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Ranger Confidential: Living, Working, and Dying in the National Parks | [Andrea Lankford]

Ranger Confidential: Living, Working, and Dying in the National Parks

The real stories behind the scenery of America’s national parks. For 12 years, Andrea Lankford lived in the biggest, most impressive national parks in the world, working a job she loved. She chaperoned baby sea turtles on their journey to sea. She pursued bad guys on her galloping patrol horse. She jumped into rescue helicopters bound for the heart of the Grand Canyon. She won arguments with bears. She slept with a few too many rattlesnakes. Hell yeah, it was the best job in the world! Fortunately, Andrea survived it.
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Publisher's Summary

The real stories behind the scenery of America’s national parks.

For 12 years, Andrea Lankford lived in the biggest, most impressive national parks in the world, working a job she loved. She chaperoned baby sea turtles on their journey to sea. She pursued bad guys on her galloping patrol horse. She jumped into rescue helicopters bound for the heart of the Grand Canyon. She won arguments with bears. She slept with a few too many rattlesnakes.

Hell yeah, it was the best job in the world! Fortunately, Andrea survived it.

In this graphic and yet surprisingly funny account of her and others’ extraordinary careers, Lankford unveils a world in which park rangers struggle to maintain their idealism in the face of death, disillusionment, and the loss of a comrade killed while holding that thin green line between protecting the park from the people, the people from the park, and the people from each other. Ranger Confidential is the story behind the scenery of the nation’s crown jewels - Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Great Smokies, Denali. In these iconic landscapes, where nature and humanity constantly collide, scenery can be as cruel as it is redemptive.

©2010 Andrea Lankford (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (143 )
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3.8 (132 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Marvin DALLAS, TX, United States 12-30-13
    Marvin DALLAS, TX, United States 12-30-13 Member Since 2011
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    "A must read"

    most of the books I've listen to our self-help business development. I decided to take a break. This is an amazing book I want to reach out to every park ranger and thank them for their selfless non-recognized efforts. I did not realize this book was more about an individual until the end. The stories kept me engaged. I camp, I hike, I backpack I did not realize the potential of some of the dangers that were around me.

    Haven't written many reviews, I felt compelled to write this, thank you very much for the book.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LTrouten Laredo, Texas 07-22-13
    LTrouten Laredo, Texas 07-22-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Nice easy listen on a long drive"

    At times the story seemed a little disjointed as the author cycled back and forth from one park to the next and back again, but overall it was a nice easy listen that was entertaining as a whole for a long drive across the western US. I could have lived without the foreshadowing in the forward chapter, but it didn't diminish my overall enjoyment.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea Mendocino, CA, United States 01-31-14
    Andrea Mendocino, CA, United States 01-31-14
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    "Entertaining and Real"

    A de-romanticized account of the heroism, grit, and harsh realities of park rangers and their profession. Entertaining humor and cynicism.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Arkansas 09-09-13
    Jan Arkansas 09-09-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Candid, Honest and Educational"

    I downloaded the book before our summer vacation to one of the parks, so it was timely. A collection of National Park "slices of life" from a Ranger's perspective. Gives the reader a good look at not only "a day in the life" of a ranger, but also a broader insight into the career of a ranger. I liked it.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pete Marietta, GA, United States 06-16-14
    Pete Marietta, GA, United States 06-16-14
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    "A whole new look at our National Parks."
    What did you love best about Ranger Confidential?

    The personal stories of Rangers and other workers in the Parks. The descriptions of the different parks make me want to visit them soon.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ranger Confidential?

    One of the rescues at Half Dome in Yosemite.


    Which character – as performed by Julia Motyka – was your favorite?

    The narrator. Most of the book was written in third person.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I think I did listen to it in two sittings. If I had started in the morning instead of at night, I probably would have not been able to put it down.


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed this book. I had a friend who worked at King's Canyon National Park during the late 70's. I found the woman's perspective about working for the Park Service pretty much like my friend had described. I had no idea that much of their work involved dealing with pretty hard stuff. I hope the Park Service is doing a better job at helping their rangers deal with the stress and trauma. I would really like to visit more of our National Parks after reading this book. Definitely worth the credit.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lindalealphamale Keller TX 07-01-14
    Lindalealphamale Keller TX 07-01-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Nice Hiking Companion"
    Any additional comments?

    Interesting stories about rangering in the national parks. The narrator had a pleasing voice and told interesting stories. I learned quite a bit about the life of Rangers and gained a ton of respect for the job they do. Backpackers will porbably enjoy the audible version while hiking. I know I did.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erich William Kutschke Chicago, ILLINOIS United States 06-12-14
    Erich William Kutschke Chicago, ILLINOIS United States 06-12-14 Member Since 2004
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    "100 Ways We've Seen People Die in a National Park"
    What did you like best about Ranger Confidential? What did you like least?

    I was hoping for SOME comic relief after reading the reviews. Instead I got many details about the deaths of people who made horrible decisions in beautiful and dangerous places. There were some happier stories but they were too few and far in between.


    What could Andrea Lankford have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Less death and tragedy.


    Have you listened to any of Julia Motyka’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I am not sure and I can't compare.


    Was Ranger Confidential worth the listening time?

    It was a series of stories that did reveal the dangers of our national parks. I am not sure if it was worth the time listening to that much death and carnage. It may have been, just wasn't the book I was hoping for. This may be more my mistake than the author's fault.


    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kgohl WORCESTER, VT, United States 09-02-14
    kgohl WORCESTER, VT, United States 09-02-14 Member Since 2010
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    "People Magazine version of the National Parks"

    As a longtime backpacker in places such as Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Glacier national parks, I made myself listen to the entire book, although I found it excruciating. The book is a mishmash and overwritten to the point that one almost cannot blame the narrator for her overly dramatic rendition of the narrative. This is the People Magazine version of important issues that have faced the Park Service for years. Books such as Over the Edge: Death in the Grand Canyon and Not without Peril: 150 Years of Misadventure in the White Mountains come at some of these issues more peripherally but perhaps with less high drama. This book is very overwritten.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Joe 07-31-14
    Joe 07-31-14 Member Since 2007
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    "Ever wanted to be a Park Ranger? This is the book!"
    If you could sum up Ranger Confidential in three words, what would they be?

    Engaging, informative and surprising. Think that being a National Park Ranger is an easy gig? Guess again. This book celebrates the natural wonders of the largest U.S. national parks and the tragedies that can take place in them. The story was very engaging, in large part due to the outstanding narration of Julia Motyka, but informative. I have a much better sense of the parks after having listener to the book. Beware, however, that just as the author notes in the beginning, this tell all book spares no detail about many of the bad things that happened in the park including some pretty gory details.


    Any additional comments?

    If you liked Wild, by Cheryl Strayed, this is a good follow up book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Beadle Granite City, IL United States 07-07-14
    Jennifer Beadle Granite City, IL United States 07-07-14 Member Since 2013

    book spirit

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    "Danger! Caution!"
    If you could sum up Ranger Confidential in three words, what would they be?

    Fascinating, true accounts


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    No favorite character, but a lot of great real life experiences from the courageous people of the park service.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    No particular scene but the accounts regarding the climbers. Unbelievably interesting.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was pretty riveted to the book. Fascinating revelations about our National Park Service and particularly how they are underfunded.


    Any additional comments?

    The author certainly makes a convincing argument to increase funds to our National Parks and cutting out the A$$holes who syphon off the funds to their own pockets.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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