Mike O'Connell, author of The Story of Yellowstone

Mike O’Connell has been exploring the Yellowstone area for more than 25 years. He’s spent countless hours backpacking, hiking, skiing, and photographing its wildlife and scenery, as well as reading all he can about it. His curiosity and reverence for this land culminated in his first book, The Story of Yellowstone, his tribute to the place that he and so many others fell for at first sight.

Random facts about Mike

• While studying in Galway, Ireland for a year, Mike played on the winning 1990-91 national championship basketball team.

• Through the years, Mike has camped in Yellowstone for more than 400 nights, about a third of those in the backcountry.

• Mike has seen 11 cougars in the wild and one wolverine, as well as countless wolves and bears.

• Mike is a “guerrilla gardener,” trying to grow and put up as much food as he can while dealing with snow, freezes and frost in June; drought, heat and flea beetles in mid-summer; and then frost again in early September.

• Mike’s favorite books include: Walden, To Kill a Mockingbird, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind and the Harry Potter series, which he’s been reading and listening to with his daughter.

• Mike was a cross-country ski patroller with the National Ski Patrol for five years.

• Both Mike and his daughter play the five-string banjo.

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