Behind The Cover

I grew up in rural 1950s New England in an area straddling the Massachusetts/Vermont state line.

During my childhood, my backyard was an overgrazed pasture covered with sheep laurel, hardhack and juniper.  As a young boy, studying clouds and weather watching fascinated me.  My jungle gym was an encroaching forest of white pine trees and my boyhood playground was a swamp and beaver pond. I developed a love for nature and a passion for the out-of-doors that culminated with a forestry degree from the University of Montana in 1973.

I spent my life working in the woods as a technical or “dirt” forester.  I worked in the woods in all four seasons in any weather Mother nature delivered. Nearly every day was “take my dog to work day”. Throughout my career I maintained detailed work and travel records and chronicled extreme weather events.

I was blessed with good health throughout my life and fortunate to never lose work time because of an injury.

I was nearly sixty-five years old, when a serious heart issue put me in the hospital. Inactivity and boredom forced me to reflect on my life, my adventures in the woods and my career as a forester. During my hospital stay I calculated I had worked in the woods for more than ten thousand days.

In 2016 I started writing “10000 Days in the Woods” a monthly column for a central West Virginia newspaper devoted to my experiences in the local Appalachian backwoods.

The stories were widely circulated and well received. Ten thousand days is an incredibly deep well of time to dip stories from and I was soon overwhelmed with memories and experiences to recount. I continued to write stories after the newspaper ceased publishing, many are included in my first book.

Book title: 10,000 Days in the Woods
ISBN: 979-8-9867966-0-4
Page count: 236
Publisher: Dragon Brook Publishing
Author: Russ Richardson

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