THE LETTER THAT CHANGED MY LIFE, and the next step… Today I am feeling grateful. Tidying up a storage area in the cabin, sorting through materials from my 12 years as president of the Listening Point Foundation, I was powerfully reminded of the profound effect that beloved North Country author Sigurd Olson had on my life. That connection began with reading his books, suggested to me by a high school music student of mine in Morris, MN. At the time I was lost and struggling—a decent teacher, maybe even a good one, but sensing deeply that this was not what I was really meant to do with my life. My student’s suggestion led me to Sig’s books, which I devoured eagerly. So moved was I that I knew I must write to this man, even though I was desperately shy and lacking in confidence. Just a few days after sending my letter I received a 2-page, type-written response. With that much-needed encouragement, I ‘retired’ from teaching at the age of 25, and the real and authentic journey of my life began. I am still on it.

In a couple of weeks, my 40th book will be released, and I am as excited as I was about the first one. It’s received some lovely reviews, of which I’ve shared a few. I’ll include a few more below. I am so lucky—blessed—to live the life I do, dwelling in a cabin in the forest by the water, married for 50 years to the girl I once dreamed of. And writing books for a living, as my hero Sigurd Olson did. Thank you all, friends and readers, for helping to make it all possible.

Kirkus Reviews: Wood responds to the spirit and meaning of place, musing on the joys of a cabin in the woods, the spectacle of the Northern Lights, and his experiences as a wilderness guide—all give him cause for awe, humility, and a profound appreciation of mystery. A Wild Path is warm evocation of nature’s gifts.

In A Wild Path, Douglas Wood captures that magic, wonder and awe of experiencing the wilderness. This collection of essays is honest, authentic and laugh-out-loud funny. A real treat.
Rebecca Otto, Executive Director, Ernest C. Oberholtzer Foundation

In this book, you will find some gems that may stick with you for a lifetime. As a writer, Doug is like John Burroughs in his vivid descriptions of the natural world. But in his delightful storytelling style and mastery of his craft, he is akin to Mark Twain.
Marlene Warren Ehresman, Founder and Executive Director, Iowa Wildlife Center

Douglas Wood’s A Wild Path reaches deep into the heart—his, mine, and surely yours as well. His stories reflect the lives of our generation drawn to the woods and lakes of the North and toward a simpler life. They are stories of a life well-lived, told in such vivid detail they will give you pause to reflect on the stories and meanings of your own life. —Steve Piragis, co-owner, Piragis Northwoods Co. Ely, MN

Douglas Wood’s ‘A Wild Path’ alternates between captivating prose and lyrical poetry. One moment Doug takes us on a strenuous paddle across big water, and in the next a gentle stroll under towering pines. Every essay connects or re-connects us with family and friends, flora and fauna, and all the beauties in this vast and vibrant world Buddy Huffaker, Executive Director, Aldo Leopold Foundation

Douglas Wood has always been able to express the magic in this world like no one else I know. He sees relationships between the grand and all-encompassing, and the simplest of things. I also laughed out loud many times while reading this collection. Every essay in this book, from raucous hilarity to serious contemplation—the ironies, the wisdom, the guffaws, and the tears from those beautiful places in Doug’s heart—seems a personal gift to me. I suspect that will be the case for all who read it. Denny Olson
Writer, teacher, actor, naturalist

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