Embarking on a journey into the dark valley of web site design, what you see here is the first message from the wilderness. There will be quite a bit here in this blog over the next few months about a book project, RANGERS - Personal Stories of National Park Rangers and the Landscapes They Protect and Preserve, which I am undertaking in partnership with my friend (and neighbor, and bicycling buddy) Simon Griffiths. So far we have interviewed four people in two National Parks. I admit to being a little bit of a junkie about all things National Park, but even considering that predisposition to love this stuff I am finding that these people blow me away. They are smart, articulate, dedicated, and despite a lot of personal challenges have built a unique and rich relationship with the place that they work in - a marriage of person and place. This is what the book is about.
To this point we have done all this on the cheap - driving to Florida and staying on Jay Johnstone's floor in Homestead (Thanks, Jay!) - taking the long drive to Morgan County, Tennessee (twice!) to spend time with Matt Hudson, and hang there with my Tennessee guru, David Brill, who is himself an accomplished writer. We stayed at Dave's cabin (probably a misnomer - it's bigger now than my house in Raleigh) on the Cumberland Plateau high above Clear Creek. In two weeks or so we will make a presentation to members of the Association of National Park Rangers (ANPR) in Asheville, NC. I am excited about presenting to this community. It is my hope that we will solicit some useful feedback and with any luck a long list of people we will "need to talk to" in the Parks. This also begins our fundraising effort, and over the next few months we'll be reaching out to organizations, individuals and companies who many want to make a Centennial gift to the National Parks in 2016 in the form of a contribution toward the production cost of this book.
Thank you for visiting the site and reading this. In order to put a presentation together for ANPR I tried to weave Simon's excellent photos, Luke McMahon's video and the Rangers' individual stories into a multimedia presentation, and it quickly morphed into this entire site, with some text, some video and some photography for you to peruse. Let me know what you think. This is my first effort...please be kind. Hopefully I can continue to refine and make this a better platform not only for the Ranger project, but for the wide variety of things I am interested in. I'll look forward to hearing suggestions!