Jeffrey H. Ryan Hiker Author Photographer Speaker Podcaster Director

Watch Video of Hermit Presentation at LL Bean Flagship Store

Jim Whyte was a 19th century world traveler, millionaire, raconteur and, yes, smuggler wanted by the FBI.

How and why did he end up in the rural town of Monson, Maine? Who was he hiding from other than the feds? Where did he bury $40,000?

Based on the true story, my book uncovers many of the riddles, but some may never be solved.

It’s a Wonderful Life — in Norwalk, Connecticut

Generous people are everywhere, even in places where you don’t seem to be looking for them.

I was recently reminded of this fact (several times over in fact) when my radiator hoses exploded on my way home from a book festival.

Two More Wisconsin Appearances!

Wrapping up week one of my Wisconsin book tour (appearances in Baraboo and Elm Grove) and gearing up for another fun week. I’ll be at the Hawthorne Branch of the Madison Public Library on Monday, October 23 and the Fond Du Lac Public Library on October 25. The weather has been fantastic for fall hiking and […]

Trail Angels are Everywhere

©2017, Larry Chua Photography

Hikers that spend any time on long distance trails know the phenomenon of “trail angels” well. They are people that seemingly show up from nowhere to lend a hand at a critical juncture. My life has been enriched by them several times, including when an unknown stranger left gallons of water along a waterless, 28-mile, […]

A Legacy for the Land

Aldo Leopold's Shack ©2017www.JeffRyanAuthor.com

Late in the 1930s, a family bought a piece of farmland in Wisconsin. The land was sold for a pittance because it had been over-farmed, the soil devoid of nutrients. The man that moved in decided that it was his responsibility to restore the promise of the land. In addition to planting trees and rebuilding […]

Where does great writing come from?

The difference between good writing and great writing has nothing to do with the neural pathway between your head and the keyboard. Great writing begins where all worthwhile journeys begin — in your heart. A case in point is the story of one Edward “Ted” Hall. Ted Hall grew up in Red Wing, Minnesota. He […]

A Watershed Moment

Quetico Sunset

Yesterday I was driving across eastern Canada on my way to begin researching my third book. The last few days I had been transitioning into the northern forest mindset I needed to embrace to make this book come alive. A thousand mile drive allows ample moments for musing, even more so when your route takes […]

My Search for the Vanishing Silence

Photo of the plains

One of my favorite places on earth is in North Dakota. I’ve only been to the sacred spot twice. The trips were separated by 13 years. The refreshingly open Badlands landscape had hardly changed and was comfortably familiar. But it wasn’t just the view that I came back for. It was the silence. I couldn’t […]

The Book Tour of a Lifetime told (mostly) through numbers

Photo of 1985 Westfalia

Let’s just say it’s been amazing from beginning to end (and it isn’t over yet!). Months on the road 5 Miles 40,000 States visited 34 National Parks and Monuments visited 27 State Parks and Campgrounds visited 46 Nights spent at Camp WalMart, Rest Areas or Truck Stops 21 Total appearances 56 Appearances at L.L. Bean stores […]

“People start pollution. People can stop it.”

Photo of litter

I have a thing about trash. And about keeping places better than how I found them. I’m not sure when it started, but I distinctly remember a time when I was 11 years old when my mom and I flew to St. Paul to visit my grandparents. I went out out one day to explore […]