Monday, October 17, 2011

A Dog Story

When browsing Amazon looking for free books, the title of one caught my eye: Alaska Days With John Muir. The author was S. Hall Young. That name sounded familiar. Checked my "recommended to read" lists and there was the name. The note said to also read Stickeen by John Muir.

The recommendation ended on the list several years ago. Happened when I was waiting for a water tour of the Wisconsin Dells, I was in a conversation with the couple next to me. How the conversation got to her relative S. Hall Young in Alaska I don't recall. Young had a dog in Alaska name of Stickeen; the reason for the Muir book recommendation.

Alaska Days With John Muir by Young is about the Alaskan inside passage journeys Muir and he shared. Muir was exploring and observing the flora and fauna and mapping the area and its glaciers. On these same journeys, Young was bringing the white man's religion to the Indian tribes. Muir gets top billing in the book. However, not far behind is Stickeen playing a best supporting role.

Stickeen is a short story of one day in 1880 when Stickeen joined Muir on a cold and snowy day to traverse and explore a nearby glacier. With little fear, Muir challenges forbidding weather and a glacial terrain when most would have stayed in camp. The journey and including the hazardous return across glacial crevasses provide Muir with observations about the very unusual Stickeen.

Both books can be found as free eBooks on several internet sites.

Over the years, I've read several dog stories. The stories about Stickeen remind me of the book Merle's Door by Ted Kerasote. My mini review.


  1. I wish I could pinpoint your camping spots on a map somewhere. They always look awesome and relaxing. It is better than having your own ranch because the scenery changes when you want and you don't have to pay property taxes on it. I guess doing it for over a decade I guess you have too many to remember. The one in today's header is beautiful.

  2. It's all about keeping a low profile. :) No doubt with lots of effort on my part, I could provide GPS coordinates for each of those locations. Not going to happen. Sounds like work.

    Sorry. The current system of identification will continue.


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