By Kathryn Reed
Going to more than a dozen national parks in less than a week would normally be an exhausting undertaking. Not how I did it this summer.
“Permanent Vacation, Volume 2” (Bona Fide Books, 2018) is a compilation of 18 essays written by people who have lived or worked in a national park.
This version comes seven years after the first volume was released. In that book the essays were from West Coast parks.
The latest book is much broader, covering parks from Hawaii to Florida and points in between.
This is the first book released by the Meyers-based publishing house under current owner Maeko Bradshaw. The familiarity of format and style makes it read like a sequel under the same leadership.
Of the 18, one writer is from South Lake Tahoe (Joseph Flower) and another from Truckee (Joseph Flannery). Combined, all of their stories paint a picture of the National Parks that the average visitor is never going to experience. Some tales are about how the experience changed the worker/writer.
An overriding theme in this volume seemed to be the solitude of the work, the remoteness of the location. This is hard to imagine for someone living in California near one of the busiest parks – Yosemite.
Some of the locales written about were places I hadn’t heard of – like Isle Royale, Apostle Islands and Kenai Fjords. I enjoyed getting a glimpse into these areas, and learning something new about places I’ve been – like Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Grand Canyon and Everglades.
As with any collection of essays, some are more interesting than others. Fortunately, most are sure to captivate you. This is definitely a book you will want to put on your summer reading list.
· It may be purchased online through Bona Fide Books for $15.