Today has been a productive day. With the weather outside more comparable to Portland rather than the sought-after bluebird days in Bend, the steady rain invites me to flip open my computer and pour my attention into pages of words and across lines of topography. Those words are my own. The topography sits further away in Chile, but that’s not our focus right now.
After three years of writing, researching, editing and pouring myself copious glasses of wine to aid in the creative juices, Married to the Trail will become more than words on just my computer, but words that will rest in your hands, on paper, or if you’d prefer, via e-book. Married to the Trail is a unique story that few could ever tell. Even those who may have walked a similar line, would no doubt tell a drastically different tale.
I am an everyday woman. At least I was. Most people who climb glaciated peaks, adorned with cornices and an intimidating knife’s edge are mountaineers. I am not a mountaineer. I was that everyday woman defining the elements, the obstacles and everything that stood in my way in order to backpack the Continental Divide’s 2,800 mile length.
Married to the Trail is a travel narrative that tells the story of my 133-day hike along the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) in 2011, one that blends the scenic beauty of nature with that of emotional honesty. The route left the Mexico border on May 4th, 2011 and threaded its way north through New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. It walked through some of the most exceptional land of our country—that I’d ever seen—, and yet few wander its entirety. At twenty-seven and as a solo female, I yearned to be one of those few. And not to spoil the ending, but I made it.
So I’m pleased to announce that Big Earth Publishing in Boulder, Colorado, will be putting these pages into your hands. Both the editor and I think this will be a great relationship in that Married to the Trail walked high above the outdoor mecca, tracing the backbone of the rough and rugged—and in 2011, nearly completely snowbound—route along the Continental Divide. Two birds, one stone with Big Earth being on the Continental Divide and me living beneath the Cascade Mountains and the Pacific Crest Trail.
As a first time author, you could imagine I had many questions. Everything from, “What rights do I have as an author in terms of keeping my book, well, my book?” to “Do I have any creative say in the design of the book” to “Just how long will it be until Married to the Trail is available on bookshelves.” The editor answered all my questions with the responses I was hoping for. And as for the answer to that last question, we’re shooting to have this story out the door and in your hands in October. I need to cut out some pages from the book, but we’ll get there. Like the trail, everything takes sacrifice.
So, stay tuned fellow readers and SPREAD THE WORD. Seriously, tell your friends, family, co-workers. Tell your teachers, and if you’re a teacher yourself, tell your fellow teachers. Tell your local bookstores and librarians. Tell your local retailers. Tell your neighbors. Tell the trail folk and every person who likes to hike or likes to live vicariously through hiking, and everyone in between.
You won’t be disappointed. And if you are, well, go hike a trail.