Monday, April 30, 2012

The Monday Muse: Good Times at the Lincoln, NH Book Signing

We gave a talk last Saturday evening at the Father Roger Bilodeau Community Center in Lincoln, NH.  Steve and Carol Smith from The Mountain Wanderer Map and Book Shop hosted the event, as did Carol Riley of the Lincoln Public Library.  It was a full house -- many thanks to Steve, Carol and Carol for hosting us! 

Just before the presentation.  Photo by Mike Carrafiello.

Photo by Mike Carrafiello.

Trish talking about Up.  Photo by Mike Carrafiello.

At the signing table.  Photo by Mike Carrafiello.

Sage signing a book.  Photo by Mohamed Ellozy. 

It was such a pleasure to meet so many new faces -- and to greet so many familiar ones!  This year's Girls of Summer were there; we loved speaking with so many enthusiastic and adventurous young women!  The Girls of Summer are a local group of teenage girls who spend their summers hiking and exploring the great outdoors.  We wish them well in their endeavors.

There were a lot of NH hikers in attendance.  Thanks for coming out, folks.  You're the ones who have known me for years as a hiker and a mom.  You're the ones who have provided such encouragement to me and the girls.  Thanks again for showing your support.  I am fortunate to know you.

Congratulations once again to Steve Smith for his redlining achievement (as well as his countless other hiking feats)!

Hope to see you on the trails soon.

Our next book signing will be at the Bethlehem Public Library in Bethlehem, NH at 1pm on May 19.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thursday Things: Feeding the Meters (#43)

Please join us on April 28 at 7pm in the Father Roger Bilodeau Community Center in Lincoln, NH for a book presentation/signing.  This event will be hosted by Steve Smith of The Mountain Wanderer Map and Book Store.

Latest publicity news: currently features an excerpt from Up.

For full list of reviews and publicity, click here.

Thursday Things: #43, Giving the Gift of Time (Feeding the Meters)

For this week's Thursday Things, we tackled #43 on our list.  Putting a quarter into all the parking meters in the major shopping area of Plymouth, NH was a fun and inexpensive task. 

The girls enjoyed this activity.  They got a kick out of the befuddled looks they received from folks who didn't realize what we were doing, and they felt good about being able to do something simple and nice for complete strangers.

The girls, two rolls of quarters, and...parking meters!

Alex buys some time for a shopper.

Sage creates good karma.

Last meters!

We spent a grand total of $15.00 and it was worth every quarter.  I now want to commit random acts of kindness on a regular basis.  It's good for the soul.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Tuesday Trip Report: Eagle Cliff Trail (Terrifying 25)

Please join us at one of our next booksigning events:

April 25, 7pm: Water Street Bookstore, Exeter, NH

April 28, 7pm: Father Roger Bilodeau Community Center, Lincoln, NH (hosted by Steve Smith of The Mountain Wanderer Map and Book Store)

Latest publicity news:

USA TODAY will include Up: A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure in its annual list of Mother's Day book recommendations! has chosen Up as one of its five best Mother's Day book recommendations!

ClimbWithKids currently features a review of Up.

For full list of reviews and publicity for Up, click here.

Tuesday Trip Report: Eagle Cliff Trail (Terrifying 25)

Sage has been fighting a nasty cold for weeks.  Though we wanted to get out and hike something, I insisted on keeping the mileage short.  We'll save the high peaks for when no one is coughing.

Eagle Cliff Trail is only 0.6 miles long from trailhead to lookout point and it's on our Terrifying 25 list.  Seemed like a perfect hike for this particular day.

The trail begins in Sandwich, NH, across the street from Squam Lake.

The path rises moderately through the woods...

There are views of the Lake here and there...

Then the "terrifying" moments begin...

Yeah, okay...not really. 

As I explain on my page for the T25, I included trails based on their descriptions in the White Mountain Guide.  Eagle Cliff Trail was listed as containing a difficult rock scramble, one that might be hazardous in wet or icy conditions.  There's even a bypass path around this scrambly bit, in case anyone chickens out and wants to go up another way.  However, the girls and I found this trail tame, tame, tame.  Here's the most exciting part --

After this, it's just normal, albeit steep, trail.

I would not have included Eagle Cliff Trail in the T25 had I hiked it before looking through the White Mountain Guide.  So, if you're pursuing this list and want an incredibly easy get, choose this trail...and consider wearing roller skates to up the fear factor.

All that being said, the hike, though not terrifying, is rewarding.  The views of Squam Lake from the lookout point are stunning.

We hung about on the ledges for a while.  Sage played in the dirt...

While Alex took a bunch of pictures...

We made our way back to the car after a few hours of sun and views.

To sum it up -- great views, mundane trail.  Terror rating: 1 out of 5.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Please join us at one of our next booksigning events:
April 25, 7pm: Water Street Bookstore, Exeter, NH

April 28, 7pm: Father Roger Bilodeau Community Center, Lincoln, NH (hosted by Steve Smith of The Mountain Wanderer Map and Book Store)


Book business kept me hopping this week.  Lots of interviews (to be published later), lots of phone calls, lots of everything.  Life is good.  We're going to have a very busy May.

On the down side, Sage has been sick with a nasty cold for ten days -- she got through last Saturday's AMC Awards with the help of children's cough medicine.  Thankfully, she was well enough yesterday for a short hike up a little cliff (trip report to follow).  I'm hoping she fully recovers soon -- the poor kid has a serious case of cabin fever!

Have a good weekend, folks.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thursday Things: Draw a Landscape (Finished!)


Latest Publicity for Up:

An excerpt from Up can be found in the current issue of USA Today's "Unboundary" Magazine.

We're currently featured on "The Hiker Mama"


Click here for publicity and reviews for Up thus far.

Thursday Things

Last week, the girls and I visited Bald Mountain.  While we were there, the girls got started on number one of our Thursday Things (draw or paint a landscape).  Alex put the final touches on her masterpiece today.

Alex's landscape drawing

Sage's landscape drawing (she wanted to keep it black-and-white).

The girls enjoyed creating their pictures; both love to draw and were happy to have an excuse to put pen to paper.  I'll have to pack the art supplies more often.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tuesday Trip Report/Wednesday Shout-Out: The 2012 AMC Four Thousand Footer Awards

Please join us at one of our next booksigning events:

April 25, 7pm: Water Street Bookstore, Exeter, NH

April 28, 7pm: Father Roger Bilodeau Community Center, Lincoln, NH (hosted by Steve Smith of The Mountain Wanderer Map and Book Store)

Latest Publicity for Up

Karl Searl's great book review on Live Free and Hike

Click here for publicity and reviews for Up thus far.


Tuesday Trip Report/Wednesday Shout-Out:

The AMC Four Thousand Footer Awards

Each April, the Appalachian Mountain Club holds a ceremony in Exeter, NH honoring those who have recently finished hiking mountains on various New England lists.  Our family attended, since Sage, Alex and I were to receive certificates for hiking the White Mountain Four Thousand Footers.

Before the ceremony, we went to dinner.  The mood was festive.

Here's my family standing in front of the school where the ceremony was held.  From left to right, back row first -- my dad, my mom, Hugh, me, Sage, and Alex.

The ceremony was great fun.  One wouldn't think that watching countless individuals walk one-by-one down an aisle would be an enjoyable way to spend three hours....but my, that crowd was in good spirits.  I think the "water" being passed around had something to do with it.  Between the wine --uh, I mean, the water -- and the four rows of people blowing noisemakers, most of the adults were in fine form.  I think the kids enjoyed themselves too.

Speaking of kids -- wow!  There were eight 4K finishers under the age of ten this year (most of whom were girls)!  Way to go!  I don't know any of them, but I was SO PROUD of them -- and their parents!  Kudos, people!  Today's shout-out goes to you.  I can't post pictures since I don't have your permission (and most of my photos didn't turn out anyway) -- but if you're reading this and want to send me a picture of your kid receiving a certificate, then please do!  I'll post it here.

Sage received her certificate for hiking the all-season Four Thousand Footers.  She received a standing ovation when her name was called, and when she got down to the front of the auditorium, she was picked up and held out for the crowd to see.  Sage was overjoyed and very proud of herself.

Alex and I received certificates for hiking the Four Thousand Footers during winter.  The crowd gave Alex a standing ovation too.    

Thank you, folks.  Your support has always meant a lot to us.  As a mother, I can't thank you enough for all those cheers as first Sage, then Alex walked down that aisle.  

I took a ton of pictures of the girls receiving their certificates, but none of them turned out!  I'll ask others to contribute theirs and add them to this post at a later date.

Here are the girls, back at their seats --

After the ceremony, holding their certificates...

It was a wonderful evening.  The girls and I will attend again next year, and the year after that, and the year after that -- though I think we're finished receiving AMC certificates (unless Sage decides to go for the winter list).  The 4Ks have been and continue to be such an important part of our lives; we should be there to cheer others on even when we're not receiving anything ourselves.

Happy hiking, folks --

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Takeaway, The AMC, and The Monday Muse ("Listmania")

Please join us at one of our next booksigning events:

April 25, 7pm: Water Street Bookstore, Exeter, NH

April 28, 7pm: Father Roger Bilodeau Community Center, Lincoln, NH (hosted by Steve Smith of The Mountain Wanderer Map and Book Store)

The latest press for Up: A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure:

On May 11, the girls and I will be on the national morning news program, The Takeaway.  Our ten-minute (live!) interview will take place between 7 and 8am.

Up: A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure is currently featured on Appalachian Mountain Club's, Great Kids, Great Outdoors.

The Monday Muse: Listmania

Lots of folks have asked the girls what they plan on doing next, now that both have finished the NH4Ks

Sage will casually work her way through the 52WAV, and Alex will eventually finish Trailwrights.  Both want to pursue The Terrifying 25.

Highpointing is another goal, though, of course, I can't predict how far we'll get on that list.  Eventually, the girls and I will need to acquire advanced mountaineering skills.  As of right now, Sage has every intention of acquiring those skills and going for all 50 highpoints.  Alex, however, isn't sure she wants to ascend mountains that require ropes and ice axes.  We'll take things year by year and see what happens. 

One thing I know for sure, however, is that we are not going to try to finish any of the above lists by any particular date.  The past four years have been wonderful -- it's been a pleasure taking each of the girls hiking and watching them ascend New Hampshire's 48 highest mountains.  However, both girls hiked the NH4Ks with self-imposed age deadlines hanging over their heads.  That was their doing -- Alex wanted to finish before she turned seven, and I supported her.  Next, Sage wanted to finish at a younger age than Alex did, so I supported her (with Alex's blessing).  Finally, Alex wanted to finish the winter 4Ks while she was I supported her.  Now, no one's trying to finish any list by any certain age...and life feels so much more relaxed!

We took a four week break from hiking after Alex finished the winter 4Ks.  Hopefully, we'll get back on the trails this week.  We've got boulder caves to explore and rock slides to climb.  :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Friday Wrap

It's been another busy week!  The last seven days have been a complete whirlwind.  Up: A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure has caught the attention of some very heavy hitters; a lot more publicity is on the way.  I'll continue to update the Reviews, Press, and Book Signings page on a daily basis.  These are exciting times!

The latest: Adventure Parents featured us again, this time with a link to the coverage from Hippo Press.

The AMC's Four Thousand Footer Awards takes place tomorrow night.  Alex, Sage, and hundreds of other hikers will get certificates for having hiked a New Hampshire list or two.  It should be a fun evening!  My parents are visiting from Maryland to attend the event.

Have a great weekend, everyone!  Hope to see some of you at the Awards tomorrow!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thursday Things: Draw a Landscape

UP: A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure

Breaking News: 

Books for Better Living named UP as their May choice for Book of the Month!

From Left to Write posted their collection of responses to UP.

Much more on the way!  Stay tuned!


The girls and I visited one of our favorite peaks today.  Bald Mountain isn't on any of the New Hampshire hiking lists, but we love it nonetheless.  The summit is only a quarter mile from the parking lot and the views are spectacular.  When one wants to experience a mountaintop but doesn't have all day to hike, Bald Mountain is the place to go.

Alex and Sage spent a lot of time on the summit blowing bubbles...

and drawing various landscapes (number one of 101 Things in 202 Thursdays). 

We stayed until it started to snow (!), then we went home so the girls could finish sketching their pictures.

I'll post the finished masterpieces on Monday, after the girls have had a chance to complete their works of art.  :)

Wednesday Shout-Out: Brad Bradstreet, Seek the Peak

The hiking community lost a good friend last week.  On Friday, April 6, Brad Bradstreet passed away.

I knew Brad mainly from the Mount Washington Observatory Forums.  He was one of the first to respond to my original hiking posts and he always had kind words of support for me and my children.  I had the pleasure of meeting him in person five or six times -- what I remember most about our encounters is his joyful smile and the large camera he kept about his neck.  Brad was a talented photographer; his pictures continue to take my breath away.

Brad was a huge supporter of the Mount Washington Observatory, and he had planned on hiking in its annual fundraiser, Seek the Peak.  Brad's son, Bill, keeps the pledge page active, so folks can honor Brad with donations to one of his favorite organizations.

Please donate to Brad's Seek the Peak page.  You'll be supporting a wonderful organization and honoring a  kind and generous man.

Brad Bradstreet. 
Picture taken from his Facebook Page.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tuesday Trip Report

The girls and I will resume hiking tomorrow; we took a break after Alex finished the winter 4Ks on March 17, 2012.  In the meantime, here's a trip report from one of our favorite ascents -- Sage's all-season 4K finish on Middle Tripyramid, November 6, 2011.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Monday Muse: The Late Shift

Recent media attention for Up: A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure --

StevenKotler (blog of the NY Times best-selling author)

Ramblings (blog of hiker Mark Truman)

The complete list of published and aired features/reviews can be found here.  More will soon follow!


The Monday Muse

A kind fellow recently wrote and asked for some advice.  He wants to create a manuscript but he doesn't seem to have the time to work on it.  Between career and family obligations, how is he supposed to write?  Does one have to be independently wealthy and/or a complete loner in order to write on a daily basis?  How does one carve out the time?

The answer is simple.  You just do it.  I know, that's almost the Nike slogan, but the sentiment applies.  You just do it.  Seriously.

I homeschool my kids, which means most of my daytime hours are spent working with them or taking them from one place to another (playdates, extracurricular activities, etc.).  During my spare daytime moments, I keep up with emails and social media connections. By the time our entire day is over and we're home and fed for the evening, it's close to 9pm.  This is when I settle down and write.  I'm often up until 1 or 2am, and I rarely get more than six hours of sleep.

Is this ideal?  No.  Is finding the time to write easy?  No.  Not for me, and not for anyone.  No one has loads of time on their hands these days.  We're all overscheduled and busy and tired and in desperate need of just one more cup of coffee.

If you want to write, then write.  You might have to get up two hours early, you might have to stay up three hours late, or you might have to sacrifice a good portion of your social life.  It's not easy to find the time, but what else are you going to do?  Not write?

Speaking of writing, I've got a couple of chapters I want to edit before going to bed...


Friday, April 6, 2012

The Friday Wrap: Wow, What a Week!

The big news is, of course, that Up: A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure was published on Tuesday, April 3.  A lot of publicity accompanied Up's release, and a lot more publicity is on the way. The reviews have been outstanding.

Our book signing event at The Harvard Coop went extremely well.  It was standing room only and almost every copy of Up was sold before the end of the evening.  I posted photos (taken by the talented Mark Truman) here and here.

Miraculously, the girls and I kept up with our homeschooling schedule, playdates, and extracurricular activities this week.  The only thing we didn't manage to do, ironically enough, was hike! 

Have a wonderful holiday weekend, folks.

Thursday Things...

...will have to wait.  The Monday Muse, Tuesday Trip Report, Wednesday Shout-Out and Thursday Things will all be back next week.  The recent publication of my book, Up: A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure, takes front and center right now.  The book has received so much attention from the media and blogosphere that I'm finding it difficult to keep up with posting the links!  Here's the latest -- a wonderful article in New Hampshire's largest circulation weekly, The Hippo (see pages 54-55).

I'm creating a page that will have links to all the reviews, online features, newspaper articles, etc.  It should be posted by tomorrow afternoon.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fantastic First Day!

Up: A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure went on sale yesterday!

I was so busy running around and keeping up with publicity/media notifications that I never had time to sit and write my daily blog post!  Scroll down to see the latest press news.

The reading/signing at The Harvard Coop was a great success.  It was standing room only and the Coop nearly sold out its entire stock of Up.

The poster for our event, showcased in front of The Harvard Coop.

Walking through the store carrying a full winter backpack (complete with snowshoes)

Full house!

Introducing Alex and Sage

Reading from Up

Folks waiting for signatures

The girls signing books

Media Links:

Late tonight or early tomorrow, I'll create a review/publicity page so I can put all the media links for Up in one place.  In the meantime, here's what was posted yesterday and this morning--

Our "preview" feature on EKP Adventures

More to follow!