Review of Dan Szczesny's The Adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie

When a child doesn't ask "when will we get there?"



It started small  — a short hike to an old swimming hole in Manchester. But soon Dan Szczesny, an experienced backwoods hiker, and his next-door neighbor, 9-year-old Janelle, expanded their hikes to distant mountain peaks.

The two of them —Buffalo and Tough Cookie, as their trail names would come to be — climbed 52 New Hampshire mountains in a year (well, a year and six days). The mountains are those on a list called “52 Mountains With a View,” or 52MWV for short. It's considered the state's least known mountain list. (There's lots of information about all 52 climbs in the book.)

As they summited one after the other, the two formed a special bond, a bond beautifully described in Szczesny's “The Adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie” [Bondcliff Books, $15.95].

Szczesny acknowledges that the hiking combination of an adult man and a young, unrelated girl is unusual (someone once called the police) and he deals with it on the first page of the book. He says theirs was a friendship that bridged the age and gender gap, and that the fact that some people find it "a questionable thing ... still shakes me."

There is not much high drama along the trail; the 225 miles they traveled was more about "a child of the city," as Szczesny called Janelle, learning the craft of mountain climbing ("becoming an equal partner in this crazy quest"), and also learning from each other: "We taught each other how to walk farther, need less, be in the moment and stop, literally, to smell the roses, or at least smell the moose scat." 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. Winter Fun on the Lakes
    Our iconic summer destinations — the Lakes Region and Lake Winnipesaukee in particular —...
  2. Where to Find Poutine in NH
    We're not just talking about traditional poutine. Our intrepid Cuisine Editor went on the hunt...
  3. Life for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles began in Dover
    Did you know that the idea fierce fighters was born in the Granite State?
  4. More and more seniors are going mobile
    You can take it with you after all, just as long as your recreational vehicle is your house
  5. The Man Who Mapped NH's White Mountains
    Bradford Washburn — renowned explorer, pioneering cartographer and mountain photographer —...
  6. How To Organize and Get Rid of Clutter
    The new year is a great time to tackle the clutter in your home. Here are some easy (and thrifty)...
  7. Zach Harvey the Man Behind the Bitcoin ATM
    Manchester, NH's Zach Harvey, along with his brother Josh, created the company Lamassu, which...
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags