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Recommend “The Last Season”

October 13, 2009

I finished reading The Last Season by Eric Blehm the other night.  It’s a non-fiction book about NPS backcountry ranger, Randy Morgenson, who went missing in the High Sierras on July 21, 1996.  It’s a multi-facited tale, delivering on a number of levels.  Morgenson is a complex, compelling fellow — the kind that would be good company in the backcountry, as well as an intellegent companion around the fire back at the lodge.  Blehm does an excellent job of presenting a well-rounded portrait of Randy Morgenson and telling his story. 

Morgenson had a deep and abiding love for wilderness.  I havegreat respect for anybody that can write about wild country like he did.  I particularly like Morgenson’s  entry in his 1973 McClure Meadow logbook; it speaks an exciting anarchy to me:

          All of your life, someone is pointing the way, directing you this way and that, determining for you which road is best traveled.  Here is your chance to find your own way.  Don’t ask me how to get to McGee Canyon or Lake Double-Eleven-0.  Go, on your own.  Be adventuresome.  Don’t forever seek the easiest way.  Take the way you find.  Don’t demand trail signs and sturdy bridges.  Don’t demand we show you the mountains.  Seek them and find them yourself . . . . This is your birthright as an animal, most commonly denied you.  Be free enough from intentions to find  goodness wherever you are and in whatever is happening.  Here for once in your life you needn’t do anything, be anywhere at a determined  time, walk in a certain direction.  You can now live by whim.          Here’s your one chance to get lost, fall in the creek, find a beautiful place.        

Thanks to his subject, Blehm’s got a ripping good yarn and a wilderness love story here.  I recommend it highly.   It’s out in paperback — $14.95 from Harper Perennial.

— Jim Margadant

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 13, 2009 4:03 pm

    Yikes! He paid a terrible price for taking his chance to get lost and fall in the creek. I hope he found a beautiful place. Sounds like a good read.

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