Volume Takes Readers on 'Wild' Adventures

Reed Travel Features

SAN FRANCISCO -- Any book entitled "Wild Places --20 Journeys Into the North American Outdoors" must be expected to contain the story of at least one Alaska-Yukon wilderness experience.

The book, edited by nature-adventure writer Paul McHugh, does not disappoint.

Among the true tales of travel in remote spots in this continent is one written by McHugh of a rafting and camping trip, starting in Haines, Alaska, along the Tatsenshini River through Canada's Klondike.

McHugh's account of his almost spiritual wilderness experience -- like the others (about Utah's Sage Country, the Louisiana bayou and Maine's Mount Katahdin, for example) -- lifts "Wild Places" out of the realm of ordinary travel books.

This is no how-to-get-there, where-to-stay, what-to-see listing.

The accounts vividly capture the feel, the sights, the sounds and, yes, the danger of each of the areas described.

The reader almost can feel the quiver running through McHugh's body, for instance, when he finds evidence that strongly suggests he is standing where a brown bear might have stood only minutes before and that he might, at the time of his discovery, be under the baleful gaze of the bear, lurking somewhere in the trees, just yards away.

"My brain reels," McHugh writes, upon realizing his danger. "All the hair on my body bristles [and] electric waves of adrenaline wash down my arms and up the back of my neck."

The 320-page book, published by San Francisco-based Foghorn Press, is available in bookstores.

The price is $15.95; to order, call (800) 364-4676.

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