This is the first rate outdoor material, based on a California background that shifts from the mountain reaches of the north to Carmel and the Big Sur region behind it. There's a pack trip into the higher mountains, beyond the village where Ronnie lives with his foster ""Aunt Sal"". There's picnicking- fishing trips- hiking-sandwiched in between the really responsible job Ronnie has in taking care of Aunt Sal's little mountain farm, becoming a man before his time in responsibility and endurance. His new ""city"" friends from down the state bring new horizons to him. And the good things that come are well based on his own capacities and achievements, not on spins of Fortune's wheel. All the makings are here -- and the results are good reading. But the plot spins thin and lacks climatic qualities which make for holding interest. The author is a distinguished botanist and his intimate knowledge of the country and the people of which he writes stamp the text with a feeling of regional authenticity.