There’s a new book about the Eastern Sierra, written by someone every Mammoth Times reader already knows.
Wendilyn Grasseschi, 47, who writes “Hike of the Week” for the newspaper, combined the best of the best adventures from the last two years into a book called “Go On Get Out There.”
The book goes on sale at the Booky Joint and the Mammoth Times office today. Grasseschi will sign books Monday afternoon from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., store owner Dave Leonard said.
The book ($19.99, published by the Mammoth Times) also features her photography, much of which never appeared in the newspaper, owing to space restrictions.
“The best thing about the chance to go back and rewrite some of my hikes,” she said, “was the ability to fix the things that I didn’t like and equally, to revisit the places I love so much. Going back to Lower Rock Creek, being immersed in the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne—who wouldn’t want to spend a few hours with them again? It’s like visiting a beloved friend.”
Grasseschi celebrated her 20-year Mammoth anniversary on Wednesday. She knows what she’s talking about.
“I’ve learned where the magic is here, where the moment and season and time collide together for the most exquisite experience.
“This is one of the most extraordinary places in the world and I love it deeply. That, and a sense of play, are what I tried to communicate in this book.
“I’ve also learned that often the best experiences come when you think you are looking for something else, or going somewhere else. Like the night a pile of scorpions on the trail diverted me to a river running backwards under a full moon in midsummer—a place that I would never have otherwise found and an experience that will remain as one of my most extraordinary memories.”
Grasseschi grew up in Montana and Idaho, and hit the Teton and Wind River wilderness at age 13, exploring the Rocky Mountain West as a backcountry ranger and firefighter before moving to the Eastern Sierra.
“This book is more a series of stories—some adventure stories, some more contemplative stories—than it is a how-to guidebook, although much of the usual information from a guidebook is included,” she said.
As an added benefit, she said, putting this book together expanded her writing range.
“What I wasn’t prepared for was the sheer joy I found in pushing my writing to a different level. That was an unexpected benefit—a creative challenge I’ve never taken up so fully before.”
Pick up a copy of “Go On Get Out There” at Booky Joint (located in the Vons shopping center), the Mammoth Times office, or call 760-934-3929 to order over the phone.