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Adirondack Cabin Country.

Reading Paul Schaefer's book on a warm June day in Vermont, with the Adirondack in view across Lake Champlain, was like discovering someone's private scrapbook in the attic. Here is a very personal story of a man's romance with wilderness. Thirty brief essays chronicle Schaefer's experiences in a small, east-central part of the Adirondack mountain region he calls "cabin country." They span some 70 years of his most cherished memories of friends and mountains, of hunting an fishing, and of campfires and winter hikes. But they are more than one man's reminiscences.

Schaefer's essays provide new insights into why many wilderness advocates are s passionate and determined. They are glimpses into the simple encounters with mountains and wild creatures that can shape a person's lifelong values. He also reminds us that many early wilderness advocates were rugged individuals who loved to hunt and fish and experience the challenge of winter camping and mountain climbing.

This is in sharp contrast to some "wise use" propaganda that characterizes all wilderness lovers as rich, urban birdwatchers" who are insensitive to local people's needs and values. Schaefer discredits that propaganda by simply retelling his story, with personal vignettes of fellow "knights" -- local mountain people, guides and farmers, and some who founded and led The Wildernes Society. These "crusaders" are not great philosophers born of some profound conversion experience. Rather, Adirondack Cabin Country reminds us, it only takes a quiet moment at dawn on a wilderness mountaintop or the rise of a nativ trout to a dry fly to make a believer of almost anyone.
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Copyright 1994, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Rooney, Bill
Publication:American Forests
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 1, 1994
Words:260
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