Tuesday, June 06, 2006



THE LAST SEASON

by
Eric Blehm

This is the true story of legendary back-country ranger Randy Morgensen, an employee of the National Park Service, who disappeared wihout a trace while on patrol in the Sierra high country in 1996. It is the account of a man's life-long love of the wilderness and his desire to keep outside forces from encroaching on it.

Randy lived his childhood in Yosemite, where his father was employed. He became a seasonal ranger there and later a back-country ranger in Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park for 28 years. His supervisors believed he was the most knowledgable and experienced ranger on staff, and he was always called on when hikers became lost in the spectacular but sometimes perilous mountains.

One day during a particularly difficult time in his life, Randy left a note at his primitive camp saying "Ranger on patrol - will return in 3-4 days". He never returned. The experienced ranger himself became the subject of the largest search and rescue effort ever in the parks. Park employees' opinions varied as to what happened to him. Did he not want to be found and was he living a new life somewhere? Did he experience an injury and was he trapped in an inaccessible area? Did he take his own life?

Author Eric Blehm spent years inquiring into the character of a complicated and solitary man - researching his beliefs, personal life, marriage, and relationships with fellow rangers and friends.

This is a fascinating tale with a good bit of mystery, written by a man who also heard the wilderness call to him.


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