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Filled with sketches, maps and hand-lettered text, this award-winning travel sketchbook (8-1/2 in. x 11 in.)leads you through the Idaho and Montana side of Yellowstone National Park. Following routes that begin and end at West Yellowstone, Montana, Just West of Yellowstone is a friendly guide to exploring old stage routes and Indian trails, the floor of the Island Park Caldera, and the Madison River Canyon Earthquake Area. The book tells you entertaining anecdotes about colorful historical characters, events, flora and fauna, and promises never to talk back, get tired, or become hungry. After your travels, the book will follow you home to your coffee table to remind you of your delightful discoveries on the sunset side of Yellowstone.
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Rae Ellen Lee grew up on a stump ranch in an ancient meander (former oxbow) of the Priest River in Northern Idaho. At age 20 she signed on with the Foreign Service as a secretary and received assignments in Washington, D.C., Switzerland and Yugoslavia. At 32 she enrolled at the University of Idaho to earn a degree in landscape architecture. She worked in that capacity for the U.S. Forest Service in Idaho and Montana from 1983 to 1997, at which time she resigned to move with her husband, Tom, to a sailboat. After four years on the boat in Bellingham, Washington, Rae Ellen and Tom, both in their fifties, moved to St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where they owned and operated a small business, The Canvas Factory. In 2007, Rae Ellen returned to Bellingham, where she now lives and writes. Rae Ellen studied creative writing at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, B.C., and at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana. Her memoir about moving from the mountains to a sailboat, If The Shoe Fits, was published by Sheridan House in June 2001. The Bluebird House, a paranormal, historical, romance-adventure novel with a mystery, was published by Five Star in 2002.Review:
The charm of the book is in its interweaving of art with words. The drawings are simple, clear and informative. The style reflects Rae Ellen's training as a landscape architect, and old buildings are one of her strong points. But some sketches go beyond factual depiction. The elements of delight and surprise in traveling a new area are evident in secondary details of grazing animals, basalt outcrops, an osprey nest and sandhill cranes. Just West of Yellowstone is fun to read and fun to look at. --John McCarthy, Lewiston Morning Tribune
A story waits at the next fork in the road, the next stand of lodgepole pines, the next Indian trail and river falls. We learn about wildlife: trumpeter swans, graylings, osprey, Canada geese, and raptors at Red Rock Lakes NWR. We read about Earthquake Lake; explore caves, canyons, calderas, craters, creeks and ghost towns. --Alexa Howell, Boise Magazine
Her sketches of day trips looping from West Yellowstone have the friendly quality of an illustrated letter. The text includes information about geology, wildlife, Indian migrations and early stage routes -- all done in very legible handwriting and a disarming style. --Terri McFerrin Smith, The Missoulian
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