This chronicle of the author's kayaking trip down the length of the Yellowstone River combines a stirring portrait of Montana and its people with a powerful vision of what an unspoiled America might look and feel like. First serial to New York Times Sunday travel section and the San Francisco Examiner Chronicle.
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The longest free-flowing river in America serves as a questing ground for a careworn but game journey of homecoming and self- discovery. The idea was for Chapple (coauthor, Burning Desires, 1989; Don't Mind Dying, 1980) to kayak the length of the Yellowstone, source to mouth; to break loose from the honk and nonsense of city life; to get reacquainted with a land he'd left many years before; and to find a home for his family. But reality--in the guise of the mean Montana winter--came for an extended visit sometime in September. So the river journey--often tedious, luckless, and fractured--faded into the background, becoming here mostly a narrative device, a mooring around which the author hooks a miscellany of his fascinations: family history; dinosaur digs; bird watching; architectural tours; chats with ranchers and farmers; nature gazing. Chapple has a journalist's instinct for ferreting out background information, and each new town, battlefield, and outpost along his way has a history to be plumbed. These forays into the past make for some of the most enjoyable reading here (e.g., histories of Fort Buford and Fort Union), served forth in true campfire style. Meanwhile, ginger probings among the author's ancestors (including his father, who was 54 when Chapple was born, and who died alone) proved to be psychologically demanding, at times leaving the author in emotional tatters. But despite the vicissitudes of his journey, Chapple pulls off the rare feat of summoning a distinct sense of place: The Yellowstone comes together here as a whole--an ancient, living thing--with personalities as numerous as the types of landscape it crosses. Chapple finds his river of return, and he negotiates the scary parts with real flair. He even manages to reach the Missouri. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
After living in San Francisco for 10 years, Chapple ( Burning Desires: Sex in America ) tired of city problems and decided to move back to his native Montana. The first leg of the return to his roots was to be a kayak trip down the Yellowstone River from Gardiner, Mont., to the confluence of the Missouri. He and his wife outfitted themselves with high-tech equipment and professional guides, but they also brought along their two small sons, with the result that the yearlong expedition involved more time spent in hotels, motels and a rented recreational vehicle--dealing with live-in nannies, bouts of flu and concerns about the weather--than in roughing it on the river. There are white-water adventures, but most of this impressionistic, disconnected narrative is comprised of family reminiscences, snatches of history and conversations with innkeepers, bartenders, farmers, ranchers, native Americans and numerous other cantankerous and free-spirited Montanans, including the maverick dinosaur hunter, John ("Jack") Horner. Some of these vignettes are amusing, but ultimately the reader finds the jumble tedious.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800609250791.0
Book Description Perennial, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0060925078
Book Description Perennial, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110060925078
Book Description Perennial. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0060925078 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.1021717