I am thrilled to announce that my 2005 book of nonfiction mountain stories, Romancing the Rockies: Mountaineers, Missionaries, Marilyn & More, out of print for a year, is now back on sale again with a spiffy new cover. It is available both as a paperback and – for the first time – as an e-book. When it was first published, a reviewer for Avenue magazine said it should be read for “information and inspiration.”
This book was bit of a departure for me because I don’t climb, scramble, ski, canoe or spend any more time in the outdoors than it takes for me to carry home a chai tea latte from Vintage Caffeine. But I do have a passion for storytelling, and the mountains are full of stories. Some are found in the poems of Jon Whyte, some in the ballads of Wilf Carter, and some in the wildlife paintings of Carl Rungius. All demand to be told. The hot chocolate may run out and the sleeping bags may beckon but we must remain by the fire till the tale is told.
My journey to the Rockies was more spiritual than physical, so I was grateful for all the explorers, adventurers, artists and climbers who blazed the trails to make my storytelling possible.
And how, you may ask, does Marilyn fit into all this? Well, as I quickly discovered when I started researching the book, the story of Monroe’s 1953 trip to Jasper and Banff to make a movie called River of No Return was still being retold fifty years later. Did her dependency on the barbiturates and painkillers that led to her 1962 death from a drug overdose begin on the River of No Return set when she suffered from exposure and exhaustion during filming? So wrote two of her biographers in 1992.
When Monroe died, there was no mention in the Alberta newspapers of the summer she had spent filming in the Rockies. But half a century later I was able to find people in Jasper and Banff who still had lots to say about the movie and its doomed star. I was pleased to record what they remembered.
Buy the paperback version of Romancing the Rockies by clicking HERE
Buy the e-book edition (free if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber!) by clicking HERE