10,000 Days in the Woods
Tales that might otherwise remain hidden deep in the woods forever.
I don’t recall when I met Russ in person, but I was reading his informational articles relating to the regional forests on The Hur Herald long before we met. I remember sitting in on one of his presentations at a WV Small Farms Conference one year, and talking with him after.
Russ has a passion for the woods. Ask him anything woods related, and you’re likely to be standing there for the next thirty minutes to an hour.
And in that short span, you will learn more about the woods than you have in years.
Russ began writing for Two-Lane Livin’ Magazine at sixty-five years old when a serious heart issue put forced him to reflect on his career as a forester. During his hospital stay, he calculated he had worked in the woods for more than ten thousand days.
Ten. Thousand. Days.
In 2016, Russ began writing “10000 Days in the Woods” a monthly column in Two-Lane Livin’ Magazine devoted to his experiences in the local Appalachian backwoods.
The stories were widely circulated and well-received. And when Two-Lane Livin’ ceased publication, Russ kept writing.
Last year, Russ finished (his first) book. He wrote most of his tales from memory, and then discovered his journals and film and slides, etc. in the process of moving from West Virginia back into the North East. I was not surprised at all that his journals only endorsed the accuracy of his memory.
I helped Russ produce and polish his book, both of us realizing this is likely book one of three if he still intends to cover all 10000 days. We sent the manuscript out to beta readers, who enjoyed the authenticity of his experiences in the forests of America’s 1970s.
“It was the perfect read last weekend. I laughed out loud several times and learned so much,” noted one reader.
And what more could you ask for from a book?
Russ recently launched his website, 10000daysinthewoods.com, to feature some of the photography he has in his collection to coincide with the stories he shares. He has also given us permission to re-run the pieces previously published in Two-Lane Livin’ Magazine, (most of which will be re-written or revised for book two). Those will begin appearing online throughout the month as we cull pieces from our archives.
Kudos to Russ for completing Book One! Keep writing Russ, I can’t wait to read books two and three.