Cultivating the Wildness Within

The author recounts two decades of woods wandering and soul-searching in the wake of a solo immersion in the Alaskan bush. These interwoven and deeply personal essays explore one man’s wild urges, as well as the wildness he finds in family and friends, while considering the various ways in which humankind as a whole engages and disengages from the natural world. (Red Dragonfly Press, 2016) 173 pages, paperback

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A Reluctant Pantheism: Discovering the Divine in Nature

A Reluctant Pantheism is one man’s lifelong attempt to understand the relationship between God and nature. The conclusions that he draws from his direct encounters with the wild conflict with most of the belief systems he explores along the way. While considering thousands of years of religion, philosophy and science, as well as his own experiences, the author looks for a common thread running through all nature-based worldviews with regard to what is real. (Wood Thrush Books, 2018) 137 pages, paperback

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The Unexpected Trail: Taking on the 100 Mile Wilderness

The 100 Mile Wilderness, located in northern Maine, is the most remote section of the Appalachian Trail. With a German shepherd dog named Matika for company and a heavy backpack on his shoulders, McLaughlin reflects upon the evolution of the trail, as well as the history and politics of the region, while traversing mountain ranges, fording rivers, and slogging through bogs. (Wood Thrush Books, 2015) 166 pages, paperback

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The Allure of Deep Woods: Backpacking the Northville/Placid Trail

A detailed account of a solitary trek along the Northville-Placid Trail, which meanders for 125 miles through some of the wildest, most remote backcountry of the Adirondacks. While skirting ponds, crossing bogs, and tramping through sprawling, rain-soaked forests during the waning days of summer, the author reflects upon the region’s history, the origins of the wilderness preservation movement, and the importance of wildness to well being. (North Country Books, 2013) 150 pages, paperback

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Forest under my Fingernails: Reflections and Encounters on the Long Trail

A brief history of the trail, along with natural history and philosophical speculation, are woven into this narrative about backpacking Vermont’s Long Trail end-to-end in early summer. In addition to the flora and fauna, the author describes a few of the colorful characters also encountered along the way. (Wood Thrush Books, 2013) 156 pages, paperback

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Arguing with the Wind: A Journey into the Alaskan Wilderness

What begins as a wilderness dream quickly becomes a gut-wrenching challenge to the author’s most cherished beliefs, when the bush plane leaves and he’s left alone in a remote corner of Southeast Alaska to fend for himself. This taut narrative recounts one man’s two-week sojourn in a harsh yet beautiful place, where brown bears, bald eagles and ravens teach the ways of the wild. (Wood Thrush Books, 2010) 150 pages, paperback

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The Impossible Cosmos: A Year of Amateur Astronomy and Big Questions

After flirting with cosmology for decades, speculative philosopher Walt McLaughlin acquires a 4.5-inch telescope then plunges deep into the night sky with all the passion of a seeker on a quest for truth. Viewing is accompanied by intense study as he teaches himself the basics of astronomy and ventures into theoretical physics in an effort to understand the nature of the universe. The result is an excursion through various beliefs and hard-won facts, from ancient times to the present, punctuated by direct encounters with celestial objects. (Wood Thrush Books, 2016) 190 pages, paperback

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Loon Wisdom: Sounding the Depths of Wildness

Loon Wisdom brings together the best of McLaughlin’s older essays and short narratives about elemental nature with new work that focuses upon the complex relationship between wildness and being human. Drawing from his own experiences in deep woods, along mountain streams, next to pristine lakes and elsewhere, the author explores his own passionate responses to the natural world while ever watchful for philosophical insights. The result is this collection of wanderings and wonderings, inviting the reader to reconsider almost everything assumed about the wild and our selves. (Wood Thrush Books, 2014) 174 pages, paperback

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