Walking Down the Wild: A Journey Through the Yellowstone Rockies
Of the 48 contiguous states, much of what remains of wild America can be found in the rugged folds of the northern Rocky Mountains. Naturalist Gary Ferguson set out on a five-hundred-mile journey by foot to explore the heart of this region - a place called the Yellowstone Rockies. This is the story of what he found along the way. Walking Down the Wild is an unforgettable armchair journey through the wilderness. Written in the grand tradition of such American naturalist-authors as John Muir, Edward Abbey, and Edward Hoagland, Ferguson shares the peace gained from hiking for days without human contact, the thrill of sharing the land with bull moose and sandhill cranes and the suspense and anticipation of a possible encounter with one of Yellowstone's legendary grizzlies. Along his spectacular route we learn of harrowing journeys through the region by early explorers, of the myths and legends of Native peoples, and of the glorious weave of flora and fauna that still blankets the land today. But against this excitement and beauty we also encounter the growing presence of extractive industry. More and more, gold mines, clearcuts, and oil drilling operations threaten to unravel the threads of this delicate, irreplaceable ecosystem. Throughout the book Ferguson examines the collision between our deep spiritual hunger for wild places, and our insistent demands for economic exploitation. In the end, though, Walking Down the Wild is one man's unique perspective on the Yellowstone Rockies. It is a perspective shaped from a slow, deliberate walk through the secret nooks and crannies of the land, from listening to the stories of the people who live there, and from basking in the sights and sounds,the fears and joys, of untrammeled nature.