A Review of Lost With Directions by Rob Erwin

by | Nov 1, 2018 | Books

About Lost with Directions and Rob Erwin

A former small-college football coach, Rob Erwin realized it was time to settle down and start a normal 9-to-5 gig before he got married. However, after a short time in his new gig, he realized that corporate life was not for him. So, he quit and decided to spend some time ambling about the country – periodically joined by friends. In Lost with Directions, Rob tells the personal story of this adventure, as well as shares insights from the road/trail.

Lost with Directions by Rob Erwin was a quick, light read and was the perfect book to accompany a recent day of airline travel. The book is broken into four sections: The Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone & Tetons, Wyoming Backroads, and Rocky Mountain National Park. The four sections and short chapters made it super easy to pick up and put it down while I was powering-through the constant interruptions of airline travel.

Personal Reflections

While sharing many of the stories would fall into the spoiler-alert category, I will share a few of the bits I connected with most. The first of these is his story of whitewater rafting outside Smoky Mountain National Park. His story of what he thought would be a run-of-the-mill trip, turned into a crazy opening-day once-in-a-lifetime adventure. It reminded me of a trip my father, sister, and I took to raft the Royal Gorge in Colorado. We ended up rafting on a really high water day (they were close to closing the river to rafters) and we almost lost my Dad when our raft tipped and he got trapped under the raft in an eddy. (Yes, we extended our vacation and went again the next day so that none of us would be fearful of rafting. Now we just have a healthy appreciation for it!)

However, my favorite parts of the book are when Rob revisit his old stomping grounds in Yellowstone (where he worked for a summer) and Jackson Hole. I’m a big believer in revisiting things at different stages to allow for life experiences to filter understanding and to gain a new perspective. For example, I re-read my favorite childhood book (The Giver) every couple of years when I’m at a new stage in my life. I recommend you give it a try by re-reading a book or revisiting a location that had significance to you in your younger years. 

Favorite Quotes

“We tend to think of our national parks as idyllic, utopian wonderlands set far apart from the problems of modern society. It’s all rainbows, mountains, and singing Kumbaya together by the campfire, right? While this is mostly true, it would be naive to think that we humans don[‘t bring along our faults and troubles with us when we go out to these incredible natural places.” – So. Very. True. Also, I wish more people thought of the human impact when visiting wild areas. 

“Dude, just wait until dinner time when all the tourists are stuffing their faces … you’ll have the whole place to yourselves. Guaranteed.” – This is also super true in my experience! We follow a similar approach and hike in the rain and take scenic drives at dawn. 

Would I recommend Lost with Directions by Rob Erwin? 

It depends on why you would be picking this book up. I’ll start by saying that this book didn’t make my must-read outdoor/nature book list. I did, however, enjoy the quick trip through the author’s personal travel. The story is easy to follow and is great for those looking for travel inspiration. However, it’s not for those looking for an introspective reflection on travel or a deep-dive into our public lands. 


Pick up your copy of Lost with Directions

Lost with Directions can be purchased in major bookstores and online. If shopping on Amazon, I encourage you to use my Amazon affiliate links at no extra charge to you. 


Interested in more book reviews? Check out my other book reviews

By Sara Beth

Sara Beth is a wanderlust soul who is focused on simplistic and mindful living. She is passionate about National Parks, road trips, and board games. Her early years were spent in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin. After graduating from university, she moved to Las Vegas, fell in love, and adopted a dog. Today, she lives with her husband and their dog in the suburbs of Washington, DC.

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