A book of photos that depict Oregon scenery and another that focuses on sled dogs brighten bookstore shelves.
Wallowa Lake reflecting snow-capped mountains, a view of Central Oregon's Broken Top as you've never seen: These and other memorable photographs grace the pages of Charles Gurche's "Oregon Impressions" (FarCountry Press, 80 pages, soft cover, $9.95).
Gurche, who lives in Spokane, shows us lots of eastern Oregon - Shaniko, a Wasco County farmstead, Steens Mountain, the Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge, the Pillars of Rome in Malheur County, the Owyhee River, a little bit more.
Gurche has accomplished a lot: six books, 70 calendars, many magazine appearances, to win recognition as one of the country's foremost nature photographers.
It's perfect timing for Jeff Schultz's book, "Dogs of the Iditarod" (Sasquatch Books, 80 pages, soft cover, $15.95), since that great race through the northland always begins the first Saturday of March.
"Iditarod is synonymous with grand adventure as well as the traditional ways of old: People and animals working together in harmony in the grandeur of the Alaskan wilderness," Schultz said. His photos show not just the 1,000-mile race itself, but the preparation, and sled dogs from puppies to grizzled veterans.
Lewis & Clark in verse
The pioneering exploits of Lewis and Clark come more and more into the public eye with the advent of the 200th anniversary of their Corps of Discovery.
Scholarly books, trail guides of every sort, photo journals and more look at every aspect of that grand adventure.
The explorers' accomplishments have led retired businessman Eldon Hutchins of Lewiston, Idaho, to create and self-publish "The Journey of Lewis and Clark - A Poet's Version" (soft cover, 168 pages, $14.95).
Hutchins is a poet in the amateur sense. He's 83, retired after a life of store-keeping and making adventure films, and blind since 1989.
Hutchins so impressed Alan Nelson of Pendleton that he bought a copy of the book for himself and another for Northwest Books.
The poetry is in simple verse form and compresses the great journey into a small book. If you want a copy, Hutchins' address is 1622 Birch Ave., Lewiston, ID 83501, phone (208) 798-7778.
Rhyming, rhythmic lines also appeal to Michael E. Califf Sr. of Pendleton. He has collected many of his numerous verses in a spiral bound, self-published booklet he titled "Thoughts of Rural Oregon, Heroes and Other Things." Copies are available at Mitzi's on Main, 415 S. Main, Pendleton.