DERRY — On Saturday, Jan. 18, Derry Public Library presents author Dan Szczesny and “The Adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie,” a hiking memoir that chronicles the journey of the author and his young, but ambitious, hiking partner as this unlikely pair formed a unique and unforgettable bond that transformed both their lives.
When Szczesny and his 9-year-old ward Janelle first set foot on the trail to Mount Kearsarge in November 2011, neither of them knew that this easy hike to one of the state’s most popular mountaintops would change both their lives. But what followed was a hiking odyssey that lasted more than a year as the two hikers crisscrossed the state on their way to a 225-mile epic attempt to complete a little-known hiking list called “The 52 with A View.”
“This has been a highly anticipated book,” Bondcliff publisher Mike Dickerman said. “It’s about 80 percent memoir and 20 percent guidebook. Dan’s stylish, heartfelt prose is sure to touch the hearts of all readers, whether a peak-bagger or an armchair hiker.”
Patricia Herr, author of last year’s bestselling book “Up: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure,” writes in her foreword to the book that “Not only did the two share outdoor adventures, but they forged a friendship that bridged the traditional gaps of age and gender. Theirs is a team not formed of traditional family ties but, instead, an earned and mutual respect. Dan and Janelle are a unique and inspiring duo.”
And while “The Adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie” takes the readers through some special mountains, the book is also a personal memoir and travelogue of two friends. This personal account of what happened when the author and his wife unexpectedly became part-time caretakers of 9-year-old twins is a wonderful meditation on the transformative power of friendship, commitment and the many meanings of family.