Friday, 21 October 2011

Reality Reading

Ranger Confidential by Andrea Lankford

While we were in America we actually only went into a couple of bookshops, and they were second-hand specialists not 'new' bookshops. However many of the National Parks we visited had dedicated bookshops within the gift shops and I saw a great many books that I wanted to read.

Luggage allowances didn't let me buy too many at all, but free wifi in hotels and a Kindle did mean that I could download this one on the road.

I've admitted to liking biographies and exposes in the past and this is another in that style.

Lankford was a Park Ranger in several of America's parks and in this book she talks about the ups and downs of the job. Like in all jobs there seem to be a lot more 'downs' than you'd originally think.

The park rangers that we met were unfailingly smart, informative and polite but after reading this book I am not at all sure how they manage it. In our time in the 5 parks we visited we saw no trouble at all, and only one idiot blatantly ignoring the signs saying to keep behind the railings however it would seem that we were lucky and that usually there are plenty of rule breakers in the National Parks, and that is before Mother Nature decides to intervene.

I realise that Lankford is going to pick the 'good' stories to tell but my hat goes off to all the park rangers out there. Like other emergency service workers you do a great job and do not deserve some of the things that happen to you.

This wasn't a comfortable read, and I am glad that I read it after we'd visited the Parks but it was informative and moving.


Grand Canyon from Mather Point - taken Sept 2011.

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