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Almost Anywhere: Road Trip Ruminations on Love, Nature, National Parks, and Nonsense

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  711 ratings  ·  82 reviews
At twenty-eight years old, Krista Schlyer sold almost everything she owned and packed the rest of it in a station wagon bound for the American wild. Her two best friends joined her—one a grumpy, grieving introvert, the other a feisty dog—and together they sought out every national park, historic site, forest, and wilderness they could get to before their money ran out or t ...more
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Skyhorse
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 ·  711 ratings  ·  82 reviews

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Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In this funny, heartbreaking, and ultimately redemptive memoir, Krista Schlyer invites her readers on a cross-country journey from loss to hope. Along the way, she guides us through dozens of America's state and national parks and introduces us to the many species whose land we've come to occupy. Schlyer's writing is warm and witty; self-effacing and honest, she's the kind of writer and narrator a reader connects with easily, even if many of us have never faced the trials that inspired her trip. ...more
Susan Hanson
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“Over the years, I have learned to find sustenance where there is scarcity,” photojournalist Krista Schlyer writes in Almost Anywhere. “In the bend of dune grass under an ocean breeze. A solid rock for luncheon rest on a sunny peak. The wings of a heron reflected in low flight over the Anacostia River.” In these and more, Schlyer has discovered what it means to walk the tenuous line between exquisite joy and mind-numbing pain. As her readers, we are invited to join her on that precarious walk.

Amy Gulick
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Deep love. Deep loss. In the fog of pain, Krista Schlyer struggles to see her way forward. Seeking solace where trees tower, buffalo roam, and mountains humble, Schlyer faces and embraces life, warts and all, with sobs, smiles, and a quirky little dog.
Kevin Kizer
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
"I set out on the road to find magic in quiet places to cushion the hard edges of grief, and I have, beyond my wildest hopes. But I am also becoming acquainted with an entirely new source of grief as I come to understand the devastation we have wrought on the natural world." This to me felt like a nice summary of this wonderful memoir by Krista Schlyer. Look for my review soon on ...more
Susan Tweit
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Award-winning photojournalist and wilderness advocate Krista Schlyer was 28 years old, living in Washington, DC, and stuck in a disabling fog of grief after losing her husband to cancer when her best friend Bill—also her late husband's best friend—phoned and said, "We both need to get out of here. Way out."

He thought we should go out on the road, to all those national parks and wild lands, as many as we could get to for as long as we could manage to stay away. We'd go by car, sleep in a tent, ea
Cat Lazaroff
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Almost Anywhere is astonishingly lyrical, gut-bustingly funny, and tremendously moving. It's a reminder of the healing, transformative power of nature. If you've never felt the numinous astonishment of walking in a wood with no human sounds but your own footsteps, this book will give you that vicarious experience from your armchair. But more than that - it will inspire you to seek out your own paths into places full of beauty.

Oh,and it's full of beautiful scenes from some of the best parts of t
This is the best memoir I have ever read. Most memoirs/autobiographies, understandably, have a "this is all about me!" feel to them, but I never felt that about this book. Schlyer is simply a guide to her experiences on the road, switching beautifully from funny to profound to informative.

Grief is difficult to write about, but Schlyer rocks it. I feel like I took this journey with her, from the crushing weight of losing someone you love to realizing that, yes, grief is huge, but life is bigger.
Clay Bolt
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The most insightful books always seem to come at exactly the right time. One thing that they all share in common is a powerful mix of personal narrative, humor, and the kind of deep thinking that speaks to me not only while I’m burning through their pages, but for the days and weeks that follow. Almost Anywhere will take you on an unforgettable journey through America’s National Parks—some more familiar than others—and deep within the landscape of beautiful lives touched by wonder, tragedy, and ...more
Lynn Murray
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Have made it known that for my memorial- whenever that comes to be -to be read aloud :
“If you seek to experience the sublime in life,the force of a beauty so terrible and powerful it tends your souls a weeping wound and then a cataclysmic giggle, you have to be willing to walk where the wild things are, in the stillness between light and dark, between pain and comfort, between life and death.

It is there, where neither force devours the other that the amber glow of dusk rests upon this
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been zipping through books this year, but took my time with this one. There's so much that's really good about this book. After significant personal losses, Krista and Bill sell nearly everything and head out in a station wagon with a tent, a year's worth of rice and sauce packets and a funny little dog to embark on an adventure of healing and discovery. I expected bits about the various parks they visited along the way, but got so much more. The book is at times touching and heartfelt as t ...more
Maureen Dowd
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The author's unique insights (related to herself and her beloveds, her journey from despair to hope, her understanding of nature and the universe), are all presented in a style that is honest, beautiful and highly relatable.
When a book can cause one to laugh out loud, to be blinded by tears, and to come away with a better understanding of one's place in the scheme of things, it's well worth reading more than once, and maybe in a book club.
I wish everyone who has been significant to me in my lif
Jodi Beder
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A captivating read, serious, funny and entertaining. Krista Schlyer's "Almost Anywhere" is a probing journey book that combines the personal (a journey through loss and grief) with the public - in this case, with a focus on natural history and the environment; the mapping is both internal/psychic and geographic. The book also artfully balances reverence for nature and the seriousness of grief with absurdity, irreverence and laugh-aloud humor, as often as not aimed by the author at herself. Her v ...more
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Almost Anywhere a few days ago, but I can’t stop thinking about its beauty and depth. Never before has a book made me laugh and then cry, and then start laughing while I am crying. This book is worth reading for the funny moments alone, but the humor is a small gift compared to the greater gifts shared.
Bridget Pooley
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written memoir, captivates the reader. I love the way Krista entwines the past and present in the story, pulling the reader along. I laughed and I cried (a lot!) as I was transported from one amazing scene to another. Thank you for sharing your story, Krista.
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I bought this on Audible and almost stopped listening because i didn't care for the narrator. I'm glad I stuck around. I enjoyed the stories, nature references, research, history, etc. The author uses beautiful language to convey this journey. I understand from my book group buddies that there are footnotes that are funny that we didn't hear. I'm disappointed about that. While listening, I laughed out loud and shed a few tears. I recommend this book! ...more
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
There was much that appealed to me about this book, the biggest thing being "national parks," which my husband and I have spent many years "collecting." And "road trip ruminations" was also a draw since I seem to ruminate often. A funny thing happened as I began reading, though. They started in New Buffalo, Michigan, and began traveling EAST. Well, I couldn't understand that; I live in New Hampshire and we always head WEST when we travel. How could they go the wrong way? But as I kept reading it ...more
Jan 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Last year I read another book about somebody driven mad by grief trying to cope by embarking on a Project. "H is for Hawk" is a better book than this, and certainly less preachy. But Schlyer's account of going through David's death from cancer hits home with me, and her National Park roadtrip recalls past camping trips of my own. She's at her best describing the actual events of the trip: trying to sleep in the smelly station wagon when no campsite is found, soaking in the hot springs with naked ...more
Nancy Lou
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was an inspiring and moving book for me. I will definitely be reading it again as there is so much in there that I want to remember. Not only does she share insight into the beauty that can be found around us and across our country Krista Scheyer also shares her struggle with grief in such a way that I feel would help many who are struggling through their own grief. I rate this book right up there with another of my favorites by Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge: An Unnatural Healing of Nature ...more
Oct 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed Almost Anywhere: Road Trip Ruminations on Love, Nature, National Parks, and Nonsense. I am not a big reader but this book held my attention. I am a sucker for a love story and it also spoke to my curiosity of what we can find traveling the wild side of our country. The places described on the road trip emphasize, amplifies, and echoes the loss ruminated in the book, the loss of a loved one and the continued loss of our natural world.
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Not what I expected. I liked the parts about the people they met along the way and descriptions of places they went. I definitely could have done without the long, emotional stuff (I get that it was a book about her healing but some of those passages just went on way too long for me), her ideas on religion (or lack thereof), and her profanity, etc. I found myself annoyed at times. Would not recommend.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
"We are all looking for ways to hold on, enraptured by life in all its cruel kindness. The infinite ways that we manage to do that, conjured up by countless forms of life, offer an eternity of lessons in living." ...more
Lisa Davis
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has it all, the unbearable sadness of losing your life partner, the joy and hardships of the road, the redemptive power of love, friendship, humor, nature and the devotion of a great dog. Great read.
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An excellent memoir encompassing loss, love, friendship, the rigors of camping. . .very well written by a wonderful young lady with connections to Tucson.
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-the-soul
Heartbreaking, entertaining and inspiring, I was actually sad to be done with this book.
Kim Hammond-beyer
Enjoyable read

A healing journey to find beauty in what remains, in each of us and in our ravaged planet in which wildness tries to survive.
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Schlyer is an award-winning outdoors photographer and writer. Anyone who enjoys visiting national parks, has endured a lengthy road trip, has grappled with surviving grief after the lengthy terminal illness or death of a loved one, or has spent time truly searching her soul to understand this world and her place in it will probably find something of value in this book.

I greatly appreciated this book on all those levels but found the writing to be uneven. Loved the sarcasm and self-deprecating h
Emilio III
Almost Anywhere tells the story of three people: the author Krista Schlyer, her husband Daniel, and their friend Bill. When Daniel passes away unexpectedly from cancer, Krista and Bill set out on a cross-country journey, exploring national parks and monuments along the way.

My interest in the book was with the national parks angle. Having spent the last two vacations exploring the wonders of Yellowstone, I was eager to learn more about some of the other national parks. Krista and her friend Bill
Christina Knowles
May 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
I usually love memoirs, especially when the authors go on road trips to resolve some meaning of life issues, or in this case, grief. However, this book was so incredibly boring that I could hardly stand it. Instead of weaving her epiphanies into the descriptions of the landscape, she disjointedly jumps back and forth between sounding like a travel brochure and a poignant memoir. She drones on about the scenery, then goes on about her love, Daniel, who died from cancer. I liked the parts about ta ...more
Craig Amason
I have read several books by people who have gone on life-changing adventures, such as mountain-climbing, world travel, distance hiking, etc. I have also read a few books by people who either faced their own imminent death or the death of a loved one. Schlyer's book combines both themes in an extremely personal memoir as she dealt with the death of her husband at a very early age. With her close friend, Bill (who also became her second life partner), she set out across the country to explore nat ...more
Liz Krieger
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title of this book appealed to me since it included a Road Trip, Love, Nature, and National Parks - all things that are close to my heart. The author Krista Schlyer, who is a conservation photographer and writer, lost her husband at the age of 28 to cancer. She and her husband's best friend sold everything and, along with her dog Maggie, embarked on a cross-country camping trip in order to sort out their grief. This book is the author's memoir of the year spent on the road. At times heartbre ...more
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Book reading at Tattered Cover in Denver 1 2 Nov 17, 2015 07:23AM  
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Krista Schlyer is a conservation photographer and writer. She is a senior fellow in the International League of Conservation Photographers and her work has been published by BBC, The Nature Conservancy, High Country News, The National Geographic Society, and Audubon. Schlyer is the author of two previous books including Continental Divide, winner of the 2013 National Outdoor Book Award. She is als ...more

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