reading

Adventures of Ranger Rusty
A campfire tale

Every once in a great while,

There’s a book that shows up new on the scene.

At first people don’t pay in much mind.

But over time its deeper meaning, and entertainment value starts to soak in. To cut to the chase, I’m talking about a book, and not just any old book, but a book that was part of a trilogy written by two park rangers named Robert V. Sobczak and Rudi Heinrich.Visit the trilogy’s webpage

The thing about this book:

They never set out to write a book, let alone a trilogy.

The trilogy was written from 2015 to 2020

Their simple goal:

A 30 minute campfire talk.

In action at the campfire talk

The rest, shall we say, is campfire legend.

Or more specifically, The Legend of Campfire Charlie.

It’s not only rereadable …

It’s a worthy addition on any bookshelf … in my opinion.

Ranger Days
A Bob and Rudi Campfire

Rudi joins Bob around the campfire …

To reminisce about the good old days.

Bob and Rudi collaborated on 12 campfire talks that led to writing the Centennial Campfire Trilogy: (1) The Legend of Campfire Charlie, (2) Last Stand at Boulder Ridge and (3) Final Campfire

Hindsight as we say is 20/20. The reason? We have the benefit of seeing how the future played out. We survived the past, so it must have been good, and so seeps in the “nostalgia effect.” But make no mistake, they were good times, too. At this campfire, Bob interviews Rudi about the ups and downs and many memories of his rangering days. Bob does his part by introducing a new “experimental s’mores” recipe that Rudi doesn’t seem to like much. It could have been intentional on Bob’s part knowing that if they were too good Rudi would have ate the entire stockpile.

Buy the Books

Looking for three handsome books …

And better yet, an immersive campfire read?

Original Movie Trailer

If so, we highly recommend the Centennial Campfire Trilogy, all three books, either in kindle format or paperback. Personally, we recommend the paperback because for one you’ll be dog-earing many a page, referencing back and forth, and did we mention, they are awfully pretty tomes, either for your coffee table or bookshelf.

Book 1: Legend of Campfire Charlie

Watch the Book Review

Preview Book (click on image to see inside book)

Book Summary

Welcome to Book 1 of the Centennial Campfire Trilogy. Do you have a fear of being squeezed to death by a giant Burmese Python? Or does being followed around all day by a Florida Panther rattle your nerves? If so, join Rusty, a well meaning but – how shall we say – “often distracted” park ranger who is scheduled to give an evening talk in a swamp preserve on a topic he doesn’t much like. Not to worry (or maybe worry a lot) as the unwitting ranger meets a mysterious stranger who catapults him on a breathtaking journey to confront and maybe finally answer the deepest and most confounding question of his life. That is assuming he can ever get done (or to) his campfire talk …

Book 2: Last Stand at Boulder Ridge

Watch the Book Review

Preview Book (click on image to see inside book)

Book Summary

Welcome to Book 2 of the Centennial Campfire Trilogy. The saga continues! This time Ranger Rusty and his cohorts are off on a new adventure that leads them back and forth seamlessly in time and space to faraway places that include a Seminole War fort, the sands of the Middle East, the mountains of the Great Southwest, an archaeological expedition on the Mighty Joola River and airboat rides across the Everglades. Or is it all unfolding around the campfire glow in a remote nature reserve? We’ll let you be the judge.

Book 3: Final Campfire

Watch the Book Review

Preview Book (click on image to see inside book)

Book Summary

Welcome to Book 3 and what critics are raving “the stunning conclusion” to the Centennial Campfire Trilogy. At the end of the first two books of the trilogy — The Legend of Campfire Charlie and Last Stand at Boulder Ridge — our fearless protagonist, Ranger Rusty, finds himself simultaneously trying to man the Sweetwater Visitor Center in the heart of the Big Cypress Swamp while also slipping back in time to distant childhood memories of an old backcountry camp and deeper still to a first-hand historical account of adventures at a Seminole War era fort and a haunted archeological dig for dinosaur bones as he tries to conjure the energy to hold court at a campfire talk in a remote campground at the end of a very (emphasis on very) long day. As exquisite an ending you’ll ever find in a “large canvas” epic work, Final Campfire is a full-body experience that no respectable book reader, plumber or campfire enthusiast (including the inner s’mores roaster in all of us) will want to miss.

Power of the bookmark
And why you still need one

Remember the days …

When a bookmark was a good present?

Cowboy talks bookmarks

Well, how else were you going to remember where you left of reading. Sure, you could use a scrap piece of paper, or alternatively dog ear a page, or even try to remember the page you last left off, but none of those had the style points of a good old fashioned bookmark — especially the ones with a tassel on the end. Today, bookmarks are pretty rare. And if you read from your phone or another digital device, really what’s the point. My solution: I highly recommend picking up a “paper and ink” copy of your favorite book (i.e. think of “paper and ink” as the “bricks and mortar” equivalent of a digital book), find a comfortable chair and settle down under a good reading light and just dive into a book. And no you won’t get it done in one sitting. That’s why you’ll need a good bookmark.