Penn State

James C. Finley - Professor of Forest Resources, Penn State University Park

Book Title: Cache Lake Country

Author: John J. Rowlands

Book Description:

I received this book as a gift in about 1960. Reading had not been easy and at age 12, this was the first book I recall ever having read. The story about a wilderness lake engaged my interests and meshed well with my career dreams -- to become a forester and to spend days in the wilderness away from people. Cache Lake Country is about a year in the forest, being self-dependent. The author suggests that when you are in the wilderness, "There is more to learn, for now and then a man must walk alone, trying to conquer fears he has never known beforeā€¦He has no fear of failure, for he thinks of failure as one of the many steps in the business of getting ahead." Rowland's admonition has been one of my life's guiding principles.

I have had many interesting challenges. Sometimes the fear of the unknown has been large; the drive to overcome and to succeed has been larger. Often, I think of the wilderness lakes, the lonely places where you can spend time with your thoughts. Those mental lakes are sustaining, helping to provide a place of mental comfort. Fortunately, my life and career has included both wild and managed places. My love of the outdoors is huge and as an extension educator I have helped many others learn to appreciate, understand and sustain forest systems. Not everyone can live in the wilderness, but everyone can find their Cache Lake Country if they know where to look.

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