Monday, April 23, 2018

Surviving the Colorado 14ers

I'd like to happily announce on my Wilderness Wanderings blog the completion and availability of a book co-written by myself, my brother, and father.  Ever since we completed our family quest of hiking all of the Colorado 14ers we've been looking for a way to bring some closure and finality to our decades-long adventure.  You may well know the challenge of devoting attention and heart and effort to something over months or years (or even decades) and the joy it brings when it can be finally realized and fulfilled.  Yet it also brings with it, shortly thereafter, this moment of emptiness where the question is begged: "what's next?"  

One of our methods of answering that question was to take a cathartic approach and to write about the experiences.  In many ways this was very much for us to give us an opportunity to reflect and to put into words all that we had done and accomplished together.  As this blog reflects, I had done this in small part through writing trip reports and bringing the raw details together.  Yet, as a family, we wanted something more.  Something that would allow us to collectively bring our stories and our lessons learned together in a way that we might eventually share with others as well.  This quickly developed into a goal to write a book.

We didn't get started immediately in late 2015 when we had finished, but the idea did grow in the backs of our minds.  It wasn't really until we got into 2017 that we began to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard as it was) to develop a goal.  We had this basic idea of our stories and some collective hiking wisdom but we needed to flesh that out into a plan.  We started coming up with chapter ideas of topics to address and to give structure to the book.  We also had a goal of trying to go from peak to peak to bring our individual stories to bear.  As we began to flesh things out we homogenized the two ideas by finding a way to use the stories to flesh out our lessons learned on the topics we wished to address.  We worked with a delicate balance of story-telling and informative writing to bring about the book. 

In this book we target an audience much like ourselves.  Modest climbers who are by no means at the top of the skill range in the climbing community, yet travel from the Midwest (or other less mountainous) places to safely and enjoyably find recreation in the mountains.  When we give our pointers and ideas we fully acknowledge there are others far wiser than we, yet we find value in sharing our collective thoughts with those who may be at the starting end of the spectrum where we once began.  

The book also seeks to share a number of our favorite photos that we collected over the years.  The print copy will have them all in grayscale, though their quality is still quite well enough to enjoy them.  The Kindle copy will have them in all their color and glory.  Its worth pointing out, Amazon's Matchbook program is a great and affordable way to buy the print copy of the book and then also get the Kindle version for a meager $1.99 more, rather than paying full price for the digital copy.  

Above all, our goal is to hear from our readers, our family, our friends of their enjoyment of the book and how the stories or the climbing wisdom affects their goals and endeavors in the mountains and the great outdoors.  It would give us a great joy to know that our efforts in sharing our story might make a difference in the climbing life of another family who wishes to find the same experience and fulfillment that we were blessed with.

If you would like to partake of the book or preview it I have shared a link to it on below.    Please enjoy, thanks!

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