Tip of the Iceberg

Mark Adams |  Nonfiction


I think this is probably a pretty good book.  I was disadvantaged by reading Tip of the Iceberg on my tours of Cuyahoga and Shenandoah National Parks, because my reading opportunities tended to be short and often distracted. Every time I found a reasonable period of time to read, however, I grew enamored of this book.

Mark Adams takes off in modern times (2016, 2017?) to retrace an 1899 voyage to the wilds of Alaska.  Traveling 3000 miles, Adams makes the stops the earlier voyage made, and compares his journey to the journey of the Elder.  The Elder was a steamship converted by the railroad magnate Edward R. Harriman to a “floating university” and was populated by some of America’s best scientists, biologists, archeologists, specialists in flora, fauna, geology, climate and the well-known glacier specialist, John Muir.

Adams tells a story of the changes in the culture and economies of Alaska over the 100-plus years, but also the natural history, ecological shifts, and climate change.  The contrasts are interesting.  Sometimes, not much has changed; sometimes he sees a very different world.  I particularly loved the chapter in which he and Teddy Roosevelt visit Alaska together, and he shows the President a few of the wonders of Alaska.

Tip of the Iceberg will entice you, if you have any interest at all in this wild and remote wilderness state.

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