A Sand County Almanac | Aldo Leopold

A storm blew up out of nowhere this spring while I was solo paddling the South Branch of the Muskoka river, just outside of Bracebridge. I pushed my canoe into the brush at the end of a secluded bay, and watched the storm approach. As it intensified, I pulled out this small paper-back book and read a section. That’s just the sort of book it is.

Leopold’s words read like poetry. You immediately realize that you’re in the company of someone who loves wilderness. The cover has a quote from the San Francisco Chronicle stating that this book belongs on the shelf with Thoreau and Muir. I heartily agree—so long as Sigurd Olson’s right there with them. Even better than the shelf: this book belongs in your backpack.

I had to pull my canoe out of the water, and turn it over to shelter my pack. I stood at the base of a large hemlock tree and watched the spring-time hail bounce off the scarred underbody of my 14 foot red solo canoe. A mere 15 minutes later the storm was over and I was back in the water. Leopold’s words far outlasted the storm.

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