Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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p. vii

Map: The Thorofare Wilderness Complex

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pp. viii-x

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Preface: A Place Called the Thorofare

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pp. xi-xvi

It is an unlikely name for the most remote point in the contiguous forty-eight states: the Thorofare.1 About twenty miles as the crow flies to the nearest road in any direction, the point is at the center of a wilderness complex that includes the southeast corner of Yellowstone National Park, ...

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Day 1: Of Wilds and Men

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pp. 1-9

The Thorofare is a sprawling wilderness, a place of remarkable wildness and beauty. Wilderness explorers have long been drawn to experience those attributes, just as we are today, August 22, 2014. Three friends and I are embarking on a journey through the Thorofare; each of them has explored this area with me before, though we have never done a trip like this together. ...

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Day 2: Into the Wild

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pp. 10-35

Clouds greet us as we emerge from the tents, wet with rain that fell overnight. Rain is not falling right now, though, and as we break camp the sun emerges. Glittering off the lake, it warms our bodies and our spirits. We all know that today’s weather forecast is for more rain and high temperatures only in the forties, so the warmth and sunshine seem like a special gift from the weather gods. ...

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Day 3: Keepers of the Thorofare

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pp. 36-60

Familiar skies greet us as we awaken—overcast and gray. Last night’s rain has moistened our world, but with no rain falling right now, the storm may be spent. Today is a layover day, ours to make of what we will. Over a breakfast of hot cereal, we decide to hang out here for a while, and if the rain holds off, to paddle over to the campsite ...

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Day 4: Beauty and the Beet

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pp. 61-82

There is a beehive of activity around me this morning as we pack to leave and clean up the cabin. Our sojourn through the activities of rangers in the field is over, just as is our stay at Trail Creek. Also clearing out is the slow-moving weather system that has been our constant companion on this trip—the skies today are blue, with mist rising from the lake after a clear, cold night. ...

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Day 5: To Drive or Not to Drive

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pp. 83-114

There is fog on the far shore as we crawl out of our tents, an indication that the night was clear and cold. Cold enough, in fact, to freeze a few of the raindrops still clinging to our tents. Beads of frozen pearls, another reminder that we stand on the cusp of autumn. We shiver as we break our fast, trying to stay warm by following the shafts of sunlight ...

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Day 6: On the Edge

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pp. 115-137

Another clear sky with patches of fog greets us as we emerge from the tents. We are up early, anxious to break camp and get to paddling while morning stillness keeps the lake calm. Eric and I know there is a mile or two of rock-bound shore to put behind us today. Regularly pounded by waves that build to six feet tall across one of the lake’s longest fetches— ...

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Day 7: The Journey of a Lifetime

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pp. 138-173

The dawn is clear and cool, but without the frost that has greeted us the past few mornings. We sleep in for a while, but being in our forties and accustomed to rising early for work, that means only an extra thirty or sixty minutes. For me, no matter how much sleep I get, it is never enough. One of the symptoms of the disease is fatigue, ...

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Day 8: Forever Wild

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pp. 174-188

Our morning routine is a little different today: we have a cold breakfast and prepare for an early departure (figure 8.1). The shoreline we have left to paddle has more rocky stretches with a long fetch, and with fifteen- to twenty-five-mile-per-hour winds in the forecast, we do not want to be caught out. Flights in and out tomorrow (in for my twin, ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 189-192

Writing this book was a way for me to cope with the isolation forced upon me by ALS: not only isolation from the landscape I have always found so invigorating, but also isolation from those that I love, as my speech grew increasingly slurred and unintelligible. The twelve months that I spent writing and revising the book were the longest time period ...

Notes

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pp. 193-232

Bibliography

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pp. 233-242

Index

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pp. 243-253