DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!


Jul 29 2013

Canyon Dreams–and Nightmares!

by Hope L

book coverHaving grown up in Grand Canyon National Park, I often feel nostalgic about the place I remember so fondly;  short of a high school class reunion a few years ago, I haven’t gotten back for a visit.  But I can and do visit often by reading a good book, like Travelers’  Tales Guides’  Grand Canyon: True Stories of Life Below the Rim edited by Sean O’Reilly, James O’Reilly and Larry Habegger,  a compilation of short vignettes about different authors’ experiences while hiking, rafting and camping in the canyon. I almost felt the sunshine on my face, saw the bluest of blue skies with white cottony clouds  and heard the ravens squawk while I read some of these entries.

I also enjoyed Jack Hiller’s expeditions down the Colorado River and through several states and the Grand Canyon from the book “Photographed all the best scenery”: Jack Hillers’s diary of the Powell expeditions, 1871-1875. Talk about roughing it!

But by far my favorite canyon books are those by Michael Ghiglieri and Thomas M. Myers.

Over the Edge: Death in the Grand Canyon includes incidents from the time of some of the first visitors—Wesley Powell and his crew of 1869—to that of tourists falling off its rims today (the Library does not currently have this book in our collection, however, we do have Canyon by the same author). Living in the park for 10 years of my childhood, I was unaware of most of these happenings.

These accounts of nearly 600 people who have met untimely deaths in the Canyon held me spellbound: accidental falls off the rim or while hiking, drowning in the Colorado River, dehydration,  hypothermia, cardiac arrests,  aircraft fatalities, freak accidents, suicide and even murder and lightning strikes  are included.  Had I known even some of this while hiking rim-to-rim with my class in junior high school,  I would have been scared to….well, death.  Thanks to constant adult supervision and a bit of good luck, however, I survived with only one incident:  tripping on the very narrow trail down from the North Rim and falling facedown, my heavy backpack preventing me from getting up on my own power.  A beloved teacher, Mr. Eager, had to climb over me and push me up from my shoulders. I didn’t know then how close I came to being included in this book!

Another Thomas M. Myers book,  Grand Obsession:  Harvey Butchart and the Exploration of Grand Canyon (with co-author Elias Butler), follows the unbelievable adventures of  math professor Harvey Butchart, who spent 42 years exploring the Grand Canyon and hiked 12,000 miles, scaling plateaus, buttes, and blazing trails—making him perhaps the most prolific canyon hiker.  Needless to say, Mrs. Butchart, who did not share her husband’s passion, was probably a pretty lonely gal.


Jun 15 2011

Stonecrest has arrived!

by Dea Anne M

DCPL’s newest branch is finally open! It is, of course, the Stonecrest branch located at 3123 Klondike Road in Lithonia. The library is beautiful and well worth coming by just to see, but be sure to check out the collection as well. Tons of great titles are now available and waiting for you!

While you’re in the area, don’t miss any of the other attractions that this part of the county has to offer. The Stonecrest Mall is right down the road from the library and offers tons of delicious shopping opportunities and dining options as well as entertainment. Also nearby is Arabia Mountain Heritage Area which includes a great multi-use trail and a beautiful nature preserve. Just a short drive away in Conyers is the Monastery of the Holy Spirit a contemplative order of Trappists monks. The monastery creates bonsai and bonsai products for sale as well as stained glass. Retreats and group visits are available, and while you probably won’t talk to any of the monks (the order takes vows of silence), you can soak in the beauty and peace that abounds here.

Not an attraction per se, but definatly worth knowing about, is the Atlanta Wild Animal Rescue Effort located at 4158 Klondike Road. These folks are dedicated to wild animal rescue and rehabilitation so if you find an injured or lost animal you will know who to contact.

So get yourself to Lithonia soon and check it all out!


Oct 18 2010

Go forth into Autumn’s glory

by Patricia D

We’re slooooowly coming into my favorite time of year.  I love the particular shade of blue the sky gets right now and the way the air seems somehow sharper, even here in the city where we are still suffering through some code orange days.   I once had occasion to fly over the Appalachian mountains at the height of the season’s turning and was enchanted by the unending colors undulating below.  While nothing can compare with Spring in the South I truly believe that Autumn is the best time of year for basking in nature’s glow.  It’s also the time of year for every little town to have a festival.  Where I come from it’s apple butter, bratwurst and pumpkins.  In this part of the world (http://www.southfest.com) it seems to be, among other things, apples, marble and beer.  North or South these wonderful events always have a parade, a festival queen,  bouncy fings (as we say at my house) and face painting for the kids, crafts fairs and food vendors.  This is when I can count on getting a corn dog and indulge my taste for fresh fried pork rinds.  Yep, for me, this time of year is way better than Christmas.

I worried about moving this far South because I thought I would be robbed of  a decent season change.  Though I still haven’t adjusted to thinking about yard work in late February  I can be content with the Autumn colors and when that’s not enough I can run away to the mountains.  The Georgia Department of Natural Resources currently has the Leaf Watch going, with tips for the best trails for color and even a webcam on Black Rock Mountain.  I check out a Georgia Park Pass, grab a few books out of the collection, including a few to explain the color change to the Back Seat Club and we’re on our way, perhaps stopping at a roadside stand for fresh cider and a peck of apples.

Afoot and Afield in Atlanta by Marcus Woolf

Nature Adventures in The North Georgia Mountains by Mary Ellen Hammond

Hiking Georgia by Donald W. Pfitzer

Hiking Trails of the Great Smoky Mountains by Kenneth Wise

Investigating Why Leaves Change Color by Ellen Rene

Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins