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Tyler Perkins begins his friendship with Soren Andeman as a young boy. Soren becomes a father-figure in young Ty’s life, and their memories are filled with hours of backpacking, hiking and fishing together.
Ty goes on to serve in the military, and his time there leaves him struggling with guilt, and memories he doesn’t want to talk about. His struggles naturally take a toll on his young wife.
After receiving a postcard from his now elderly friend, Ty travels back to Wind River, Wyoming, to see his old friend and take one last backpacking trip together. Soren, at 86, struggles but is determined to make the final hike.
The time together offers each an opportunity to talk about the memories that are haunting him and to find healing.
The story of Wind River matches its pace to the unhurried scenery around it. The determined yet small steps of an elderly hiker, the soar of an eagle overhead, the shadow of a trout rising beneath the surface of the lake. If you are looking for an action-packed adventure story, this may not satisfy. However, if your days are active enough and you’d like to get away to the back country for a while, this light adventure may be just what you need.
The relationship between Tyler and Soren is well-developed. Their camaraderie is evident through their dialogue as well as their actions. However, I felt the healing that each is desperate to find is not given the treatment it really needs. The resolution of the problems and struggles is too quick and superficial. And the situation with the “ex-flame” (who appears throughout the story either directly or in reference) is never resolved at all, leaving me wondering why she is included in the story.
Having grown up not too far from this part of the country, I enjoyed taking time to relax in the scenery – picturing the ponderosa pines and majestic mountain ranges. While I have no idea what to picture when Ty uses various lures on his hook or casts in certain ways, there is still a rhythm to the story, almost as if one could take it all in while floating slowly down a river, watching the scene pass by.
Sometimes the issues life throws our way are plenty to keep us busy and tense. Pull up a rock and sit a spell. Don’t think too hard. Just enjoy the view.