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Book depicts life of rugged rancher

Outskirts Press, Inc., recently published the book My Heaven in Hells Canyon: Growing Up in Snake River by Violet Wilson Shirley. The paperback is available on for $19.95.

“This is one helluva narrative about one helluva woman who believed that Hells Canyon was her heaven. You’ll be captivated by Violet Wilson Shirley’s stories about ranch life in the deepest part of Hells Canyon,” the press release states. “The Pete and Ethel Wilson family lived exemplary lives. Could we survive and scratch out a productive life in this rugged terrain with rattlesnakes, fickle weather, steep slopes and animal predators constantly challenging our bodies and minds? Could we successfully raise eight children?”

Following Shirley’s retirement, she returned to the canyon as a U.S. Forest Service volunteer at the Kirkwood Ranch visitor center. She contributed time almost every year between 1986 and 2004.

“Violet’s spirit is chiseled into the cliffs and slopes of Hells Canyon and floats above the rapids of Snake River as it plunges through that spectacular gorge,” said Tracy Vallier.

The book is 240 pages long.


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