IM native will read from novel ‘Distant Dreamer’ on Saturday

IRON MOUNTAIN — Barry Dalberto, an Iron Mountain native, will give a presentation of his debut novel, tilted, “Distant Dreamer” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in the multi-purpose room at the Dickinson County Library in Iron Mountain.

After the presentation, he will sign and sell his book, which is based in the Iron Mountain/Quinnesec area during his years attending Quinnesec Jr. High School in the 1950s. It is dedicated to his first and favorite male teacher, Ray Mariucci.

The book contains a fictional element and follows several of Ray Mariucci’s stellar students who won the right to compete in a three-day solo survival test held in the Sylvania Area Wilderness after completing Mariucci’s class, “Wilderness Survival and lore.”

At tests end, the two students who earned the highest survival test scores go on to become assistant guides in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

They battle rough portages, high winds and bear as they help cook meals and lead their group of clients with disabilities on day trips to explore historic areas, fish and find that the beauty and challenge of the wild tests them all and bonds them together.

The book contains excitement, humor and danger with the forces of nature and creates a fascinating journey. 

The author, named Mark in the story, has many flashbacks to his family, friends and classmates at Quinnesec. He also experiences several strange, but wonderful dream sequences while camping and is spiritually transported into the fur trade era of the early 1800s, where voyageurs paddled 25-foot birch bark canoes in brigades, portaged 90 pound bales of furs, and trade goods for more than eight miles in rough terrain.

He continues to dream after his daily camp duties and finds the worm hole passage start to close as the brigade reaches the rendezvous at the fort named Grand Portage on the north shore of Lake Superior.