The packeras business is guiding mule trains into mountains where wagons canat travel. Itas a life of danger, long days, and low pay. But for those wedded to the wilderness and inaccessible high country, it is the only life there is. During the Great Depression, young Ty Hardin is sent from his familyas failing Montana ranch to learn from the last of the great packers, Fenton Pardee, legendary in the Montana Rockies for his packing adventures across the Swan Range all the way to the Big Divide. High Country follows Ty through this apprenticeship and into World War II, where he watches trucks and jeeps replace the armyas mules. Wounded and shipped home, Ty recovers by packing into the Montana mountains he loves. After his mentor dies, Ty leaves Montana for the Sierra Nevadaathe highest country of allawhere he becomes a legend in his own right. Writing in the tradition of Norman Macleanas A River Runs through It, Willard Wyman shares techniques of breaking and packing and leading animals into forbidding country, hunting and tracking, and making camp. Wyman brings you so close to the packeras life you smell the leather, sweat, and oil.The mules didna#39;t like it, turning their heads away, pushing at one another to move faster. They came to a drift too high for Smoky, and Ty was off before she could move into it, the mules crowding forward, hating to stop in that wind. ... And then they were free of it, the wind-swept trail almost bare again as Ty led Smoky around the switchback, leaning into ... sure all the mules were following, seeing one hesitate, turn his tail into the blast until Sugar took over, pushed him toward home.
|Publisher||:||University of Oklahoma Press - 2011-11-09|