Softcover. 218 pages. 5.50 x 8.50 x .50 inches. 1 oil painting. 55 B & W photos. Published by Northern Publishing. Copyright 2003. ISBN 0-9639869-7-x
(From the back cover of the book) : A man born in two centuries is how Johnny Luster can best be described. His insatiable appetite for outdoor adventure, his avoidance of normal education and urban life, and his unstoppable courage in the face of incredible hardship and danger were more typical of men like Jim Bridger and Jedediah Smith.
Johnny's life took him from guiding on the Wyoming frontier, to making movies with John Wayne, and then on to Alaska for fifty years of trapping and guiding. See Alaska through the eyes of Alaska's Last Great Mountainman. Experience the amazing adventures of the man who claimed to be the genuine Mad Trapper of Rat River - the trapper and guide who lived to tell his real life story.
From the Author: "I couldn't pass up this rare experience of getting to know such a colorful and exceptional person. I had no idea what a treasure had been laid at my doorstep - truly a chance of a lifetime to be able to write about this historic figure. He was a last-of-the-breed mountainman, who typified what the world envisions an Alaskan "sourdough" to be. Quite simply, Johnny Luster was Alaska!"
Part of a sample chapter:
A TRIBUTE TO JOHNNY LUSTER by his long-time friend and hunting partner Charles Elliott --Senior Editor, Outdoor Life
John Luster was the focal point of a dramatic and unforgettable adventure in my life. This was so long ago that now it seems to have occurred in another life.
We were youngsters then-by today's measurements at least. Both of us, in our early forties, were camped in the high, rugged Talkeetna Mountains, more isolated and wild than they are now. From where we were camped in the lofty ranges, we could see big game animals any hour of the day. Almost always in sight were white Dall sheep filing along a precipice, or a mountain goat or two looking down from a towering pinnacle, or herds of caribou drifting past or big grizzlies feeding on the wealth of early fall blueberries-a hunter's paradise!
As I remember, Johnny was relatively new to Alaska. He had brought up a string of saddle and pack horses from Wyoming, his home state, and was camp wrangler for Jim Simpson, our outfitter for this Alaska safari. Four hunters were in our party and Simpson had managed to round up a guide for each of us-men who were hunters on their own, but who had little or no experience in the guiding business. John Luster had more mountain savvy and woodsmanship than all of the others pooled together. But his job with the horses was more important because this was the first-or almost the first-packsaddle big game hunt in Alaska's history.
Table of Contents
A Tribute to Johnny Lester
Chapter 1 Grandfather
Chapter 2 The White Man's Road
Chapter 3 Johnny Two-Feathers
Chapter 4 The Making of a Renegade
Chapter 5 The Outlaw Years
Chapter 6 The Dust Settles
Chapter 7 A Wind from the North
Chapter 8 The Magnet Moves
Chapter 9 The Cheechako
Chapter 10 New Beginnings
Chapter 11 The Chickaloon Mountain Man
Poetry by John E. Luster