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Topic: Coming Into the Country< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 29 2013, 4:09 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

One of my all time favorite books is Coming Into the Country, by John McPhee.

The book focuses on the Alaskan experience and is divided up into three sections:

Part one, 'The Encircled River'  describes the experiences of a group of men rafting down the remote Salmon river in the Brooks Range, hundreds of miles form civilization, and the beauty of the remote wilderness experience they had.

Part two, 'What They Were Hunting For' describes life in Anchorage and focuses on people who want to get away from it all and are using Anchorage as a turnstile and gateway to reach their eventual goal of wilderness living.

Part three,  'Coming into the Country'  describes the experiences of people who left the suburban 'big house and two cars' and climbing the company ladder lifestyle to live in remote cabins along the Yukon river in Alaska.
In their simple hunter-gatherer lifestyle they found a contentment and happiness in life they could never find in the suburban lifestyle.


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If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 29 2013, 11:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Read it many years ago and enjoyed it very much.  Partly because of the content and a lot because of the author.  John McPhee is an incredible writer.

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"Too often I have met men who boast only of how many miles they've traveled and not of what they've seen."  -  Louis L'Amour
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 30 2013, 3:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Agreed, John McPhee is a favorite. His Encounters with the Arch-druid was quite fun and his geology series fascinating.

A real favorite was The Survival of the Birchbark canoe.

He gave a terrific sense of Alaska in Coming into the Country as I recall, though it's been ages since I read it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 01 2013, 6:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Read it and thought it was okay.  I will return to it and give it another try and see if it appeals to me more the second time around.

Happy Trails,

RS


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 02 2013, 12:38 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For the diehard McPhee fans you will appreciate how he inscribed my copy of Encounters with the Archdruid...

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 02 2013, 12:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Sep. 30 2013, 3:27 pm)
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A real favorite was The Survival of the Birchbark canoe.

Great book.  Anyone who canoes should make it a must read.

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"Too often I have met men who boast only of how many miles they've traveled and not of what they've seen."  -  Louis L'Amour
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 02 2013, 2:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(CarFree @ Sep. 29 2013, 4:09 pm)
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One of my all time favorite books is Coming Into the Country, by John McPhee.

I agree.  It was the first of his I read, and I did so while briefly holed up in the Aleutians.  Each of his books is a gem.

My favorite is "Annals of the Former World", the compendium of his geology-themed books, with additional material that doesn't appear in any of the originals.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 02 2013, 4:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That story about the slab of essentially pure silver was awesome.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 02 2013, 11:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Oct. 02 2013, 4:50 pm)
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That story about the slab of essentially pure silver was awesome.

It burned the words "supergene enrichment" into my memory.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 11:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Huh. I tried reading his book The Founding Fish given my love of fishing, but it just didn't do anything for me. I'll have to try this one out.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 05 2013, 7:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Here's some background on McPhee...

http://ww2.odu.edu/ao/instadv/quest/WorkOfJohnMcPhee.html

Happy Trails,

RS


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 05 2013, 11:11 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You guys got me so interested in McPhee's other books I had to order some from amazon.

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If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 06 2013, 2:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As I remember, the people in Alaska hated this book and how it represented Alaska.

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”Every tree was dripping and the creeks had swollen. It occurred to me that I had achieved a rare thing: I was living at the center of my heart’s geography. And I knew it.”- Bryce Andrews, Badluck Way
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 06 2013, 3:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(mtngrl @ Nov. 06 2013, 10:20 am)
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As I remember, the people in Alaska hated this book and how it represented Alaska.

You might be thinking of "Going to Extremes."

My first summer in Alaska, well over 30 years ago, I spent a month or so in Eagle. A guy I was working with kept saying "You have to read 'Coming into the Country.' " It was only later that I learned that the colorful people of that little village were major characters of that book.

I think Coming into the Country is a great book, and I think it captured who those people were.

It's interesting, but bittersweet, that most of those people have either "left the country" or passed on.

In 1999 I was one of a few smokejumpers sent to protect one of Dick Cook's cabins. We were warned he was a cantankerous old hermit but once he knew we were there to help him we became friends with him, and he presented us with the honor of his first King Salmon of the year. His life ended in the Yukon River, which is just the way it should have ended. He was one of the few who would never, and could never, leave "The Country."


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