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Lost in My Own Backyard: A Walk in…
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Lost in My Own Backyard: A Walk in Yellowstone National Park (Crown… (edition 2004)

by Tim Cahill

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151979,164 (3.46)8
Othemts's review
A slim volume about day hikes and back country excursions in Yellowstone National Park. Cahill lives nearby and thinks of it as his own back yard as well as the back yard for the nation (and beats the analogy to death). In humorous vignettes he overcomes his snobbery to appreciate the natural wonders of some of the most touristed spots of the park.

“Then they were gone, and I was alone with the mud pots for over an hour, thinking about artists and hotspots as well as flatulence and the end of civilization as we know it.” (p. 51) ( )
  Othemts | Jun 26, 2008 |
All member reviews
Showing 9 of 9
This is a good "beginner's guide" to Yellowstone National Park, as far as I'm concerned. It provides a series of word snapshots describing all the main sights of the park and it does a pretty good job of it. I read another review that describes this book as a sort of movie trailer for Yellowstone and I couldn't agree more. It's enough to pique one's interest, but does not delve into too much detail. It is very short and fast to read (I read it in an hour and 10 minutes) so I'd say it's definitely worth reading if you're planning a trip there or just looking for a little insight. Between this book and Google, I got a pretty good visual tour of the park. ( )
  ashleeeyyy88 | May 12, 2014 |
Great little, gift sized, conversational, go to Yellowstone and get outside book. I think Crown gave Cahill an advance the size of which just isn't done any more. Fun little read. Makes me want to go to Yellowstone soon. ( )
  torreyhouse | Feb 10, 2014 |
I enjoy Cahill's authorial voice very much. He makes me grin a lot. This walking tour of Yellowstone was a lot of fun. It was too short! I've never been to Yellowstone, and Cahill made me want to throw a change of clothes in my backpack and just go. His nature descriptions shine here, you can hear the elk bugling. A fun little book. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
I'm a fan of being prepared. As such, I've decided to start reading books about Yellowstone National Park in preparation for a trip next year. (Likely over half a year away, to be not really exact.) She who is prepared is - uhh... Something profound goes here. :)

I thought this book would be a great choice to begin with. It's full of short vignettes of Tim Cahill's experiences in and around Yellowstone. He also discusses some history of the park, and overall, I felt that it was a great introduction for someone planning to visit. It was entertaining and informative but it's not a substitute for a guidebook, as other reviewers have noted, though he wasn't going for that. In the back of the book, he provides suggestions on other reading, including guidebooks that he likes. Of course, some of these will be out-of-date eight years after the book was published.

After reading the book, I have a couple of places in mind that I definitely want to visit while I'm out there. This book served its purpose for me. I plan on rereading it after I come back from Yellowstone, not only to compare my experiences, but also to re-imagine his with pictures in my mind of what the places actually look like. ( )
  preetalina | Oct 11, 2012 |
I liked this book! Some reviews I've read are not favorable, yet, I recommend it for those who have either been or plan to go to Yellowstone.

It is a fun, quick read about both the wonderment and the danger of the first United States National Park

Cahill takes us with him as he hikes in the well known and the obscure, off-the beaten path mountain ranges. He sprinkles humor throughout and I was captivated as he described the dangers of hiking in the backwoods area, the park at night, the feel of the cold snow, the heat of the thermal pools and the spray of the geysers.

He captures the essence of the park while admitting there truly are no words to describe the majesty.
1 vote Whisper1 | Jul 21, 2009 |
7.5
  Listener42 | Sep 1, 2008 |
A really excellent book if you're going to visit Yellowstone, as it's actually more of a travel guide than a travel book, like the rest of his books. Lower on the adventure quotient, but it's a short book and a quick, easy read. ( )
  NellieMc | Aug 1, 2008 |
A slim volume about day hikes and back country excursions in Yellowstone National Park. Cahill lives nearby and thinks of it as his own back yard as well as the back yard for the nation (and beats the analogy to death). In humorous vignettes he overcomes his snobbery to appreciate the natural wonders of some of the most touristed spots of the park.

“Then they were gone, and I was alone with the mud pots for over an hour, thinking about artists and hotspots as well as flatulence and the end of civilization as we know it.” (p. 51) ( )
  Othemts | Jun 26, 2008 |
Do you remember when you first discovered your backyard? One’s excitement overflows as he follows inch worms, finds four leaf clovers, and climbs maple trees. Before long, one might begin to look over the fence at a neighbor’s backyard. By the age of eight, I was allowed to roam the entire neighborhood as long as I remained mindful of my dad’s whistling distance. (Like a cell phone, I knew my coverage area.)

Author Tim Cahill lives 50 miles north of Yellowstone National Park and considers this his backyard. And what a backyard! One can spend a lifetime discovering the 2.22 million acres of mountains and valleys filled with geysers, mud pots, and thermal springs. In the past 25 years, Cahill has done just that.

Cahill’s book, Lost In My Own Backyard, isn’t a guide book, but rather an answer to frequent Yellowstone questions. For instance, “How close is too close to a bison?” Um, silly question, but Cahill claims common sense lacking in some tourist. He has a special name for those who edge closer and closer to a bison for that amazing, once-in-a-lifetime shot, “instamatic injury.” He adds, “If the tail goes up it means either charge or discharge.”

I feel in love with Cahill’s style of writing. He talks to the reader such as an actor, who faces the camera, might tell a plot twist. In the first section of the book titled, “Trails,” he employs his mini-me as a discussion partner on the trail. On the Mt. Washburn trail we overhear older Cahill telling younger, know-it-all self, how not to be a “dumb butt” as they view the “embarrassment of wonders” which is the park.

In the second section titled, “In the Backcountry,” the reader visits the park few have ever seen. Cahill says out of a billion visitors a year, 99.2% never venture into the backcountry for an overnight stay. Could it be all those “Beware of Bear” signs? Cahill is one of the few who have seen rare moonbows, petrified forests and odd faces in the hoodoo formations while walking the outback.

To my librarian’s delight, his last section is titled, “A Selected Yellowstone Bookshelf.” His shelves contain guidebooks, trail maps, and educational books associated with the park, such as biology, history, and geology. The first book mentioned, Lonely Planet Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks, just happens to include his written forward.

I highly recommend this humorous book to anyone about to explore America’s first backyard, Yellowstone National Park. ( )
  maggiereads | Jul 3, 2007 |
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