Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leaf Reviewed

Book Review: Ranger Confidential ~ Andrea Lankford: Living, Working, and Dying in the National Parks

What? A book review? Am I on Britta's page? I know. One benefit to not having a working computer for a few days was that I finally finished a book. That I have been reading for three months. I'm slow.

Keeley and Will gave me this book on my birthday and I have to say it is in my all time top 5 books. LOVED IT!

I have a fascination and love for the outdoors. In college for a time I thought I would become a Forest Ranger. I didn't end up going down that path and there is part of me that has always kept that dream in my heart. This book did something I didn't expect. It made me glad that I didn't end up in that profession. But it did recharge a desire to visit every national park in the U.S. I have been to one. I have some work to do.

This book is a very in depth look into what its really like to be a Park Ranger. The author was a full-time ranger for 12 years and at the end of that 12 years and the death of a close friend, she threw her uniform in a dumpster.

She talks about how rangers go into their job wanting to protect nature and in the end their job is to protect people from themselves. You read stories about how criminals go on vacation too. And how prevalent death is within the largest parks. People come to Nation Parks specifically to kill themselves. And the rangers are the people who deal with that. Rangers perform life threatening rescue attempts all the time. Sometimes lives are saved and sometimes they put their live on the line just to give a family a body.

Its a very hard, thank less job. And yet they live in the most breathtaking places on earth. And that is their reward. This book definitely increased my appreciation for rangers and love for the parks they protect. The book is filled with adventure, love, regret and heartbreaking sorrow.

Its definitely a tribute to her love for the parks and those she worked with. It is also a candid look at how the job wears a person down. The book makes me want to just personally thank those who put in all the hard work so that we can have these places preserved and we can enjoy them and all that they have to offer us.

1 park down ~ many more to go...


Maiken said...

I never would have expected that much death in that career. It sounds like a really interesting book. I know that reading bug is contagious in this family. :)

Britta said...

Well I read every day and it still takes me 3 months to finish a book. Yay for book reviews!

I've wanted to visit all the national parks since seeing the special they ran on PBS - maybe not all of them, but it was a good reminder of how many amazing places there are in our country. I can't believe I never saw Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon when we lived in Utah - Tom saw both and he was living in WI. :) Maybe you should start planning a road trip for next year!

I'm adding this to my giant stack that will be finished in oh, 3 years or so. Sounds fascinating.

Marty Wombacher said...

Nice review, Kari! I'll check it out, but I've been bad about finishing books too. But I will add it to my book pile!