A very impressive collection of travel pieces by women who took to the byways--road, river, and trail--with only themselves as company. Rogers (editor, Another Wilderness: New Outdoor Writing by Women, not reviewed, etc.) has gathered here almost two dozen adventures that sparkle with insight into what it means to solo in the great outdoors. Sometimes the journeys are made in hopes of finding an answer, or at least a moment of clarity, regarding one of life's travails. Sometimes they're an act of fleeing--from lovers or family or personal demons. E.A. Miller draws a bead on the pretenses that had shaped her camping background: Was she really so adept in the wild, and if she was, then why did she keep asking herself what the men in her family would have done under a specific circumstance? ``Without an audience . . . I was at a loss, unable to frame my own experiences,'' she writes, until she decides to just enjoy herself. Then there is Bridget Quinn's wonderful attitudinizing, be it on ski slope or city street, and Susan Ewing chasing antelope in Montana while at the same time being pursued by ``the sordid siblings, Go-For-It and Fear,'' a couple of Furies who attend most solo exploits. Ann Baker goes on a pilgrim's progress through the former Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh, hoping to touch ``the chain of wisdom'' and spirituality crafted over the last couple of thousand years by the Buddhists of the region. There's not a whole lot of humor here to leaven these often trying episodes, but each piece is a revelation, affording a palpable, honest foray into the writer's personality, into how she contends with inner and outer bogeys, how her thought processes and survival instincts unfold. Crackingly good writing throughout, a heady stew rich with savory chunks of information for those, women or men, wishing to go it alone.