I’ve heard that adventure awaits in the out-of-doors and I believe it to be true. While hiking a mountain trail, I about scared myself half to death because I looked up to see a bear just yards away from me, with a look that said “Oh good, my lunch has arrived.” It thankfully turned out to be a charred old tree stump, but definitely made me feel like I had just slammed three energy drinks. Funny thing is that on the way back the same trail later that evening, I scared “the other half of me that was still alive” when I saw that “bear” again, this time ready for his dinner appetizer. I guess I don’t quite rank as fearless, but I sure enjoy reading about the true daredevils that venture into the wild.
The Amazon River, runs from its source in the Peruvian Andes to the Atlantic Ocean in Brazil, more than 4000 miles. Darcy Gaechter, at thirty-five, set out to kayak its entire length, the first woman ever, to accomplish that. “Amazon Woman: Facing Fears, Chasing Dreams, and a Quest to Kayak the World’s Largest River from Source to Sea” by Darcy Gaechter details her amazing story. With 16 years of kayaking experience to her credit, she was certainly prepared to be fatigued and hungry, getting trapped and pummeled by the water and jagged rocks, enduring all the inevitable hardships that would be constant companions during her journey. Awaiting her and her fellow kayakers, Don and Midge, was a month of traversing the most difficult whitewater in the world, followed by three to four months of flatwater paddling for over 3000 miles. What would come as a surprise, though, would be the unforeseen dangers of traveling through the Red Zone, an area of the river known for violence, danger, drug cartels and even murder. This is one exciting read, sure to be a wild ride.
Best-selling author and mountaineer, Jon Krakauer is well-known for his nonfiction works, “Into the Wild” and “Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster.” In “Classic Krakauer: Essays on Wilderness and Risk” a collection of ten previously published articles from magazines like Outsider and Smithsonian, are presented featuring an assortment of dangerous endeavors. Follow Krakauer on a roped descent into Lechugilla Cave, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. He accompanies scientists who are hoping to better understand Mars through inspecting a mud-like substance called corrosion residue. Witness the last ride of professional surfer, Mark Foo at Mavericks, Half Moon Bay, Northern California. Speculate on alpinist Fred Beckey’s legendary “Little Black Book” with its secret notes on unclimbed peaks. Enjoy this collection of short reads from an always impressive outdoor enthusiast and journalist.
Here’s a quick look at one more gripping story from our new books section. “The Impossible First: from Fire to Ice-Crossing Antarctica Alone” follows Colin O’Brady from an unfortunate accident to a solo crossing of Antarctica, all 932 miles of it, in subzero temperatures for 2 months, pulling a sled that initially weighed a whopping 375 lbs. An incredible adventure that will transport you to a frozen world.
All of these books may be checked out by library cardholders using our Books to Go service. This can be done online, by email, or by phone. We’ll then check out the books on your card, bag them and call to set up a pick-up time to meet outside of the library. You’ll find the details on our website at akspl.org on the Books to Go link or call us at (909) 798-7565. See you soon.