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The Driftless Area is the land the glaciers missed, an ancient landscape of bluffs, ridgetops, and steep valleys that long ago was a seabed. Covering much of southwestern Wisconsin, its contours were deeply carved from bedrock, not by ice but by many rivers.
Crossing the Driftless is both a traveler’s tale and an exploration of this dramatic environment, following the streams of geologic and human history. Lynne Diebel and her husband, Bob, crossed the Driftless Area by canoe, journeying 359 river miles (and six Mississippi River locks and five portages) from Faribault, Minnesota, where her family has a summer home on Cedar Lake, to their Wisconsin home in Stoughton, one block from the Yahara River. Traveling by river and portage, they paddled downstream on the Cannon and Mississippi rivers and upstream on the Wisconsin River, in the tradition of voyageurs. Lynne tells the story of their trip, but also the stories of the rivers they canoed and the many tributaries whose confluences they passed.
Finalist, Travel, Foreword Reviews IndieFab Book of the Year Awards
Honorable mention, Nonfiction book, Council for Wisconsin Writers
Winner, Recreation/Sports/Travel, Midwest Book Awards
Best books for public & secondary school libraries from university presses, American Library Association
About the Author
Lynne Diebel grew up in southern Minnesota and has lived in Stoughton, Wisconsin, since 1974 with her husband, Bob Diebel, and their four children. Her many books are centered on the landscapes and natural world of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Lynne has been canoeing lakes since childhood. As an adult, she learned to canoe whitewater rivers with Bob, and together they paddled almost 3,000 miles on the rivers of Minnesota while researching their two guidebooks, Paddling Northern Minnesota: 86 Great Trips by Canoe and Kayak and Paddling Southern Minnesota: 85 Great Trips by Canoe and Kayak.
“Engaging, multifaceted, and accessible, Crossing the Driftless is like no other canoe trip book. We learn a wealth of information about ecology, geology, people, and politics on the riverways.”—Mike Svob, author of Paddling Southern Wisconsin
“Delightful reading. Diebel makes the waterways the stars of her story, living characters with personalities and moods and varying degrees of popularity, beauty, and neglect.”—Mary Bergin (roadstraveled.com), author of Sidetracked in Wisconsin
“Part travel journal, part history lesson, and part science class—all bound together in fewer than 250 pages. . . . Armchair travelers might be tempted to rent a canoe this summer.”—Isthmus