Deep Woods, Wild Waters: A Memoir


by Douglas Wood
Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press (April 25, 2017)
ISBN: 978-0-8166317-3-5


Wait, young Douglas’s grandfather says as the bobber twitches on the surface of Little Lake. Be patient. And so begins an encounter with the promise and wonder of nature that will last a lifetime. Deep Woods, Wild Waters traces the winding path that carried Douglas Wood from one wonder to the next, through a landscape of rocks, woods, and waters, with stops along the way for questions and reflections that link human nature to the larger mysteries of the natural world.

Like life itself, the author’s way is not linear. One landmark leads back to a favorite campsite, another prompts him to consider the “gospel of rocks,” another launches him into the wilderness beyond the stars—a contemplation of time and space and humanity’s place in all of it. The creator of thirty-four books, including the classic Old Turtle, and an expert woodsman and wilderness canoe guide, Wood brings all his storytelling and bushwhacking skills to bear as he takes us hurtling down wild rapids, crossing stormy lakes, or simply navigating the treacherous currents and twisty trails of everyday life.

A warm, generous, and knowing guide, Wood maps a journey that, as he says, “anyone can take, through a landscape anyone can know.” Turning the pages, hiking the portages, running the rapids, or scanning the wild country from high promontory, he invites us to say, in a soul-satisfying moment of recognition, “I know that place.”


“With the eyes of an artist, the soul of a poet, and the easygoing humor of a backwoods guide, Douglas Wood takes us on a journey through our shared landscape of mind and spirit.”

David Backes, author of A Wilderness Within: The Life of Sigurd F. Olson


“Douglas Wood not only takes us on a journey through nature, but of mind and spirit, too.”  Northern


“Douglas Wood gathers a lifetime of aphorisms and lays them carefully like kindling to make sure that every anecdote sparks into epiphany. Story, he reminds us, ‘is creating a connection to another living being,’ whether spouse or grandchild or spruce or loon.”  Sierra Club Magazine


“A vastly knowledgeable wilderness guide and naturalist… Douglas Wood is one of the best contemporary nature writers working today.”  Foreword Reviews


“Like Sigurd Olson, Douglas Wood has become an icon of the North Woods.”

Mike Link, author and former Director of the Audubon Center of the Northwoods


“Douglas Wood’s memoir is a classic. Readers will want to return t it again and again.”

Larry Dolphin, former director of the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center,

Regional President of the Isaac Walton League


“All the vivid sounds, sights, and smells of the wilderness… A book to be read aloud—shared and enjoyed like a campfire tale.” Great Lakes Echo


“Wood takes readers on a journey of discovery and wonder, weaving in reflections that link human nature to the larger mysteries of the natural world.”  MN. Conservation Volunteer


“Many people are touched deeply by the North Woods. Very few, though, can take you there. Douglas Wood is one of the few.”  Lake Superior Magazine


“While most of us are left speechless by gilded ripples on a moonswept lake or the mesmerizing call of the look, Douglas Wood articulates for us those magical moments of epiphany in the natural world.”

Paul Schurke, polar explorer, author and environmental educator


Deep Woods, Wild Waters is a true gift. Douglas Wood beckons readers to slow down, breathe, and discover the cosmos in a grain of sand.”

Mary Casanova, author of Ice Out


“With Deep Woods, Wild Waters, Douglas Wood has risen to the pantheon of the great nature writers.”

Don Shelby, explorer and veteran journalist


“I felt I was traveling alongside Douglas Wood while reading his evocative life stories. This book is a treasure.”

Jim Brandenburg, photographer and author