The story of the book starts two years ago on a flight bound for Pakistan, where I wrote a proposal to Moon Travel Guides to develop a guide to my relatively new home: the Wasatch Mountains.
It seemed a long shot—especially as I polished off the proposal in a jet-lagged fog inside a busy LAX terminal—but a few weeks later, I got the contract.
My husband Casey reacted to the news with equal parts excitement and dread. Why was I always committing to too much work? Wouldn’t this new project stress me out?
He had a point. I had just started a new job as a writer for Backcountry (where I still work now), was freelancing for a food magazine, and was still helping out here and there with the water engineering program in Pakistan. Did I mention I had a rowdy one-year-old at home?
But the opportunity to write a travel guide to my new home was just too tempting. To Casey’s chagrin, I signed on the dotted line and started aggressively exploring all things Utah.
Eleven ski resorts, hundreds of miles of trails, the Uinta Mountains in my literal backyard, local breweries defying Utah’s insane liquor laws, the HQ of Mormonism (i.e. Temple Square), a 65-foot deep crater filled with teal warm water, the famous Spiral Jetty land artwork—these are just a few of the places I traveled to in the name of research.
Another kid, a puppy, half a dozen chickens, hundreds of miles of driving, and hundreds of hours of writing later, the book is here (thanks for putting up with me and my stress levels, Casey!).
While this might seem like a rather unfortunate time to launch a travel guide, I’d argue it’s actually the opportune moment. Road trips are on the rise and Americans are escaping the confines of quarantine outdoors in droves. The Wasatch Mountains are a veritable playground where it’s easy to ditch the crowds.
So, load up the car and book it to Utah (with my book!) and get ready to hike, trail run, mountain bike, climb, ski, and snowboard. Chase those adventures with some surprisingly good local whiskey and an apple fritter (like me, Utah has a major sweet tooth). Or, start plotting your Wasatch adventure for the post-pandemic era—the mountains will wait.