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Words from the Wild — my NEW book…

Words from the Wild

About this book

Words from the Wild is a collection of 28 favorite columns about the places we've traveled to and the people we've met along the way while filming episodes of the award-winning series Windows to the Wild for New Hampshire Public Television. In the appendix is a list of the episodes themselves, which you can view online at the NHPTV web site.

What others are saying…

“Heartfelt, but never sentimental; humorous, but always thoughtful; biting, but always kind, Will Lange's essays are as refreshing as a cool autumn morning atop a high peak. He's a master storyteller, on the trail, around the campfire, or with your heels up in a favorite chair sipping tea.”

– Dan Szczesny, author of Adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie

“It's always a pleasure to hit the trail with the well-traveled and woods-wise Willem Lange, whether the destination is a White Mountains hut, a Maine Wilderness lodge, or a breathtaking backcountry vista. In many ways, Will's outlook mirrors AMC's mission of inspiring people to get outdoors and make a closer connection with the natural world. Windows to the Wild, and the essays in this book, provide the inspiration to explore, enjoy, and care for the region's mountains, waters, forests, and trails.”

– Rob Burbank, Director of Media and Public Affairs, Appalachian Mountain Club

“New England is fortunate to have Willem Lange to tell the stories of wild places and the people who thrive in them. Reading of his adventures, watching them on New Hampshire Public Television, or listening to them while sharing a mountain with Willem is akin to sitting around the fire with one of the grand storytellers of old.”

– Tom Ryan, author of Following Atticus: Forty-eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship

Some titles

Devils Gulch in the Heart of Eden

Hang Gliding: Once is Enough!

Hiking in the Dark

Camping on the Connecticut River

A Presidential Traverse


An excerpt from Mother Charges up Mount Cardigan, and Disappears

Around four o’clock we reached the cabin half a mile below the summit. My fears were realized: no Mother. On the assumption that if she was on the wrong trail, she’d reached the top, we stormed up the peak by two different trails. Nobody there; and the air literally absorbed our shouts. Below us, the woods where she probably was seemed vast and impenetrable. A pair of hikers coming up the western side of the mountain hadn’t seen her, either. It was cell phone time.

Many of us who have hiked for fifty years or more disdain or derogate modern appliances like cell phones, satellite phones, and global positioning devices. If a compass was good enough for Davy Crockett, we’ll take our chances with that. Thus it was amazing to me how quickly, faced with the possible loss of the most important person in the world, I overcame my puritan principles and called abjectly for help. Rob, the AMC staffer with us, reached the manager at the lodge by phone and learned that some hikers we’d queried earlier had passed the lady in the blue skirt, climbing up the right trail and “not far below the cabin.” Back down the peak we flew!

We found later that, reaching Grand Junction, she’d taken the Holt Trail, described in the guide book as “very steep . . . the scramble up these ledges is much more difficult than on any other trail in this section and one of the most difficult in New England.” Luckily, after scrambling half a mile or so, she’d met a trail crew, who reversed her: told her to go back to the junction and ascend by the other route. By the time she’d returned to the junction, we’d already passed; so now she was behind us, and still chugging uphill. She was delighted to see two of our party descending to take her pack and escort her to the cabin. She made supper by lantern light in the kitchen, and later brightened the dark camp with her laughter in the middle of a hard-fought Scrabble game.

Words from the Wild