I know – the name of my website/book is confusing. It’s meant to be. And when you think you really know what it means, you probably still don’t. Those who have read the whole thing have invariably told me it wasn’t what they’d expected. It’s about a year and a half now since I launched the book and I’d like to give a little retrospective on the whole project that’s still in the works as I try to disseminate the ideas within my meandering volume far and wide.
It all began really about 11 years ago, during a very free time in my own life when I envisioned a project that would aid in the conservation of the native trout of the east: the brook trout. I would go out and in a series of 5 long hikes, walk through the whole native eastern U.S. range of the species from northern Georgia to the New Brunswick border. But I didn’t know if it was possible at the outset or what good it might do in the end.
The story of what came next is recounted in The Dying Fish. And it wasn’t what I’d envisioned either as I’d caught a bus from my Pittsburgh home to Georgia. It proved harder, so much tougher than I could have imagined, to haul a burgeoning pack through Appalachia and descend to look at all the trout streams possible. I largely failed in my first year’s attempt but did learn to move through the mountains. I returned to the south, pushed through Appalachia in one 1400 mile foray and set my sights on Pennsylvania and beyond. The situation wasn’t as I’d believed for the brook trout and I couldn’t have imagined the trials and rewards of the great eastern trails from the comfort of my Pittsburgh apartment.
In the years ahead, I’d go on to wind through my home state, spend rewarding months seeing as much of New York as possible and then go on to complete the penultimate trek through the New England wilds. There was vast knowledge of wild places and wild creatures, and wild people, that I couldn’t have gained in any other way, or maybe just wouldn’t have wanted to gain in any other way.
And the final leg, following the wildest rivers of the east up to the New Brunswick border really does save the best for last.
The book launched at the beginning of April last year and has been the greatest success of my own life and certainly of my writing career. It was 9 years in the making, including the 5 years spent trekking. I haven’t really made any money worth mentioning but I proceed in life with the knowledge that I’ve gone out and fulfilled my life’s purpose – an assurance I couldn’t have really had until the book was on the shelves.
Thanks to those of you who’ve taken the time for The Dying Fish. The second edition is in the works now, an abbreviated version that will also be available for Kindle for the first time. This transition will likely occur around the end of the year. Anyone who would like to own a first, and full, edition – it’s not too late. The book can be ordered at the address below. Thanks for your support as I continue in my unique vein of libertarain environmental education and adventure!