Trail Country: Olympic National Park, by Robert L. Wood. Seattle, Washington: The Mountaineers, 1968. 298 pages, 24 photographs, 24 maps. Price: $6.95.
Drawing on 20 years of research and study of the Olympic Peninsula, and 20 summers spent largely in hiking its trails and climbing its peaks, Bob Wood has included two separate books in this one volume. The first is an overview of the peninsula—its climate, geology and topography; its botanical patterns and life zones; its wildlife; the early history of man in the range, and, finally a review of the long battle of the preservationists to save it; from the genesis of the National Park idea to the present time. The second book is a trail guide, but on a grand scale. Each chapter includes a map and an introduction which outlines the topography to be covered. The usual dull trail statistics are enlivened by the author’s explanatory comments based on his extensive personal experience. The book is very well written. Perhaps its most engaging quality is that the author’s word pictures are so vivid that one re-lives the past in familiar areas and yearns to visit the unfamiliar trails and routes. This will be the definitive work on the Olympic back-country for many years to come.
George R. Sainsbury