An excellent book. Even if you have no interest in hiking or pipelines. 😀
In fact, you won’t learn much about hiking. A thru hiker would not be impressed. Ken’s gear was too heavy. And he hiked the wrong months of the year.
Ken Ilgunas has a Masters in English from Duke. He’s a terrific writer.
This book has given me the best insight into how poor North American rural people think. An insight into why they vote for political Parties that make the rich richer, the poor poorer. Worse education and health care.
Children and grandchildren leave for big cities. Life is tough for those remaining.
Ken mostly sought out small town religious leaders, asking them for advice on where he could tent safely. He was astonished by the generosity of those spiritual leaders.
Ken worked as a backcountry ranger in Alaska. And was forced to take a job as dishwasher in a high Arctic oil camp.
Jobs there were high pay — very low quality of life.
Those arguing for the Petrotoxin industries usually shout JOBS, JOBS, JOBS. Ken came away thinking these were actually lousy jobs. High rates of alcoholism and drug abuse.
In September 2012, I stuck out my thumb in Denver, Colorado, and hitchhiked 1,500 miles north to the Alberta tar sands. After being duly appalled, I commenced my 1,700-mile hike south following the route of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast. It would become a 4.5 month journey across the Great Plains. To follow the pipe, I couldn’t take roads. I’d have to walk across fields, grasslands, and private property. I’d have to trespass across America.
The book is about my journey–fleeing from cows, taking cover from gunfire, and keeping warm on a very wintry and questionably-timed hike. But it’s also about coming to terms with climate change and figuring out what our role as individuals should be in confronting something so big and so out of our hands. It’s about taking a few months of your life to look at your country from a new perspective. Ultimately, it’s about embracing the belief that a life lived not half wild is a life only half lived.
“As of now, Earth is our only shareholder,” the company announced. “ALL profits, in perpetuity, will go to our mission to ‘save our home planet’.” …
Each year, the money Patagonia makes after reinvesting in the business will be distributed to the non-profit to help fight the environmental crisis. …
Chouinard and Patagonia have long been groundbreakers in environmental activism and employee benefits. In its nearly 50 years in operation, the Ventura, California-based company has been known for extensive benefits for employees, including on-site nurseries and afternoons off on good surf days. …
He’s climbed new routes and explored little-known regions on six continents.
Spent a total of 5 years sleeping in a tent while adventuring.
A pioneer in filming extreme outdoor pursuits.
You might have read one of his other books — Seven Summits (1988), an account of how Frank Wells and Dick Bass planned to climb the highest mountain on each of the world’s seven continents.
Ridgeway later had some adventures with Reinhold Messner. In this book he doesn’t mention the controversy that Canadian alpinist Pat Morrow and then Messner claim to have completed the Seven LEGITIMATE Summits. 😀
Ridgeway — born 1949 — has outlived most of his climbing partners. A rare survivor.
His wife of near 40 years died too before he published his life story in October 2021.
It is hard to imagine my life if I hadn’t met Rick Ridgeway. Rick invited me on my first National Geographic expedition and taught me how to film, but more importantly he shared how to tell a good story. In Life Lived Wild Rick recounts the most poignant moments of his legendary career as an explorer, climber and conservationist, but mostly, as an extraordinarily observant and compassionate human being. He captures the essence of a lifetime of storytelling. — Jimmy Chin, Adventurer and filmmaker
King, a mountaineer and adventurer, is attempting to climb the world’s tallest mountains. If he succeeds, he’ll be the first African American to climb the 14 summits (the seven summits plus the world’s seven tallest volcanoes).
But, “conquering mountains” isn’t his actual goal. He knows that bringing diversity to the outdoors is the real challenge. …