'Trails' explores the epiphany of a city dweller in Alaska wilds

December 17, 2011 

In every restless heart, there is a Walden Pond, an idyllic cabin in a remote setting where he/she can spend his/her time living an ideal life. And in every middle-aged seeker there is the rising fear that he/she will run out of time and never find that perfect life. Combine the two and you have "Trails" by Warren Troy (Publications Consultants, $17.95), a Walden Pond in Alaska.

Set in a small community in Alaska and the wilderness beyond, "Trails" is a modern-day look at discovering one's self in the wilds. While this is hardly a new concept, what makes "Trails" so different is that it is very well-written.

It is not your usual I-am-the-mountain-man-living-in-the-wilds saga. It is a journey of personal growth that begins with the frustration of a life that appears to be stuck in the mud. It concludes with the epiphany that real life offers many paths to the future; you just need the internal fortitude to continue through to the end of whatever path you choose to follow.

The plot follows a middle-aged-urbanite, Denny Caraway, who tosses off city life to live a rugged homesteader's existence in Alaska, pushing himself to his limits and facing difficult decisions to maintain his freedom.

"Trails" is more than a glimpse into the mind of a man trying to find himself in the wilds of Alaska. It is also more than a tale of self-discovery.

It is a modern day look at the transformation of an individual. Anyone can run off to Alaska to "find oneself" and a lot have made the attempt, but many find that they are just as lost in Alaska as they were in the life they left behind. Finding yourself is a personal journey, but if you do not have an epiphany, you will be no better off in Alaska than before you came.

"Trails" is a novel of that epiphany for Denny Caraway.

Steven C. Levi is a local writer with 70 books in print, 20 of which are available on Kindle. His most recent book is "The Clara Nevada," the saga of Alaska's gold rush ghost ship that resurfaced after being on the bottom of the ocean for 10 years.

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