To the Wilderness is the memoir of an outdoorswoman's life in search of the wild. Improvising a canoe route through deep Maine woods, she discovered – a century after Thoreau – not the forest primaeval but a commercial forest, B.C. (Before Chainsaw). Later, in the Minnesota-Ontario border waters, she found wilderness being loved to death, making the ironic case for the management of wild places. Climbing Mount Katahdin in 1947 provided her with a baseline of untrammelled wilderness. But ecstatic moments of union with nature, she discovered, may be inseparable from alienating and even life-threatening encounters. Having grown through innocence to experience, she contemplated the changing attitudes toward the environment in her lifetime and suggested how one person or a nation may live responsibly on the planet.
The late Marion K. Stocking taught at Beloit College for thirty years.