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BOOK REVIEW: Last Mountains, the story of the Cascades

Recently I was gifted a book from my sister called "The Reading List" (maybe I'll review that another time) and it was an eye opening read that made me realize that sometimes the greatest experience in books is that they should be shared. In them there is magic that connects us as human beings.

Imagine if you stood alone at the edge of the Grand Canyon while the sun was rising. The sky painting a vibrant portrait before your eyes and you turn, jaw dropped, with elated joy to see if anyone else saw it and realized there was nobody else to feel that joy. Charlie has actually been in this exact predicament before and it haunts him to this day that I was not there to share it with him. Well.... that is what finishing a great book feels like. Just you and a full heart nobody can see.

This is why we love sharing our adventures and now we want to also share our adventures in books here on the blog. With you! So here goes our very first book review:


(Read by Liz. Most will be, but Charlie might do a few here and there)

I didn't really intend for this to be the first book review, but it is the very last book I happened to read and I find it easier to write in the moment when the read is still fresh in my mind and I'm still empassioned by all the little pieces of it.

This book was written by a couple named Robert Orman and Victoria Case in the year 1945. To sum it up in one sentence, it is the story of the Cascade Mountain range from European discovery to the "modern" World War II era capturing the essence of culture, politics, infrastructure and natural phenomena. I really don't need to add more to it, but I will.

I thought it interesting to read the perspective and insight on what the local politics were like at this time in this specific area of Washington and Oregon It seems the cost of energy and the greed of investors were, even back then, a hot topic. There's some language in this book that might be a bit alarming, but realizing that was the unfortunate norm back then you can take it with a grain of salt. Also, in the way the indigenous people were regarded. It's not a perfect book, yet a perfect window into the dynamics of what it looked like as settlers claimed the Cascades, at least from their perspective. The chapters were emboldened with individual stories of triumph and loss as well as Native American legends of which I had never heard. Such as "Why are there no snakes on Mount Rainier?".

When I closed this musty, decaying book after reading the last lines I sat and reflected on how the rest of the story went since 1945 to now. Much has changed, even the geology in ways. It was thought provoking and a piece of history I am glad to have read. If you are a history buff and a lover of the outdoors then you will be glad you read it too. I've never given a book review but I do know that I should give it a star rating. Hm... I thought long and hard. How about 3 out of 5 stars. That sounds scientific enough! ⭐⭐⭐

See our latest video adventure here:


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