Photo from Marcy Dam in the Adirondacks by Robbie’s Photo Art used under a Creative Commons license.
Bill McKibben, Wandering Home (Crown Journeys, 2005).
Recommended by David Armstrong, The San Francisco Chronicle‘s (former) Literate Traveler:
. . . [A] close-up look at the weather, land, water, animals and people in the hardscrabble country of upstate New York’s Adirondacks and the greener, softer land on the other side of Lake Champlain, in Vermont. . . . McKibben goes on walkabout, backpacking from his home in Vermont to his home in New York State. It takes him 16 days. Along the way, he profiles what in a more high-powered report would be called the area’s movers and shakers: creative locals trying to live rooted, ecologically aware lives. They are organic farmers, home winemakers, hometown cafe owners, environmental activists. They inhabit what McKibben calls “America’s most hopeful landscape.” McKibben clearly despises much of modern life, and this can lead him very close to weary sententiousness. At times, he launches into stiff-necked secular sermons. But he usually pulls back in time, and delights with self- deprecating humor and inspired, descriptive writing . . . .
McKibben’s site offers this description of the book and this bio. Casey Ryan Vock reviewed the book for All Points North magazine. George Sibley reviewed it for MountainGazette.com. Gerry Rising reviewed it in ArtVoice. Amanda liked it. So did Eric Promislow. And Donovan posted about it. Listen to National Public Radio’s Alex Chadwick interview McKibben about the book, or watch him in conversation. McKibben wrote this article for Gourmet about trying to eat locally through a Vermont winter.
Buy it at Amazon.com. (N.B. — Here’s a bargain price that may not last.)