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Book Review: Wind River Wilderness
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Wind River Wilderness


Edited by Ronald H. Chilcote, ©2006 Laguna Wilderness Press
Review by Rich Brame, NOLS Alumni Relations Manager

For anyone who has spent time in Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains or Red Desert, paging through the 144-page, large-format Wind River Wilderness is a powerful and joyous experience on many levels.

First, and most obviously, there are the photos. Every page brings new, intense images of the Winds from numerous photographers, including Tom Mangelsen, Andy Carson, David Muench and others. From wildlife, to craggy peaks, to gorgeous lakes, to Red Desert austerity, to wide-angle vistas, every picture is evocative and inspiring. Many of the book’s images are overtly moving, particularly Muench’s saturated shots of Temple Peak, Green River Lakes, and Island Lakes.

Wind River Wilderness also brings an important non-photographic element to your table. Contributors such as Gretel Ehrlich, Terry Tempest Williams, and others have sprinkled short, thoughtful essays and natural/human history tidbits throughout the text. The writing adds nuance and context to the beautiful photos, yet can stand alone as educational or personal, thoughtful prose.

NOLS Rocky Mountain graduates will read and enjoy Wind River Wilderness for reasons beyond the nice pictures and writing. The book conjures up memorable NOLS expeditions—special times in amazing places with outstanding people. Remember those hikes, mountain passes, awesome flat-rock kitchens, and icy lakes from your Wind River course? Wind River Wilderness captures those memories in ways you probably didn’t with your point-and-shoot.

Lastly, this book is also a reminder that Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains are a special place that is threatened by encroaching development, energy production and climate change. Many of us hold a piece of the Winds in our hearts and minds. Wind River Wilderness gives us a chance to have a piece of the Winds on our bedside tables.

Nonprofit Laguna Wilderness Press’ Wind River Wilderness is available for $40.00 at the NOLS online store.

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