Wild Blue Yonder: Following a guidebook writer’s dream job

Carolyn McCarthy, travel writer and occasional guest blogger on Perceptive Travel (see A Guidebook is not a Guru), has landed the dream job for lovers of wilderness, writing, and travel. She’s heading the update of Lonely Planet’s Patagonia trekking guide, which means she’s spending November 2008 to February 2009 padding and hoofing her way through the world’s (arguably) most gorgeous and remote mountains and valleys.

Sometimes alone, sometimes with groups or single companions, McCarthy will be turning her adventurous spirit and talent for keen observation into accessible guidebook prose. Not only that, she’s posting regular blogs about her encounters and lack thereof on her blog Wild Blue Yonder, starting with Chronicle of a Trek Foretold. I love the post from a couple weeks ago, How the Other Half Hikes, which reminded me once again that my childhood in the Montana Rockies was not only privileged (depending on what you value), but also spoiled. Heck, I still expect trails to be absolutely clear-cut and easy to find!

Escaping the doldrums of a dreary northeast winter, I’m inspired by watching a guidebook writer in progress, and hanging on her excellent prose. “There´s work to do, if not in writing than in perceiving, including on my own behalf. Outside Torres del Paine, Patagonian trails are another beast: scarcely marked, pocked with rivers without bridges and passes without footprints.” Indeed.

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