Saturday, December 2, 2023

Haunted Hikes Book Recommendation

Happy December everyone! I have another book recommendation for you guys. 

Haunted Hikes is a collection of mysterious stories from North America's National Parks. The target reader for this book is a person who plans to go hiking in National Parks and visit all the paranormal hot spots. In my case, this book reads more as a warning of places not to visit. Every time I read a new story I would say "Yeah, I'll be avoiding that area. Thanks for letting me know!" Still I have found this to be a fun historical read.

The author of this book is Andrea Lankford. Among other tough jobs, she has a background in search and rescue as a park ranger. I can only imagine what it's like to do that job. The word "harrowing" comes to mind. It isn't clear whether she is a skeptic or a believer in relation to some of these stories, but I can tell that she has an open mind and also a sense of humor. That sense of humor can be seen on her dedication page:

Each of the hikes is rated by a skull system. Believe me, the stories that are rated four skulls go with places where some baaaaad stuff happened. 

You might want to click on this pic to see it larger. I got a kick out of this.

The contents page shows all the areas of North America that she covers. This book is well organized for the traveler who wants to reference a specific park.

So, the book is organized like this: Different regions of North America, then under each region the National Parks that are there. Each National Park section has a story or two. After the stories comes a description of what to expect if you'd like to hike the areas described, like miles and difficulty. A simple map accompanies each hike. I just picked a random map to give you an idea. As you can see, I picked an "Easy" hike that kids can enjoy with a one skull rating. I guess I picked a tame one. 

I'm not sure I described that in a way that makes sense, so I'll give an example. Say you're interested in the California and Hawaii chapter. There's a section in there about Joshua Tree National Park. In that section are several stories from the park. There's one story about "Skull Rock" and after that there is a description of the hike around that area. Part of that description is above, along with the map. So you get a nice description of the loop you'd be walking and a few details to look out for if you plan to search for UFOs in the area.

I think this example I shared is actually a hike I'd be up for. Some of the hikes are long and strenuous, are in the territory of dangerous animals, or are sites of old crime scenes. For the most part the crimes are very old, but still. As I said at the beginning, thanks for the warning! 

You don't have to be a hiker to enjoy this book. If you're into history or the paranormal, that's enough. And this is a funny book, especially considering some of the subject matter. 

If any of you have some haunted hike stories of your own, I'd love to hear them! Reading this book, I'm not sure how any National Park isn't teeming with ghosts. 

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