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Summary

“Let’s get lost together....”

Lost in My Own Backyard brings acclaimed author Tim Cahill together with one of his - and America’s - favorite destinations: Yellowstone, the world’s first national park. Cahill has been “puttering around in the park” for a quarter of a century, slowly covering its vast scope and exploring its remote backwoods. So does this mean that he knows what he’s doing? Hardly. “I live 50 miles from the park,” says Cahill, “but proximity does not guarantee competence. I’ve spent entire afternoons not knowing exactly where I was, which is to say, I was lost in my own backyard.” 

Cahill stumbles from glacier to geyser, encounters wildlife (some of it, like bisons, weighing in the neighborhood of a ton), muses on the microbiology of thermal pools, gets spooked in the mysterious Hoodoos, sees moonbows arcing across waterfalls at midnight, and generally has a fine old time walking several hundred miles while contemplating the concept and value of wilderness. Mostly, Cahill says, “I have resisted the urge to commit philosophy. This is difficult to do when you’re alone, 20 miles from the nearest road, and you’ve just found a grizzly bear track the size of a pizza.” 

Divided into three parts - “The Trails,” which offers a variety of favorite day hikes; “In the Backcountry,” which explores three great backcountry trails very much off the beaten track; and “A Selected Yellowstone Bookshelf,” an annotated bibliography of his favorite books on the park - this is a hilarious, informative, and perfect guide for Yellowstone veterans and first-timers alike. Lost in My Own Backyard is adventure writing at its very best. 

©2004 Tim Cahill (P)2004 Books on Tape

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Caroline
  • 13-06-07

Too repetitive

I found this book to be very repetitive especially with second part of the book being recycled material. The recycled bits were just thrown into this book without any consideration of deleting material already covered. There were a few interesting parts, but not enough to recommend this book to someone - or to listen to it again.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • 10-03-06

A Big Backyard

This was an enjoyable read, but a bit dry. The author did point out many great out a the way spots in the Park. A lot of the book was basic info that has been printed many times. Makes you wish that you lived close to Yellowstone to enjoy it more.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert
  • 10-08-04

A bit of a rip-off, but at least HALF enjoyable

I was a little irritated to discover half way through that the second half of this book consisted of 'reworked' articles that were previously published in Outside magazine. If you haven't read these, then you'll enjoy Cahill's depictions of trips in Yellowstone. If you have, then expect to get only half a book. Maybe I didn't read the product description well enough, but this wasn't disclosed before buying...

7 people found this helpful