2018-01-10 / Features

Wilderness Adventurer To Speak At Astoria Bookshop


“Way Out There: Adventures of a Wilderness Trekker,” by J. Robert Harris. “Way Out There: Adventures of a Wilderness Trekker,” by J. Robert Harris. Queens resident and author of “Way Out There: Adventures of a Wilderness Trekker,” J. Robert Harris is speaking at the Astoria Bookshop at 31-29 31st Street in Astoria on January 18 at 7 p.m. The primary message of J.R.’s personal narrative is to inspire urban youth and adults to be active in the outdoors and curious about nature.

“Way Out There” is J.R.’s personal account of his extraordinary exploits while backpacking in some of the world’s most interesting and intriguing places, largely alone and unsupported. Spanning 50 years, his wilderness travel stories are by turns funny, tragic, and uplifting, and are all told in the author’s down to earth, engaging style.

A young New Yorker in the 1960s with no wilderness experience, J.R. impulsively drove his VW Beetle across the country and to the end of the northernmost road in Alaska, searching for an answer to a simple question: What is it like to be way out there? His narrative chronologically explores some of his many journeys – from remote treks in Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska and Canada’s Baffin Island to the high peaks of the Haute Route in Switzerland and the Andes of Peru – revealing a wanderlust honed by his emerging maturity and outdoor skills. Stories of J.R.’s solo treks point to stark contrasts between his urban upbringing and his wilderness wanderings, while tales of adventure with small but diverse groups of friends are enriched by their collective experiences and varying viewpoints about exploration.

“Way Out There” is a lively yet introspective book by a restless soul that will attract countless readers who love to travel, as well as armchair adventurers and communities looking for outdoor role models. The foreword is by the late Dr. Roscoe C. Brown, Jr., one of the famed Tuskegee Airmen fighter pilots of World War II.

J. Robert Harris is the founder and president of a marketing research and consulting company. The lessons he has learned in the wilderness environment – preparation, decision-making, teamwork, facing the unknown – apply to the corporate environment as well. Because of this unique, dual expertise in business and outdoor skills, he continues to be a sought-after speaker and writer on both topics. He lives in Queens and keeps a website at www.jrinthewilderness.com.

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