By JEFF CLEMETSON | Mission Times Courier
If you need to shed some pandemic pounds, or if you just need a good laugh to cheer you up from the COVID blues, here are a couple other titles with outdoor themes and local roots:
“Pacific Crest Trail: Southern California”
Last year, Wilderness Press released the seventh edition to its Southern California Pacific Crest Trail guidebook. This edition’s update was written and compiled by Laura Randall, upon previous editions by Ben Schifrin, Ruby Johnson Jenkins, Thomas Winnett and Jeffery Schaffer.
The book is designed to guide readers along the 942.5-mile section — from the Southern border to Tuolumne Meadows — of the 2,650-mile trail by helping hikers locate the trail, find water sources, and access resupply routes. It offers rich descriptions, planning tips, and information on the region — including detailed information on the geology, wildlife and fauna found along each segment of the trail. The book also has sections promoting the “Leave No Trace” principle. The book also provides important details on camping, permits, the best seasons to go, and more. Also, the full-color maps of the trail are drawn to scale with one another.
“Pacific Crest Trail: Southern California” is a complete guide to planning a day hike, a weekend trip, or an ambitious thru-hike, but is also an interesting read for nature buffs.
The Pacific Crest Trail Association states that “Pacific Crest Trail: Southern California will plant both your feet in the dirt, so you can travel into the wild with confidence.”
“Pacific Crest Trail: Southern California, 7th Edition” ($29.95, softcover) is available wherever books are sold, including bookstores and gift shops, as well as popular online retailers.
“Titillating Tales from the Outhouse”
From Serra Mesa resident Tom Leech, co-author of “San Diego: Hiking, Biking & Camping” (Premier Pub), comes a, well, different kind of book about the outdoors.
“Titillating Tales from the Outhouse” is a collection of poems about the “small but important little buildings that go by many names – outhouses, privies, porta-potties, johns, loos, cans, crappers, thrones, and many more,” according to a press release for the book.
“I grew up in a small midwestern town and had many relatives who lived on nearby farms. Most did not have indoor plumbing, so the outhouse was a constant source of humor, day and night, summer and winter,” Leech said of his inspiration to publish the book. “For campers, world travelers, and people with powerful memories, outhouses continue to be a topic of amusement and triggered occasional fun poems over several decades. Finally I said my poems could well be a real book.”
Some of the subjects of poems in the book include: How the term “crapper” got its name; the story of José who rents his portable baño to drivers at the world’s busiest border; and two-story outhouses used by military colonels.
“Titillating Tales” is not Leech’s first book to feature poems.
“In many of my published books I’ve included an original poem or two that relates to the topic and provides a fun change-of-pace,” he said. “With co-author, and wife, Leslie, we wrote a poetic illustrated children’s book ‘The Curious Adventures of Santa’s Wayward Elves.’”
Although meant to be an enjoyable humorous read, there are some tidbits of practical advice for outdoor hikers and campers who find themselves between toilets.
“As a long-time group hiker, it’s standard practice after an hour or two on the trail we split the guy and gal hikers with the phrase, ‘OK, it’s time for our bush break,’” Leech said. “When you feel the need to go, look for a bush or shrub in a somewhat secluded spot. Several book poems (numbers 6, 8 and18) have some fun with the need to locate a spot to take a pee.”
For more information about “Titillating Tales from the Outhouse” and other books from Leech, visit presentationspress.com.
— Reach editor Jeff Clemetson at firstname.lastname@example.org.