240 pages, 13 B/w illus, 4 maps
Fair warning to all of Virginia's couch potatoes: Curtis Badger has compiled such an engaging and refreshingly unconventional treasury of outdoor adventures that you may be compelled to give up your seat. He will send you in pursuit of rare salamanders on the slopes of Mount Rogers, to dig clams on tidal flats along the coast, and to spot eagles along the bluffs of the Potomac River. Dividing Virginia into four regions -- the Eastern Shore; the Tidewater, Middle Peninsula, and Northern Neck; Central Virginia and the Highlands; and Southwest Virginia -- Badger hikes, bikes, canoes, and kayaks his way through some of the Commonwealth's best-known, and least-known, natural areas. He fishes for trout in the James River, confronts bears on Stony Man Mountain, and looks for migrating birds in the Blue Ridge. He kayaks on the Pamunkey, bikes on former railroad beds, and searches for gold at Lake Anna. Yet as much as Badger provides an invaluable guidebook for the active outdoor explorer, his is also a writer's journal of entertaining essays sure to please the most adventurous reader. Whether used as a family guidebook for easy weekend jaunts or a natural history resource for students of the Old Dominion, Virginia's Wild Side will motivate even the armchair traveler to experience fifty very special Virginia places.
Keen observation and clear, evocative writing are some of those standards for which Badger is known in the business. He has a gift for taking the reader along on a vicarious trip. He's accurate and wonderfully descriptive. - Garvey Winegar, Richmond Times-Dispatch
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