This Wild Land

Almost twenty years ago, Andrew Vietze made an unexpected career change: from punk rock magazine editor to ranger at Baxter State Park in Maine. Home to Katahdin, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, Baxter State Park sees some 60,000 visitors each summer alone, keeping the park rangers beyond busy. From midnight search-and-rescue missions to trail maintenance to cleaning toilets, Baxter rangers do it all . . . and, over the decades, Vietze has seen it all.

As he grows from neophyte to old hand, the relationships that Vietze builds with his fellow rangers are illustrated as vibrantly as any attempt to save a lightning strike victim or raid on illegal campers. In This Wild Land, Vietze tells his story with humor, action, and an eye for the compelling details of life as a park ranger, making it the perfect read for outdoor and armchair adventurers alike.

Andrew Vietze is a writer and Baxter State Park ranger. He has written more than a dozen books, including Essential Guide to Winter Recreation; Boon Island: A True Story of Mutiny, Shipwreck, and Cannibalism (winner of a 2013 Independent Publisher’s Book Award); and Becoming Teddy Roosevelt: How a Maine Guide Inspired America’s 26th President. For the past two decades, he’s spent six months a year as a ranger in the wilds of the Katahdin region.