A Finger of Land on an Old Man’s Hand chronicles in words and photographs the 1962-64 adventures of young men inspired by naturalist Joseph Wood Krutch’s book, The Forgotten Peninsula, about Baja California (1961). Then a sparsely populated raw wilderness, Baja proved a formidable challenge to men and equipment within its mountainous, sometimes lush, sometimes barren, desert environments, spectacular geology and complex ecologies bracketed by oceans. They enjoyed encounters with wild animals; found bountiful places to hunt and fish; met frontier families of the kindest sort; experienced Pacific storms, and love in a frontier village; met gold prospectors, hermits and one-of-a-kind characters. They encountered brigands and fools; had life-threatening events; found gold nuggets and rescued lost team members. Plant photography was among the author’s interests, only partially foiled by wind-blown sand fouling his camera lens. Most important, they learned about themselves and their relations with nature and God — finding their own answers or clarifying what they hoped to better understand.



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Book Reviews

Reviews – A Finger of Land on an Old Man’s Hand: Adventures in Mexico’s Baja Wilderness

Fred J Zambroski
5.0 out of 5 stars: It’s more than a description of an adventure.
Reviewed in the United States on December 31, 2022
Verified Purchase

The cover picture may lead you to believe this is just an adventure story, but it’s much more. True, the four of them do have interesting adventures into the wilderness of the Baja, but more than that, the author relates in detail the people the flora and fauna they encounter, all the while giving us insights into his three comrades, and most importantly himself.

 Independent Book Review – A Finger of Land on an Old Man’s Hand

A Finger of Land on an Old Man’s Hand
By Earl Vincent de Berge
Genre: Nonfiction / Memoir
Reviewed by Warren Maxwell

Detailed observations of a naturalist meet beat-style travelogue in this rollicking memoir about four young men finding themselves in the Baja desert.

Halfway through college circa 1962, de Berge gathered three friends to spend a summer driving through the desolate, unpaved roads of Baja in a souped-up old jeep named Ambrosia.

Indiestoday 5 Star Review – A Finger of Land on an Old Man’s Hand

A Finger of Land on an Old Man’s Hand
– Adventures in Mexico’s Baja Wilderness

by Earl Vincent de Berge
★★★★★/ BY JORDAN EHMANN / AUGUST 21, 2023

An irreplaceable journey that will not soon be forgotten.
Imagine the setting: it is 1962 and Earl Vincent de Berge and a few friends are looking for the kind of summer that will sharpen their personalities and broaden their horizons. With just a homemade camper, a rough map, and a $400 loan, the young men find themselves staring down a vast, untamed territory, Mexico’s Baja Peninsula.

ReaderViews 5 Review – A Finger of Land on an Old Man’s Hand

A Finger of Land on an Old Man’s Hand
Earl Vincent de Berge iUniverse (2022)
ISBN: 978-1663242105
Reviewed by Terri Stepek for Reader Views (07/2023)
5* “Nature moves without malice—it simply is what it is.”

“A Finger of Land on an Old Man’s Hand” by Earl Vincent de Berge is the stark, witty, and profound memoir of four college students testing their limits on the Baja Peninsula in the summer of 1962. One could think of this as the classic literary assignment, “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” Only to do so would be to grossly underestimate this narrative. It is the tale, taken from the author’s journal entries during their summer vacation expedition to the badlands of Baja.