The Labrador Wild

August 6, 2013 at 8:02 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

51QxxU9wWYLTitle: Letters to the Granddaughter: The Story of Dillon Wallace of the Labrador Wild

Author: Philip Schubert

Length: 198 pages

Travel books that focus on the adventure aspect of the traveling really excite me. I loved Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods, enjoy anything on nature, and was really excited to get a copy of Schubert’s own adventures in my hands.

Schubert took on the hefty project of retracing the steps of Dillon Wallace, a man who took the risks of nature by storm and conquered the edge of death several times.  Reading about Wallace and Mina Hubbard, and all the others of the major voyages through the Labrador in the early 1900’s shocked me – how had I never heard of this man before? How was he not mentioned along with other well known explorers like Lewis and Clark?

labmap_72Schubert’s book is truly incredible, as I suspected it would be.  Since its arrival at my home, it has been sitting on the shelf taunting me as I completed other reading assignments and projects that were first in line.  My fingers itched to open its pages and my eyes longed to feast on all the many maps and photography both antique and recent.

Despite said maps and imagery, I still had a difficult time picturing just where in the world the Labrador lie.  Clearly my geography education is lacking.

Whether or not you enjoy the great outdoors and the sheer adventure of hiking and canoeing, the extensive research and travel done to put this book together is impressive.  Whether or not you plan to sit and peruse each and every detail and hunt down Wallace’s original work upon acquiring a copy of Schubert’s book, this title makes for an excellent coffee table book.  Already, guests haven’t been able to help but pick it up and thumb through it when coming to my home.  The maps, the pictures, seeing the difference between a pair of trees in 1903 versus 2012… it’s all so riveting.

Having read the book, I have no intense desire to trek the route myself (and get killed), but I’d love to find a way to visit the plaque where Mina Hubbard’s husband died.  Another especially intriguing location from the pictures is the Three Gorges, on page 117 of the book there’s a stunning photograph of quite an impressive view.  I’d love to stand there myself.

Labrador WildTo readers who plan trips to famous writers’ houses, don’t miss out on Dillon’s former house in Beacon, New York.  It’s gorgeous.  I want it.

To Boy Scouts (my husband is an Eagle), this is a must read. After his days of trekking through the Labrador and documenting his time there, Dillon Wallace “established the Boy Scout movement in Dutchess County and was himself scoutmaster of Troop 1 in Beacon.” (pg.185)  His books were later included in the Every Boy’s Library Series.

I’m still on the lookout for copies of the original works by these amazing people, there are plenty online but despite supporting online purchases through Good Books in the Woods, HPBmarketplace.com, and lastly Amazon.com, even Abebooks every now and then… I rarely order online myself.  I prefer to find that perfect copy calling my name in the brick and mortar store.  When Dillon Wallace and Mina Hubbard’s books finally do call my name, I will excitedly scoop them up because I’ll be adding them and Schubert’s own research to the kiddo’s classical education reading list.

Visit the Author’s website.

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