Monday, August 25, 2008

Coming to a Bookstore near You...
Backpacking Washington! Talk about being booked! Just as I am putting the final touches down on my fifth book, Day Hiking Central Cascades (Mountaineers Books, spring 2009), I've already begun on book number six, Backpacking Washington. Now as you can imagine, this title will involve a considerable more amount of research. It will take me two years to complete the on-the-trail research and write the manuscript, unlike the breakneck one year pace I have been on with my previous three day hiking books. There'll be less hikes in this volume, 70 as opposed to 125-but a considerable more amount of mileage!
Backpacking Washington is meant to complement the Day Hiking Series, picking up from what was left out of those volumes. Where the maximum roundtrip with few exceptions was 12 miles in the Day Hiking Books, most of the trips in the Backpacking book will be in the 18-25 mile range. And unlike most backpacking books that concentrate on a few long distance multiple day trips, this volume will concentrate mostly on weekend trips- what you can backpack to for a 2 or 3 day adventure. There will be a few longer tidbits in the line-up and almost all of the trips will have details to extend it into a multi-day adventure if you so desire. And one of the neatest aspects of this book is that it covers all of Washington! The Olympics, The South Cascades, Mount Rainier, Snoqualmie Region, Central Cascades, North Cascades and eastern Washington! You'll find trips in the Kettle River Range, Trapper Creek Wilderness, Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness, Olympic Coast, and Goat Rocks Wilderness among the line-up. How cool is that?

This weekend I did a little research -about 22 miles worth with my wife to Lake Augusta, the Badlands, and Painter Creek in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. What a great outing-and being true to a Washington hike we even had to endure a little rain-but it was during the last 3.0 miles-so who cares at that point! Among the highlights on this trip was meeting another passionate backpacking and hiking couple, Anne and Rick Matsen. It was just us and another couple tucked in the larches somewhere with the entire Lake Augusta basin to ourselves. Who says you can't have solitude on a weekend in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness?

Well, you'll have to read my book for details on how you too may have this special place for yourself as well as 69 other prime Evergreen State destinations. Okay-I'm back in the woods tomorrow for more research . Ciao.

(- Heather and Me at Lake Augusta-photo by Rick Matsen)

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