Monday, July 18, 2011

Waters Less Traveled

Little has changed here in Oklahoma---drying lakes and waterways and deadly temperatures and heat indices. The only thing that has changed is that the heat dome has spread east and north, so now heat indices of 110-115 degrees reach clear to the Canadian border. With the extreme drought, our house foundation has buckled so that three interior doors won’t close, and the back door is completely jammed in its frame and can’t be opened. It hasn’t been serviceable since we returned home a month ago.

My way of handling the conditions is the same as my approach with panhandlers---ignore them and they’ll go away. So my latest effort at ignoring reality was to pick up Doug Alderson’s Waters Less Traveled: Exploring Florida’s Big Bend Coast. (Univ. Press of Florida, 2005, 130 pp.) We met Doug while in St. Marks, FL, and got the chance to paddle with him on the Wakulla River. (see May 16 post) This is the first of eight books written by Doug, and covers an exploratory paddle he and Liz Sparks did while setting up the Florida Paddling Trail. The trip takes them around the Big Bend of Florida’s panhandle from the Aucilla River to Cedar Key. The book takes the reader through Florida’s human and natural history, the impact of industry, logging, and tourism on the region, the history of smuggling along the coast, and brings to life old stories about people and towns that have come and gone over the last couple hundred years. For more information on Doug’s other books, visit

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