Life Lessons on the Sierra Trail: 40 Years’ Experiences in the John Muir Wilderness

Allen Clyde. Craven Street, $17.95 trade paper (180p) ISBN 978-0-941936-04-0
Physician Clyde presents what he calls “a modern-day parable based on true events” in this middling fictionalization of his own life story. After Pablo, an 18-year-old Mexican immigrant who recently moved to Fresno, Calif., falls in with a bad crowd, his mother mentions to Dr. Clyde, her podiatrist, that she’s trying to keep him out of trouble. Clyde reveals that he has spent 40 years as a volunteer guide in the John Muir Wilderness and arranges for Pablo to be hired there for the summer. Clyde and Pablo, along with and Clyde’s wife, spend the summer delivering supplies to Forest Service workers via packhorse in the Muir Wilderness, giving Clyde ample opportunity to embark on monologues on the beauty and solace that can be found in nature, and lovingly detail how nearly every spot in the wilderness got its name. They do run into a few hairy situations—including almost riding off a cliff—and at the end of the summer Pablo is inspired to apply to medical school. Unfortunately, readers don’t get to know the characters much beyond Clyde’s thoughts on the landscape. Even for fans of naturalist fiction, this will be tedious. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/14/2020
Release date: 11/01/2020
Genre: Fiction
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