Travel / Adventure / Nonfiction
A Collection of Travel Stories
by Gary McWilliams
ISBN number: 978-0-578-07507-5
Comments of Readers
"You have made a liar out of Hemingway, who said there is no adventure any more. Well, we know his ego and belief he could define adventure but you have proven him wrong."
~ Mike Haggerty, writer and traveler, Tucson, Arizona
"Very few of us, perhaps NONE, would have attempted these solo adventures in foreign lands. Gary, it seems, has put the cats of the world to shame when it comes to having only nine lives. Try reading about his wading a tributary of the Orinoco—you literally want to pull up your legs. I had a difficult time putting it down. I was chuckling so much that my wife made me read it aloud…. This has to be read to be believed—No one could make this stuff up or plan what happened to him…. Incidentally, I ordered 12 of these books and expect to run out soon."
~ Kenneth Kupchak, lawyer, Honolulu, Hawaii
"Wow,…What a great book—so many good stories. I really enjoyed it."
~ Patricia Fry, author and book editor, Ojai, CA
"I wanted to read more.…Poised for the second book. Might there be one? It was totally marvelous, was better than sleeping at night,…so well written—I was there."
~ Verena Schwippert, artist, Arlington, Washington
"Just a note to thank you for the wonderful experience of reading your book! I loved every minute of it… you're a very gifted writer."
~ Carol Kilgore, Landscape Designer, Maple Falls, Washington
It's great. Lots of insight, graceful writing. I like the humility of your writing style, you never seem to be lost in love with your own voice as an author."
~ George Mustoe, Geologist, Bellingham, Washington
"Marvelous, marvelous adventures, told in crackling prose. This is an exhilarating book. Kick back, put a log on the fire, and have at it."
~ Ernie Crane, teacher, Phoenix, Arizona
"I am blown away by the book. It is great! I have laughed out loud…When will it be published? I want a case of them myself."
~ Lois MacKenzie, nurse, Silverton, Colorado
Gary McWilliam's book really had me conflicted, I couldn't wait to finish a story, but I didn't want the book to end! I really, really LOVE this book!"
~ Fred Olsen, geologist, Denver, Colorado
"I like the way you weave political and emotional subtexts into the narratives to give them flavor. I was sorry to get to the end.
~ Charlie Hodges, musician, Tucson, Arizona
"All I can say about your book is WOW! WOW! WOW! It has been such a delight to sit for an hour each morning with coffee reading it…too intrigued to put it down when I should have been going on with the rest of the day. It was so appealing to me because I have always been the ‘adventuresome type.' It brought back many ‘goose bump' experiences of my own."
~ Leon White, artist, Seattle, WA
They (the stories) vividly display your deep curiosity about the natural world and other cultures, your resourcefulness as a traveler…, and your capacity—despite all that you'd seen before—to enjoy all the wonders that you discern, and discover.
~ Karl Hufbauer, professor emeritus, Seattle, WA
"This book is a fantastic reminder of the wonderment to be experienced in the natural world. Not only are the stories remarkable, they are told in such a flavorful way that you can taste the adventure."
~ Michael Gardner, artist, Snohomish, WA
"I loved reading about all of your adventures, especially those in Alaska, and cried a little at the end when you sold the Hyak. I hope to be back in Alaska this spring working for the Forest Service out at the Pack Creek bear viewing area again. The rest of the field crew and I do a lot of reading out there and we all share books. I will be bringing yours and I'm sure it will be enjoyed by the other rangers. Your travel tales have also inspired me to apply for a volunteer position in the Galapagos Islands doing Marine Turtle Monitoring this winter…thanks for the inspiration."
~ Dori Bogliano, biologist, US Forest Service, Delray Beach, FL
"Your book does absolutely wonderful job of bringing the reader along to the beautiful places you have been. Taking the artists out on your boat obviously did help you paint pictures with words."
~ Jim Williams, canoe designer, Colton, New York
"I enjoyed reading the writing of an author whose mastery of the English language is second to none. So many great words used in so many places. …The adventurer within you prevailed throughout the book. Doing what you wished, when you pleased, and not worrying about the almighty Buck! Good for you! Never one to shirk a hard day's work... as I may have mentioned once before, numerous examples of hard work are depicted in the book—unbelieveable working conditions in the mines and on the boats. You showed a very positive light in each of your personal challenges/jobs that many would never consider, regardless of the salary.
You have a sense of poetically translating your insights and observations into pictures of beauty and intensely described images for your reader, i.e., you don't just call a waterfall a waterfall, or a person a person. So many examples throughout your work of people, places, natural beauty that were painted magnificently in words for the reader to enjoy. I begin my second read of your book soon!"
~ Richard Mulcahy, Teacher, Creative Writing, retired, Bend, Oregon
"What a great read it was… I lived your adventures. Being a geologist myself, it was particularly exciting. What an amazing man you are, you've got guts and creativity that warms my soul… refreshing."
~ Bill Mason, Chemist, Geologist, Inventor, St. Paul, MN.
"Dear Gary, You may not remember us…we visited Prince of Wales Island in July as part of our 7 week travels around Alaska and north-western Canada and purchased a birdbath and rock samples from you. We also purchased your book HOT COFFEE AND OTHER WILD GOOSE TALES and absolutely fought over who could read it as we traveled. It was difficult to put it down—so well written—we felt as though we were traveling right there with you as you explored untamed areas of the world. Harry esp. enjoyed your trip through Russia, as he has traveled there also and had the experience of riding the Russian trains and planes. Our birdbath made it home in one piece and has a permanent home in my flower garden. The fossil rock has a place in our book shelf and our granddaughters, 12 and 7 will be taught the joys of rock-hounding as we share with them the garnets and crystals we purchased. We enjoyed our visit with you and Karen and may God bless you as you lead others to enjoy the wonderful creations of our beautiful world."
~ Florence, South Carolina
"Just wanted to thank you again for my copy of Gary McWilliams's book.
As I told you earlier, I don't want to put it down, but realize that the more I read, the sooner I will finish it and the joy will end.
I don't know if you remember a toy amphibious airplane I had when we were children. It had floats and a real propeller that spun after being wound by the "key" on it's back. I played with that airplane in all of the deeper mud puddles, as we called them, that stood in the lane by our house in Lone Mountain for hours on end.
In my childess wisdom it occured to me one day that if I continued to use my toy, it would wear out and not work anymore. The wind-up part would quit working like the clocks that our brother Bill "fixed".
My plan was to put the airplane in a safe place so I could prolong its life, and my pleasure. I hid it under the bed.
I forgot about the airplane because of other interests like skinnin over trees and such.
Eventually I remembered my precious airplane and made for the hiding place under the bed only to find that it was gone. I think maybe one of our cousins, or the Williams boys may have taken it, but I never saw it again.
Reading Gary's book reminded me of that lesson in my life, and while I want reading it, and enjoying it, to last forever, it won't. I still savor it each morning with my first cup of coffee and wonder how to prolong the joy."
~ Steve Hodges, Engineer, Powell, Tennessee