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

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3.99  ·  Rating details ·  422 ratings  ·  54 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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3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  422 ratings  ·  54 reviews


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Kristen
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
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.

It
...more
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 ThePeorian.com.
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
...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
...more
Angie
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.
...more
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
Karen
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
...more
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
Lily
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.
Marilyn
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
Denise
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
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
John
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.
Jill
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.
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.
Erin
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."
Margaret
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.
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.
Michelle
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.
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
...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
Allison
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hoping for a National Parks-related read for my trip to Sequoia, I landed on this one, by an author unknown to me. Granted I did not read the book's back-cover description very closely, I was surprised to discover that not only was this story focused on the year-long cross-country trip that the main character Krista journeyed on for about a year with a close friend, it also documented her emotional journey as a woman in her early 30s who recently lost her husband to cancer. If you're looking for ...more
Joan
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
As one can read in the paragraph about the book, the author, Krista Schlyer, her best friend, and her dog go on a trip for the purpose of trying to lose their overwhelming grief. She and Bill travel from one state and national park to another hoping nature will help. Because of their own grief, they can’t seem to help each other much and knock heads frequently as both are very touchy and stubborn. The parts I did not like were when they argued about stupid things, her atheistic suppositions and ...more
Trudy Craig
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book explores profound grief and an ultimate road trip around the US as a way to process that loss. I loved the descriptions of the parks and monuments, many of which I've been to. I loved the petty but hilarious arguments between the couple as they traveled on the cheap and ate countless noodle dinners to save money and travel longer. Humor and sadness and real connection made this book special. I found myself bookmarking and highlighting (kindle) several sections, especially toward the en ...more
Todd Smith
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Life after death

She provided a nice tapestry of the different national parks she went to. I liked her reflections on her past love and sharing the heartache of loss. The beginning was a little hard to follow, but once she was on the road in the book I felt the memoir really took off. It is not the best memoir I had read, but I enjoyed her honesty in what she shared and that is really the heart of this book.
Romi
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
I absolutely could not get into this book. I read about 15% and had only just started to realize that she had a husband who died and Bill was a friend. I didn't care about her or Bill and couldn't imagine connecting further on to her or her story. Shame. Others seemed to really enjoy the book, but it wasn't for me.
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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
“Dirt is eternal. And in this forest I begin to understand the fatal flaw of clean=good=heaven formula. This forest is full of filth and chaos and death, and it is also the very essence of life.” 0 likes
“human psychological imperative to believe our life span is as infinite as the boundless night sky. We clutch a comforting delusion as each step of time ticks past us that the moment will extend into eternity, which makes the hurt of our losses escalate, and conversely, the intensity of our joy increase.” 0 likes
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