Walking Woodstock NY

250 Pages, Bushwhack Books
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    Walking Woodstock

    Journeys into the Wild Heart of America’s Most Famous Small Town

    by Michael Perkins and Will Nixon
    Illustrated by Carol Zaloom

    #1 Paperback Bestseller of 2009, Golden Notebook, Woodstock, NY
    Includes “Off the Beaten Path” Hikes in Woodstock and the Catskills

    At a poetry gathering one evening, Michael Perkins and Will Nixon decided to walk across Woodstock, not just the modern town of busy roads but the older village of bluestone quarries, abandoned forest paths, and mountain views they had all to themselves. Walking Woodstock collects their adventures, many first published in the Woodstock Times, that ranged from the delights of finding spring flowers to the fears of a mountain rescue. Full of humor, history, friendship, nature, hikers’ lore, and walkers’ musings, these journeys reveal the wild heart that beats in all of us when we set forth to explore our home terrain on foot.

    Praise For Walking Woodstock

    “Here is an insider’s book of Woodstock trails, with good stories on ‘lost roads,’ cairns, forgotten history, and above all—walking. If this inspired book doesn’t get us up and out and walking, nothing will”
    – Gioia Timpanelli, What Makes a Child Lucky

    “It’s a perfect gift idea, thusly, for all of us who live or visit here. And want to get to know the wilder Woodstock around us…in a timeless fashion. But this is also a work of deep literary merit.”
    Woodstock Times

    “Perkins and Nixon not only talk the talk in their great new book, which—we hear—was the Number One seller at the Golden Notebook this past holiday season—but they walk the walk. Why? ‘We’re born pedestrians but are everywhere trapped in cars,’ Michael Perkins explains.”
    Catskill Mountain Region Guide

    “This is a book by two free men—two men who have consciously chosen to forsake the desperate quest for speed that characterizes our increasingly impatient age in favor of long, slow, discursive rambles on foot over hill and dale, mountain and meadow, crag and creek and country road. Among other things, to walk in the way that Michael Perkins and Will Nixon do is an act of devotion, an act that entails a close reading of the landscape—and happily for us, they write as well as they read.”
    – Mikhail Horowitz, Rafting into the Afterlife

    “Like Johnny Cash, Perkins and Nixon have been everywhere—through, over, under and around Woodstock, and not just Woodstock, New York. These bright remembrances of hikes past should inspire the couch-bound to retake the neglected territory of the upright and bipedal. There’s wilderness, poetry and history in this Woodstock, a realm of mountain paths through winding glens and up windy slopes to hidden vistas, a back 40 peopled with the ghosts of Woodstockers past—settlers, sculptors, painters, quarrymen, Indian chiefs, town Supervisors and more. No more informed, energized, cantankerous and amiable company could be found than these two foot soldiers of field and stream. Let them guide you where they go. And feel free to follow in their footsteps.”
    – Spider Barbour, Wild Flora of the Northeast

    “The writing is crisp and inviting, and the mix of current detail and historical anecdotes will keep readers interested. For me, it was just plain old fun to dip into.”
    – Edward Sanders, America: A History in Verse

    “Two clear-eyed poets celebrate their local landscape and a friendship forged on foot in sprightly, remarkably varied essays that exalt the pedestrian in every sense. ‘Walking is subversive,’ writes Perkins. Nixon calls it ‘a radical act.’”

    “Henry David Thoreau once called walking the Fourth Estate—the other three were Church, State, and (here you have to smile) People. The implication is clear: if you want to get free of the burdens that weigh upon your mind, free of the kinds of obligations that only seem to multiply the more you fulfill them, and finally…even free of yourself, then go for a walk! Walking Woodstock is the perfect guidebook to America’s first alternative religion and her oldest, most venerable revolutionary act. Read it as a natural history of the local flora and fauna (including the human variety), as the record of an evolving friendship between kindred souls, or as a personal challenge to wear out your next pair of shoes.”
    – Clark Strand, How to Believe in God: Whether You Believe in Religion or Not

    Walking Woodstock is a graceful and honest book written with a poet’s keen appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us and the deep pleasure of experiencing our highways and byways afoot. A story of friendship, companionship, and mutual respect—a lovely duet.”
    – Kenneth Wapner, Catskill Rambles

    “For Perkins and Nixon, hiking the woods is like stepping outside of human time, from the fast-paced world of change we live in, back in time to Woodstock’s historic and storied past, still to be seen in the primeval forest.”
    Kingston Daily Freeman

    “Will Nixon and Michael Perkins have given us the next best thing to being out there: an interior trek through their imaginations, all the while following their instincts that lead them to the roads once taken, now enveloped by time and change. This eloquent, often poignant volume mirrors the very object of their pursuit: a lacework of connections, to people living on the forest edge, to generations past, present and future, to the sounds and smells and sights of the wild heart of the Catskills, and to hints of how life in Woodstock once was lived.”
    – Michael DeWan, Former President, Woodstock Land Conservancy

    “No mere guidebook…These guys are out to revitalize our species’ right to experience what that other radical poet, Gary Snyder, calls wild nature.”
    Catskill Mountain Region Guide

    “These rambles of discovery around historic Woodstock will inspire you to depart the malls and walls and rediscover the natural world with new eyes. The prose is often lyrical: ‘I found in front of my face a mossy bird’s nest packed into a small cliff pocket like a woven throne.’ Several stories recount in fascinating detail adventures in the Catskill mountains, and ‘Lost’ is one of the best tales of disorientation I’ve yet read.”
    – Carol White, Catskill Day Hikes for All Seasons

    “Akin to Thoreau’s seminal essay ‘Walking’…fine armchair reading that will get you wanting to walk.”

    “Far more than yet another trail guide. This forest historian reviewer has only a limited familiarity with the Woodstock area. For those sites he has not yet visited, Perkins’ and Nixon’s essays have created the reaction: ‘I want to go! I want to see these places! Take me there!’”
    – Michael Kudish, The Catskill Forest: A History

    “You can read one or two stories at a time or quite possibly devour the entire book in an afternoon. It is one of the few books I’ve read that I was sorry to see end.”
    Kaatskill Life