To pick up The Last Season is to lose oneself in a mesmerizing story about a place few could survive in and even fewer have visited -- the unforgiving backcountry of the Sierra Nevadas. Blehm narrates this true account of the disappearance and search for Randy Morgenson, a National Park Service ranger who, one morning after 28 seasons on the job, failed to answer his radio call.
The introverted Morgenson was more comfortable with the natural world than with people. A gifted photographer and a lyrical writer, he dropped out of college to begin a career that would send him into the remote parts of California's Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Passionate about the mountains, he excelled at his responsibilities, which ranged from clearing away garbage left by careless campers to rescuing injured hikers. Dedicated to keeping the wilderness undisturbed, he was proud of his ability to leave no trace of himself wherever he camped.
That skill would prove costly when, at age 54, he went missing. Blehm seamlessly combines a detective story with a celebration of nature that calls to mind the works of classic American writers like Thoreau and Emerson. His gripping narrative will cause readers' hearts to ache at the disappearance of this undervalued soul. But their spirits will soar at the grandeur and mysticism of nature expertly captured in its most primal state.
This is a used copy in good condition with moderate wear, including to the cover, and yellowed pages.
By Eric Blehm. Paperback. 384 pages. Published by Harper Perennial, 2006.