Summer officially arrives in June and for many of us it means vacations, travel and getting outside to enjoy the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area, the state of California as well as points beyond.
Here are a few of my favorite titles for enjoying the great outdoors, whether in person or in your favorite chair at home.
My first summer in the Sierra by John Muir ; with illustrations from drawings made by the author in 1869 and from photographs by Herbert W. Gleason. 917.94 M95 v.2
If there ever was a book to inspire one to get up from reading and head into the Sierras, this is it. This is the diary Muir kept his first summer in California in 1869 as he worked as a sheep hand for the annual migration of sheep from the Central Valley to the High Sierra around Yosemite Valley. Muir's engaging journal describes majestic vistas, flora and fauna, as well as the region's other breathtaking natural wonders. There are comical moments such as when he encounters a bear grazing on wildflowers in a meadow and sad ones as he describes the Native Americans he encounters who are already being devastated by disease and poverty. This work is also available in audiobook format. 917.94 M95c
A walk in the woods: rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson. 917.404 B916
Solidly in middle age, the author decides to fulfill a dream he has of hiking the Appalachian Trail. He is somewhat ill prepared though and makes the mistake of inviting an old college buddy who is in no shape to face the trek. You’ll be sure to laugh at the predicaments they find themselves in, while enjoying Bryson’s informative narrative on the flora and fauna of the areas they pass through.
Wild: from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. 92 S913
The amazing story of a young woman, who has never been backpacking before, as she works her way North on the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mexico-California border through to the Oregon-Washington border. As she hikes alone, she meets mostly helpful, wonderful trail mates and becomes more and more confident in her abilities to do just about anything. Her life, up to this point, has been mostly a sad one, and the name she has taken on -- “Strayed” -- reflects her feelings of being adrift. In the end, she overcomes so much both in a physical and psychological sense. This work is likewise available in audiobook format. 92 S913c