Art and Peggy Palmer
We resisted the temptation to read it all at one sitting, and instead Peg is reading it to me (Art) while I work on cabinets for our new van. This gives us a chance to draw it out a long time and to laugh/cry/cheer at all the events.
I will reserve judgment until I get to the end. But suffice to say so far I like it, and especially the parts where you tell it like it is when someone does something stupid, or even at the time perceived as stupid and dangerous and how being scooped and how you all felt.
Then again later:
I finished your book while sitting in my tent in the cool pines of Southeastern New Mexico last night... I used my Locklear approved flashlight to read by...
I was intrigued... While I would have never gone/go to Mexico. I envy those who do... Sounds like fun...
The book left me wishing there was more...
I hope Bill Steele writes another, I have both of his books and they are great to read.
George Dasher, author of On Station
I read your Huautla book last week. It was very good, and I enjoyed it. You were lucky you got such sound medical advice in that underground camp when the gasoline stove blew up.
Your book was very interesting and a fast read!
It was a great book and I really enjoyed reading it.
I was right about the book. It is way too short. A good 500 pages would have been better as I don't want it to end. What an amazing adventure it has been for you.
Best book I have read in years. Mostly I read technical books and history of WWI.
And after Jasek read it a second time:
The best thing is how the wording and the story flowed so perfectly.I really didn't want to end, but it ended perfectly.
I am reading your book right now. It is the best book I have that I have not yet read, so there you go. What is speaking to me besides the caving is the personal choices. I remember in the early 1980's I was on the edge of the ability to take on real world class expedition caving. I chose the weekend warrior route, and it worked for me although I did lose one wife to the cave. I totally understand the size of the decision because I was facing it squarely and was very conscious of it. So now I have 30 years of 24-hour triumphs and one Mammoth connection rather than a Sistema Huautla, I guess it's a decent trade. Anyway your description of your first marriage and the similar choices facing the various cavers made me think about that history.
Kasia Biernacka, Poland
I'm reading your book about Huautla now and I do it with pleasure - very interesting book!
If you were not already a caver this book would make you want to be one much as Jacques Cousteau's book "The Silent World" led many of use to become divers back in the 1950s and even to become a cave divers in later years ”---and the road goes ever on."
I like the book and found it to be fast reading. I too look forward to Steele's next book
I just finished Huautla and I became so absorbed in the story that I feel like I
am now 30 years older. I was impressed how you were able to share in words the
excitement that came with each connection, the relational intricacies with each
relationship, and the sorrow with each tragedy. When you first told me about
Huautla and its vastness and great depth, I was fascinated and this book just
intensified that fascination. Thanks for sharing this story with the caving
…this is an important and valuable book. Way too few first-person accounts of exploration by American cavers have been commercially published.
Richard A. Watson
It is a tremendous read for cavers, and a very important book documenting American caving, which has so little documentation in books, which is the only documentation that counts beyond the caving community.
In the end it was a sense of accomplishment achieved with a few individuals bold and brave and intelligent and crazy enough to be there with you on a true frontier and make something unusual happen. That's what came through in reading your book, at least subliminally to me in certain places. It seems to make life have meaning, despite all the senseless work stress and other unhappy distractions we all bear. So... thanks for capturing a lot of the things that happened during those years.