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Booked for Travel

<i> Wudke is a Los Angeles free-lance writer. </i>

Hidden among the high ridges and deep valleys of a 165-mile coastline are rugged and rural areas with some of the Golden State’s least-traveled trails. “The Hiker’s Hip Pocket Guide to the Mendocino Coast,” by Bob Lorentzen, tells you how to find and walk, hike or ride more than 400 miles of scenic trails in that part of Northern California. The guide explores wilderness adventures in forests and meadows and takes you alongside crashing waves and tumbling rivers. It provides clear and detailed descriptions of 50 hikes as short as half a mile and as long as 25 miles. It’s a small but super guide that puts you close to nature, yet fewer than two hours away from Eureka or Arcata. (Wilderness Press: $9.95, or add $1.45 for handling and send to Bored Feet, P.O. Box 1832, Mendocino, Calif. 95460.)

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“The Adventure Guide to Italy” by Michael H. Sedge describes another aspect of that country rather than adding to the myth that it is only a land of ancient ruins, sports cars, high fashion and pasta or pizza. The guide stands out for its less-serious approach to information about the best walks, river trips, caving sights, cycling routes and other adventures in national parks and unspoiled areas. Its 300 pages of activities will please the person who prefers to view the mysteriously beautiful hills of Tuscany, the many-walled towns and villages, snowy skylines and the fantastic flora and scenery. More than 50 maps and a generous selection of color photos are sprinkled throughout the extensive and detailed text (Hunter Publishing: $14.95, or add $1.50 handling and send to Strawberry Media, 2460 Lexington Drive, Owosso, Mich. 48867).

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“The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland,” edited by Bob Sehlinger, is an excellent resource when planning a visit. From Space Mountain to the Haunted House, every ride, exhibit and concession is evaluated. Each attraction’s profile includes information as to appeal by age group, duration of rides and average waiting time in line, along with a description and comments. The guide will help you visit the Magic Kingdom with the greatest efficiency and least amount of hassle. Besides outlines of tours for adults only and for families, it provides tips and warnings for those with special needs (Prentice Hall: $7.95).

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A great planner for the expert or novice is “A Skier’s Guide to North America” by Brent K. Pickard. The orientation offers lots of information for those who have never hit the slopes. Its step-by-step explanation of how to plan a ski trip includes tips on dressing for the weather, renting and buying equipment and taking lessons. More than 70 resort destinations are outlined, with reports on slope challenges, restaurants, lodging and ambiance of the area. The guide is a quality effort that includes information on ski schools, day care and children’s programs (Wise Guide: $11.95, or call Johnson Books toll-free at (800) 662-2665 to order direct).


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