July 2, 2018

“We know more from nature than we can at will communicate. Its light flows into the mind evermore, and we forget its presence. The poet, the orator, bred in the woods, whose senses have been nourished by their fair and appeasing changes, year after year, without design and without heed,—shall not lose their lesson altogether, in the roar of cities or the broil of politics.”
― Ralph Waldo EmersonNature

Places like Wyoming’s Wind River Country have long been inspiration for writers like Emerson. To this day, renowned names write from or about this authentic, rugged, and pristine corner of the American West. The masterpieces of the poet—or the children’s book author, mystery writer, or historian—are natural travel companions as you make your way through Wind River Country. We’ve compiled a few book recommendations for your adventure.

NonFiction Books

Fremont County, Wyoming: A Pictorial History
By Loren Jost
Wyoming’s Fremont County is a remarkable place to live. From the desert-like areas between Shoshoni and Lysite to the high sagebrush-covered hills of the South Pass area, from the lush farming valleys to the pine-covered mountain slopes rising to the Continental divide, the county offers varied and surprising geography. The history of the area is even more fascinating. Virtually every major theme in the history of the American West is a part of the history of what is now Fremont County. Find it all in this book.

Ghost Towns of Wyoming
By Bruce Raisch
Ghost Towns of Wyoming is a stunning volume featuring historical and physical biographies of 74 sites dating back to 1812. While many of these towns are a vanishing breed from a bygone era, a sense of history hangs in the air of their empty streets. The only sounds that fill your ears are the wind, creaking boards, and the gravel under your boots.

High Altitudes, Low Multitudes: More stories about Wyoming, the best part of America
By Bill Sniffen, Wind River Country resident
This book reflects on Bill Sniffin’s first 31 years of living in Wyoming and includes more than 60 stories and columns published over the previous 10 years. Sniffin also included dozens of his favorite jokes and sayings, most of which include a special Wyoming flavor, which made this book a favorite choice of public speakers and toastmasters.

Images of America: Lander 
By Carol Thiesse, Traci Foutz & Joe Spriggs
Before Lander became a town, the area had been the summer hunting grounds for Native Americans, seen mountain man rendezvouses, and had become a freighting hub. When the townsite was plotted in 1880, the main road remained wide enough that a 20-hitch team could turn around. As more people settled in the area, Lander became an agricultural-based town. The Wind River Mountains also beckoned. Lander became an outfitting stop for alpinists, scientists, hunters, fishermen, Western adventure writers. Watch this history unfold in images in this volume.

Images of America: South Pass and the Sweetwater Mines
By Jon Lane & Susan Layman
In 1868, the Sweetwater Mines gold rush swept civilization into wilderness. Prospectors and miners swarmed gulches and hilltops in hopes of locating a new El Dorado. South Pass City, Atlantic City, and Miners Delight became local centers of commerce, governance, and social life. Thousands of new residents bolstered the political push to create Wyoming Territory. Soon, many proclaimed the district a humbug and moved on. Those who remained established a fresh existence where potential abounded in every experience. Watch this history unfold in images in this volume.

Geology Books

Roadside Geology of Wyoming
By David R. Lageson & Darwin R. Spearing
Wyoming is grandeur: endless plains that sweep beyond the farthest horizon, mountains that challenge the sky, badlands as colorful as any painting. And it all depends on the rocks. This book presents Wyoming’s rocks and landscapes in all their richness and variety. It tells the story of how it came to be.

Rising from the Plains
By John McPhee
Bestselling author McPhee takes us on another exciting geological excursion with this engaging account of life–past and present–in the high plains of Wyoming.

Native American Culture/History Books

Arapaho Journeys, Photographs and Stories from the Wind River Reservation
By Sara Wiles
This book compiles three decades of contemporary Northern Arapaho life in images and essays. In the rugged environment of what is now Colorado and Wyoming, the Northern Arapahos thrived for centuries. By the mid-19th century, however, as Anglo-Americans pushed west, Northern Arapaho life changed dramatically. Although forced to relocate to a reservation, the people endured and held on to their traditions. Award-winning photographer Sara Wiles captures that life on film and in words in this inside look at 30 years of life on the Wind River Indian Reservation. 

People of the Wind River: The Eastern Shoshones, 1825-1900
By Henry E. Stamm
The first book-length history of the Eastern Shoshones, People of the Wind River tells the story of the Eastern Shoshones through eight tumultuous decades—from 1825 when they reached mutual accommodations with the first permanent Anglo-American settlers in Wind River country, to 1900 when the death of Chief Washakie marked a final break with their traditional lives as 19th-century Plains Indians.

Tell Me, Grandmother: Traditions, Stories, And Cultures of Arapaho People
By Virginia Sutter
Tell Me, Grandmother is at once the biography of Goes-in-Lodge, a traditional Arapaho woman of the 19th century, and the autobiography of her descendant Virginia Sutter, a modern Arapaho woman with a Ph.D. in public administration. Sutter adeptly weaves her own story with that of Goes-in-Lodge was first wife of Sharpnose, the last chief of the Northern Arapaho nation. Written in a question-and-answer format between 20th-century granddaughter and matriarchal ancestor, this book discusses four generations of home life.

Walk Softly, This is God’s Country: 1883-1949 Among Shoshone and Arapaho Indians/Wind River Reservation
By Beatrice Crofts, Elinore Markley and John Roberts
This book covers the history of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho, who now call the Wind River Indian Reservation home, between 1883 and 1949. 

What You See in Clear Water: Indians, Whites, and a Battle Over Water in the American West
By Geoffrey O’Gara, Wind River Country resident
For nearly a century, the Indians on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming have been battling their white farmer neighbors over the rights to the Wind River. What You See in Clear Water tells the story of this epic struggle, shedding light on the ongoing conflict over water rights in the American West. While lawyers argued this landmark case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, Geoffrey O’Gara walked the banks of the river with the farmers, ranchers, biologists, and tribal elders who knew it intimately.

book cover
Day Hikes Around Lander: Walt’s and Mac’s and Tracks

Day Hikes Around Lander: Walt’s and Mac’s Tracks

This is the definitive guide to day hikes within an hour of Lander, Wyoming, as recorded by Walt and Mac R. Dog. There are trails featured for every level of hiking experience complete with directions to the trailheads, trail descriptions, color maps of each hike, hiking times, difficulty and relevant GPS coordinates



Beyond Trails in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming
By Nancy Pallister
This is an off-trail guide for experienced backpackers with enough skills to fend for themselves in unmarked backcountry. The end of the trails are where the adventures begin! Slow-burn adrenaline settings! This guide covers Stough Creek Basin, Atlantic Canyon, Headwaters of Tayo Creek, Baker Lake, North Fork Little Wind River, South Fork of the Little Wind, Torrey Creek, and more.

Cirque of the Towers and Deep Lake: A Select Guide to Wind Rivers’ Best Rock Climbing
By Steve Bechtel
The most up-to-date and accurate guide to best alpine rock climbing in America, presented in full color. Complete descriptions for over 56 routes on 14 peaks with multiple routes at every grade from 4th Class to the latest 5.12 including the famous “50 Classic Climbs” on Pingora and Wolf’s Head.

Falcon Guide: Bear Aware
By Bill Schneider
Heading into bear country can seem frightening, but it doesn’t have to be. This handy, packable guide will show you preventive measures that can reduce your chances of coming across a bear and techniques that can minimize your risk of being injured. With Bear Aware you’ll learn how to safely hike and camp in bear country, store food to keep campsites bear free, and handle close encounters. The book also offers special precautions for hunters, anglers, mountain bikers, trail runners, outfitters, photographers, vacationers, and cabin owners, and provides specific regulations for the national parks.

Falcon Guide: Climbing and Hiking in the Wind River Mountains
By Joe Kelsey
Now completely updated and revised with new color photos and topos, this guidebook is the ultimate resource to technical climbing routes, hiking trails, and peak-bagging routes in Wyoming’s Wind River Range, a popular playground for backcountry enthusiasts and alpine rock climbers. Includes hiking and climbing information for Ross Lakes, Green River, Dinwoody Glacier, Peak Lake, Titcomb Basin, Alpine Lakes, Middle Fork Lake, East Fork Valley, Baptiste Lake, Cirque of the Towers, Deep Lake, and South Pass.

Falcon Guide: Hiking in Wyoming
By Bill Hunger
This updated guide to Wyoming’s wonderful wilderness includes hikes in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks as well as backcountry secrets. From short strolls to overnight backpacks, the book provides all the details necessary to a successful hiking adventure: detailed directions to the trailheads, best seasons to hike, trail difficulty, elevations gain and loss, fees and permits, and rich descriptions of each trail’s highlights. 

Falcon Guide: Hiking Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains
By Ron Adkinson & Ben Adkonson
Detailed descriptions and maps to get you to 40 wilderness trails in the Wind River Range. Offers suggestions for day hikes, extended trips, and off-trail exploration.

Falcon Guide: Rock Climbing Wyoming
By Sam Lightner, Jr., Wind River Country resident
Rock Climbing Wyoming describes 11 major climbing areas in the state of Wyoming. It offers approximately 550 climbing routes for beginners and experts alike. Maps, color topographical maps, and stunning action photos accompany clearly written descriptions of the routes to make this an indispensable resource for the best climbing in wonderful Wyoming.

Hiking and Backpacking with Dogs
By Linda B. Mullally
This Backpacker magazine publication highlights the benefits of enjoying the great outdoors with your dog. Learn how to choose, train, condition, and care for your canine hiking companion and plan outdoor trail excursions and overnighters. Includes information on selecting a trail dog, training tips and tools, trail etiquette, and first aid and preventive care.

Lander Rock Climbs
By Steve Bechtel & Kyle Duba, Wind River Country residents
Lander, Wyoming is a great place to climb. Whether you are looking for steep sport climbs, long alpine routes, or granite cracks, you’ll find it all. Averaging 320 climbable days per year, Lander has earned a reputation as both a winter destination and a place to escape the heat of midsummer. Whether you’re seeking out classic 5.7 routes or 5.14 testpieces, this guide will help you find your way to over 1,000 routes on crags of granite, dolomite, and sandstone. This edition of Lander Rock Climbs covers all of the crags in previous editions and the newly developed cliffs of Little Popo Agie Canyon, including Wolf Point and the Sweatlodge. Packed with action photos and more detailed maps, the 2015 edition covers Lander climbing like never before.

Photography & coffee table Books

Wind River Country: Hidden Heart of Wyoming
By Bayard Fox & Claude Poulet, Wind River Country residents
This coffee-table book with extensive text features hundreds of color photographs, taken by French photographer Claude Poulet, who fell in love with Wind River Country nearly 30 decades ago. The text is by Bayard Fox, the owner of the Bitterroot Ranch outside of Dubois. It takes a historical look at Wind River Country, including some black-and-white photos and tales of wild horses, Native Americans, wildlife, mountain men, and early pioneers. It describes outlaw legends like Butch Cassidy and covers the cowboy and dude-ranch lifestyles of this part of Wyoming to modern day.

Wyoming from the Air
42 Must-Read Books for Your Vacation in Wind River CountryBy Bayard Fox & Claude Poulet, Wind River Country residents
French photographer Claude Poulet has been in love with Wyoming for over 30 years. Wyoming From The Air is his latest book about this part of the world. Wyoming’s rugged beauty, its striking contrasts, and the vastness of its mountainous landscape can only be fully appreciated from the air. This unique statewide collection of aerial photographs provides sweeping overviews of one of America’s most beautiful and inaccessible regions. This collection reveals new perspectives of Wyoming’s varied aspects, and the explanatory text becomes even more meaningful.

Wyoming at 125: Our Place in the West
By Bill Sniffin
The book is jammed full of iconic Wyoming historical photos ranging from portraits of Chief Washakie and Buffalo Bill Cody to a photo of Amelia Earhart in Cheyenne celebrating her recent flight across the Atlantic. Many have been colorized.

Wyoming’s 7 Greatest National Wonders
By Bill Sniffin
Wyoming’s BEST photos of Wyoming’s BEST places by Wyoming’s BEST photographers. These three short phrases sum up this book about Wyoming’s most scenic and natural places. It all started with a newspaper column Bill Sniffin wrote in 2007 called Wyoming’s 7 Greatest Natural Wonders, which include Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Thermopolis Hot Springs, Devils Tower National Monument, the vast Red Desert, historic South Pass and the high impact North Platte River system.

My Wyoming: 101 Special Places
By Bill Sniffin
MY Wyoming: 101 Special Places is a companion book to Wyoming’s all-time best selling coffee table book, Wyoming’s 7 Greatest Natural Wonders. Where the first book featured “natural” photos and stories about Wyoming, this new book showcases pictures and stories about people enjoying themselves and cultural events such as Frontier Days and strange mansions.

Trivia Books

Wyoming Trivia
By Brian Day
Where can you find ringing rocks, vanishing rivers, and the world’s only hand-dug oil well? Where can you find ghorouds and ergs, and cement trucks mixing pancake batter? In wide, wonderful Wyoming, of course—home of Broken Nose McCall and Big Nose Parrot, Bad Hand MacKenzie, and Captain Kangaroo. You’ll be amazed and amused!

Fiction Books

C.J. Box’s Joe Pickett Novel Series
Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett has now been the protagonist in 13 novels, starting with Open Season in 2001. Over that time, he’s taken on environmental terrorists, rogue federal land managers, animal mutilators, crazed cowboy hitmen, corrupt bureaucrats, homicidal animal rights advocates, and violent dysfunctional families. Joe has matured, lost some of his innocence and naïveté, and committed acts that continue to haunt him. But through it all, he has remained true to himself and his family. And even when he knows that pursuing justice will bring the community, state, and his superiors down on his head, well … he just can’t help it. Find all C.J. Box books here.

Lifting the Sky
By Mackie d’Argo
Blue’s wandering mother gets hired as a hand at a ranch, and for the first time Blue sees a place she longs to call home for good. She makes a friend in an enigmatic Shoshone boy whose search for an ancient petroglyph intrigues her. It’s there that the faint lights Blue has always been able to see around people begin to shine with new energy. But Mam begins to show signs of getting restless, and when the father who abandoned Blue years ago suddenly shows up at the ranch, the family she always thought she wanted may not be the one her heart is craving after all.

Letters From Yellowstone
By Diane Smith
In the spring of 1898, A. E. (Alexandria) Bartram—a spirited young woman with a love for botany—is invited to join a field study in Yellowstone National Park. The study’s leader, a mild-mannered professor from Montana, assumes she is a man, and is less than pleased to discover the truth. Once the scientists overcome the shock of having a woman on their team, they forge ahead on a summer of adventure, forming an enlightening web of relationships. But as they make their way, the group is splintered by differing views on science, nature, and economics.

Margaret Coel’s Wind River Reservation Mystery Series:

The Eagle Catcher
When the Arapaho tribal chairman is found murdered in his tepee at the Ethete powwow, the evidence points to the chairman’s nephew, Anthony Castle. But Father John O’Malley, pastor of St. Francis Mission, and Vicky Holden, the Arapaho lawyer, do not believe the young man capable of murder. Together they set out to find the real murderer and clear Anthony’s name.

The Ghost Walker
Father John O’Malley comes across a corpse lying in a ditch beside the highway. When he returns with the police, it is gone. The Arapahos of the Wind River Reservation speak of Ghost Walkerstormented souls caught between the earth and the spirit world who are capable of anything. Then, within days, a young man disappears from the Reservation without a trace. A young woman is found brutally murdered. And as Father John and Arapaho lawyer Vicky Holden investigate these crimes, someoneor somethingbegins following them.

The Dream Stalker
Father John O’Malley and Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden return to face a brutal crime of greed, false promises, and shattered dreams.

The Lost Bird
Father O’Malley and Arapaho lawyer Vicky Holden must uncover a baby-selling scheme at a clinic 40 years ago.

The Spirit Woman
According to legend, Sacajaweathe Native American woman who helped guide the Lewis and Clark expedition through the American wildernessis buried on the Wind River Reservation. Now, a college professorand longtime friend of Arapaho attorney Vicky Holdenhas disappeared while seeking the truth behind the legend. Vicky and Father John O’Malley soon discover that her missing friend is linked to another female historian who also vanished on the reservationwhile researching Sacajawea 20 years ago.

The Thunder Keeper
The apparent suicide of a young Arapaho on sacred ground shocks the populace of the Wind River Reservation. But strange events following the death lead Vicky Holden and Father John O’Malley to suspect foul play.

The Shadow Dancer
With the disappearance of a young man and his old friend Vicky Holden accused of murder, Father John O’Malley must prove his hunch that both events are connected to a dangerous sect leader known as Orlando—who has resurrected the old Shadow Dance religion.

Killing Raven
The discovery of a white man’s body on the Wind River Reservation has Father John O’Malley trying to keep the peace. Meanwhile, the newly opened Great Plains Casino—with Vicky Holden as its in-house counsel—is fighting for its life against an angry group of protesters. And when Vicky stumbles across some disturbing evidence about the murder, she’s suddenly caught in a dangerous game with her own life at stake.

Wife of Moon
Arapaho attorney Vicki Holden and Father John O’Malley must find the link between the murder of a woman—and the murder of her ancestor from a century earlier.

Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire series

Craig Johnson is the author of eight novels in the Walt Longmire mystery series, which has garnered popular and critical acclaim and awards around the world. The Walt Longmire series is the basis for the hit A&E drama, Longmire, starring Robert Taylor, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Katee Sackoff. Johnson lives in Ucross, Wyoming, populations 25. 

Roughing It
By Mark Twain
In 1861, young Mark Twain found himself adrift as a newcomer in the Wild West, working as a civil servant, silver prospector, mill worker, and finally a reporter and traveling lecturer. Roughing It is the hilarious record of those early years traveling from Nevada to California to Hawaii, as Twain tried his luck at anything and everything—and usually failed. Twain’s encounters with tarantulas and donkeys, vigilantes and volcanoes, even Brigham Young, the Mormon leader, come to life with his inimitable mixture of reporting, social satire, and rollicking tall tales.

Children’s Books

Crazy Man and the Plums
By William C’Hair, Wind River Country resident
Crazy Man is a self-centered, vain, curious character. His simple-mindedness leads him to make silly, child-like assumptions and get himself into foolish situations. His foolish antics lead him to discover that in fact, things are not always what they seem. The character “Crazy Man” is widespread among the tribes of the northern and central Great Plains. This story about Crazy Man and the Plums comes from the Northern Arapaho tribe in central Wyoming. The name and concept of the Crazy Man character dates back thousands of years and have been passed down by word of mouth for generations.

Coyote & the Rock
By Rupert Weeks
Fox receives some beautiful beads from Rock. Coyote sees them and decides he wants some for himself. When Coyote cheats Rock out of the beads, he ultimately pays a high price. The story, with its detailed watercolor pictures and colorful antics, is sure to delight children of all ages.

Yuse and the Spirit
By John Washakie, Wind River Country resident
Yuse, a Shoshone boy becoming a young man, feels he is ready for a trip alone across the mountains to visit relatives. His parents know the dangers that he might encounter on such a trip, but what he finds is something more than he ever imagined. In this amazing journey, Yuse learns the value of adhering to the teachings and customs of his tribe. Designed as fourth-grade level reading book, it is also a great read aloud for younger students.

Yuse: The Bully and the Bear
By John Washakie, Wind River Country resident
This is the story of a boy who is not the most athletic, biggest, or strongest of his friends. In short, he is a kid like most kids. However, he is surrounded by wise teachers and people who help him overcome his fears and adversaries by using his head. The story crosses ethnic and cultural boundaries and is pertinent to anyone who has ever been the underdog. Designed as a third-grade level reading book, it is also a great read aloud for younger students.

Wyoming Firsts
By Wyoming’s first lady Carol Mead
As part of her children’s issues initiative, First Lady Carol Mead wrote this children’s book about the state. Illustrated by high school art students from around Wyoming, the book is a whimsical trip through some of Wyoming’s most memorable historical “firsts.”

Posted in Notes From the Field