeep or pickup commercials. Yeah, I'll be like the guy who cuts a hole in the ice and dives for fish.

Yeah, that's me all right - Robinson Crusoe, meet Walter Mitty. The closest I came to being an outdoorsman was hitting a !@#$! deer once in a while. But I did buy some books...

Two of them were by Jon Krakauer. Into Thin Air was about the author's own ill-fated excursion up Mt. Everest. If you liked that one, you might also like "The Climb", "Touching the Void", or "The Perfect Storm".

The other Krakauer book was "Into the Wild". Primarily it was about Chris McCandless.

Mr. McCandless was from a well-off family and was well educated, but he decided to go wander around the US and live off the land. He made it his business to know what was safe to eat and what wasn't. After doing this for a while, he got it in his head to spend a summer in Alaska.

He brought a few essential supplies, including a journal, and by this time he was an experienced outdoorsman. He planned it well, and hitchhiked north just as the weather was getting tolerable. He had studied the local ecosystem in advance so he'd be able to live off the land. And he wound up making an original contribution to our knowledge of poisonous plants.

So he hitchhiked north, walked deep into central Alaska and...well, why don't you take a look at the book?

No comments: