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books about Driftless Area
Crossing the Driftless: A Canoe Trip through a Midwestern Landscape
University of Wisconsin Press, 2015
Library of Congress GV776.W6D54 2015 | Dewey Decimal 797.1220977
The Driftless Area is the land the glaciers missed, an ancient landscape of bluffs, ridgetops, and steep valleys that long ago was a seabed. Covering much of southwestern Wisconsin, its contours were deeply carved from bedrock, not by ice but by many rivers.
Crossing the Driftless is both a traveler’s tale and an exploration of this dramatic environment, following the streams of geologic and human history. Lynne Diebel and her husband, Bob, crossed the Driftless Area by canoe, journeying 359 river miles (and six Mississippi River locks and five portages) from Faribault, Minnesota, where her family has a summer home on Cedar Lake, to their Wisconsin home in Stoughton, one block from the Yahara River. Traveling by river and portage, they paddled downstream on the Cannon and Mississippi rivers and upstream on the Wisconsin River, in the tradition of voyageurs. Lynne tells the story of their trip, but also the stories of the rivers they canoed and the many tributaries whose confluences they passed.
Finalist, Travel, Foreword Reviews IndieFab Book of the Year Awards
Honorable mention, Nonfiction book, Council for Wisconsin Writers
Winner, Recreation/Sports/Travel, Midwest Book Awards
Best books for public & secondary school libraries from university presses, American Library Association
The Driftless Reader
Edited by Curt Meine and Keefe Keeley
University of Wisconsin Press, 2017
Library of Congress F351.D75 2017 | Dewey Decimal 977
Ancient glaciers passed by the Driftless Area and waterways vein its interior, forming an enchanting, enigmatic landscape of sharp ridgetops and deep valleys. Across time, this rugged topography has been home to an astonishing variety of people: Sauk, Dakota, and Ho-Chunk villagers, Norwegian farmers and Mexican mercado owners, Dominican nuns and Buddhist monks, river raftsmen and Shakespearean actors, Cornish miners and African American barn builders, organic entrepreneurs and Hmong truck gardeners.
The Driftless Reader gathers writings that highlight the unique natural and cultural history, landscape, and literature of this region that encompasses southwestern Wisconsin and adjacent Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois. The more than eighty selected texts include writings by Black Hawk, Mark Twain, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Frank Lloyd Wright, Aldo Leopold, David Rhodes, and many other Native people, explorers, scientists, historians, farmers, songwriters, journalists, and poets. Paintings, photographs, maps, and other images complement the texts, providing a deeper appreciation of this region's layered natural and human history.
Highlights include excerpts and art from:
Carol Ryrie Brink
John T. Curtis
Hoowaneka (Little Elk)
Mountain Wolf Woman
Clifford D. Simak
Ridge Stories: Herding Hens, Powdering Pigs, and Other Recollections from a Boyhood in the Driftless
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2019
Library of Congress F587.R4J66 2019 | Dewey Decimal 977.575
Straight talk from up on the farm
Raised on a small dairy farm in the Driftless Area in the mid-twentieth century, Gary Jones gets real about his rural roots. In this collection of interrelated stories, Jones writes with plainspoken warmth and irreverence about farm, family, and folks on the ridge. Readers will meet Gramp Jones, whose oversized overalls saved him from losing a chunk of flesh to an irate sow; the young one-room-school teacher who helped the kids make sled jumps at recess; Charlotte, the lawn-mowing sheep who once ended up in the living room; Victor the pig-cutter, who learned his trade from folk tradition rather than vet school; and other colorful characters of the ridge. Often humorous and occasionally touching, Jones’s essays paint a vivid picture that will entertain city and country folk alike.