Bryan Gould, born and schooled in San Francisco, began as a copyboy, at the San Francisco News, where he wrote sports and feature stories, (he is the last surviving member of that editorial staff). Then worked as a youth counselor for San Francisco and Marin counties, In 1978, as a trombone player and vocalist, he formed Swing Fever, a swing era jazz band, which has played, recorded, and toured for forty-plus years. His first book, Barefoot in Hells Canyon found an enthusiastic publisher at Backeddy Books. He lives with his wife and fruit trees in San Rafael, California.
“Why mothers get gray,” bemoaned Bryan’s mother.
Two San Francisco 19-year-olds take off for a 1958 summer, riding with hobos in boxcars, working for meals on Idaho farms, collecting colorful characters; a trip that culminates in piloting their own small rubber raft down the Snake River through Hells Canyon, one of the nation’s roughest stretches of whitewater. Nearly the last voyage through the seventy-mile Hells Canyon before it was dammed, the adventurers suffer overturnings, hunger and loss of shoes in the rapids. They break into a shepherd’s cabin during a thunderstorm, leaving a note in case they don’t survive. The adventure is recollected by two octogenarians with conflicting memories.
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Bryan is working on a second book, which is set near Quincy in Northern California. He and three friends build a log cabin in the woods, using only hand tools, then he moves it. It’s another wild tale. We’ll let you know when it’s available.
Review and Summary
“Although Hells Canyon remains a many storied gorge, I cannot recall, since the steamboats, a Snake River journey that quite rivals this one for interest, mettle and fortuity.” Cort Conley, writer, and publisher
Book Review provided by Tim Woodward
Book Summary provided Dan Barnett
Readers’ Favorite Award
Filled with nostalgia and camaraderie, Barefoot in Hells Canyon is a true coming-of-age story of survival and friendship. Bryan Gould shares an adventure of a lifetime that changed the course of two young men’s life trajectories.