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Sports

There are a great many books to read on the outdoors

I can honestly say the last week has been a little frustrating. One day it is sunny and pushing sixty degrees. The next moment I’m running back inside to pull my winter coat out of storage.

That is typical spring weather. We get just a taste of what is to come and then ol’ man winter snorts and reminds us he’s not quite finished yet. On those days that are slightly too annoying to go out, I like to kick back and read a good book. It is even more enjoyable if it is a book about the outdoors.

I have several great reads for outdoors folks that I would like to recommend to you. The first is actually three books all written by the same author.

Some of you may know the name Bob Cary. He is best known for living and writing in the Northwoods. His residence for many years was Ely, Minnesota. However, Bob Cary cut his teeth on the outdoors, and writing, locally.

Robert Cary was born in 1921 in Joliet. His books are full of tales from his childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. He talks about fishing the DuPage River and hunting the ponds, sloughs, and woods of the Joliet area. Many of the locales he talks about in his books you will recognize or maybe have even tromped through yourselves.

The first book of his I would like to suggest is Tales from Jackpine Bob. This particular paperback is a collection of short stories, adventures, and misadventures. Many of them taking place right here in our own backyard.

He talks of fighting with skunks, catfishing with secret baits, and a whole host of other tales that make me wonder how he didn’t end up in the hospital a hundred times or in trouble with the law more often. When either of those two scenarios didn’t play out, he often was at odds with his father. One hilarious anecdote after another keeps this book a page-turner.

The second book of Mr. Cary’s I would recommend is Ely Echoes. This is a collection of events that take place in his favorite place on Earth. That of course is Ely, MN. Many of you I’m sure have been to Ely. If you have I know that you can relate to the absolute beauty of the area that captures the hearts and minds of everyone who ventures there.

Even if you haven’t been to this part of the world, this book is one that you can relate to. The language of the author is captivating. He paints a picture that captivates your mind and will have your car GPS heading north in no time.

The last book of his that I would highly suggest is entitled Rootbeer Lady. This is the biography and tales of Dorothy Molter.

The book captures Dorothy’s fifty plus years of living in the wilderness. In case your wondering how the book got it’s names, she made a living by brewing, bottling, and selling rootbeer to the canoeists that paddled the waters of the Northwoods.

Her story is so enthralling don’t be surprised if you read this entire book in a couple of sittings. Bob Cary was a personal friend of Dorothy’s. His relationship with her tells a side that many never saw. The sure strength and will of this woman to live alone all year around in this challenging environment is inspiring. In fact, after I read it I told my wife to pack her bags and go buy a pair of snowshoes.

The last book that I would like to mention is about traversing the Appalachian Trail. The book is entitled A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson.

I am only a couple of chapters into this comical and exhilarating read but I can whole-heartedly recommend it to you. This book encompasses his journey from Georgia to Maine and all of the incidents in between.

I will warn you, that Mr. Bryson’s humor is very much in tuned with a male audience, but ladies please don’t let that deter you from giving it a try. Maybe it will help you understand that male figure in your life. As Mr. Bryson so aptly states, no man wants to be known as a 'cupcake'.

I think you will find that these quick reads will fill your soul with more desire for the outdoors and help you to get through some of the more disturbing weather we are sure to see. Enjoy and maybe some day you will be able to publish your outdoor misadventures.

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