Driving over the mountain road at night, the fog is so thick I’m forced to slow to second gear, 20 mph or even less, though I know this route with back-of-hand familiarity. But the suspended water vapor plays all manner of tricks on my mind, and for a moment, I’m no longer convinced I’m even on the right road: Have I taken a wrong turn? Was this really the way I meant to go? But I carry on, and eventually descend to the lower flanks of the mountain, where there is no snow left to melt and thus no fog, and now can see that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, behind the wheel of our little car, churning through the mud, on my way to pick up yet more used building materials (always, always with the used building materials), the night close around me.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve been working on a book with our dear friend, Luke Boushee, a wilderness educator, amazing illustrator, and all-around wonderful person. It’s called The Young Adventurer’s Guide to (Almost) Everything, and it was published last week. It’s a total departure for me; not at all the narrative non-fiction I’m accustomed to, but I’m happy with how it came out. I love Luke’s illustrations, they’re the perfect combination of instruction and whimsy, and they’re really fun to look at, even if you’re not particularly young. Or adventurous, for that matter. Penny wrote the bulk of the instructional text, and I handled the less-technical stuff, mostly because I’m a less-technical sort of person. It was a true team effort, and it’s gratifying to see it come to life.
If you happen to have read the book, and if you are so inclined, I would be very grateful if you would drop by Amazon and write a review. Naturally, I’d prefer folks purchased from their local, independent book seller (don’t have one? Maybe you’d consider supporting one of my favorites, here and here), but the Amazon reviews are still important, both from people who are purchasing there, and for those who are just browsing. Thank you for considering this.
That’s all for now, except to say that the season has finally turned in full. The snow is nearly gone, even from the stubborn, northern facing hollows, and the cows are restless, eyeing the early shoots of young grass beyond their paddock gate. The windows thrown open, laundry on the line. And early this morning, still half dark, I pulled my bike from the basement and pedaled down the road. First ride of the season.
It was a very long winter, and all of this is very good.