Snowboarding with friends on Crystal Mountain
News & Events

Vacation Photos, Port News, and Meeting My Readers

It was quiet on the blog front last week, and for good reason — I found myself in the middle of the woods in Washington, near the base of Mount Rainier, with no wifi or data service in the little cabin my friends and I had rented for the week.

Though I hadn’t planned on being disconnected, one week of a little less technology was much welcomed. And I wasn’t fully off the grid, anyhow; I was still able to post photos from the one place I did have 4G which, ironically, was on top of a 6,800-foot mountain.

In case you haven’t been following along on Instagram, here are a few photos from my week at Crystal Mountain, Pinnacle Peak, and the lovely little logging community of Greenwater, where I woke up and fell asleep to the sounds of the river right outside my window. (Think of it as a Five Things Friday with a few bonuses, as I wasn’t able to log online for my usual installment.)

Snowboarding with friends on Crystal Mountain

Mount Rainier

Powder day

Pacific Northwest rainforest

Columnar basalt formations on Pinnacle Peak

Greenwater River

Treehouse

Herd of elk

Elk by the roadside

I’ve always been intrigued with the Cascades after many a flight over rugged Rainier and Saint Helens, looking down on the enormous peaks and verdant valleys and endless rivers, but this past week has truly cemented my love of the Pacific Northwest. And I really only saw such a tiny part of it. I can’t wait to head back. #PNWforlife, baby.

In other news… Have you heard about the labor disputes at all the West Coast ports? If you’ve been waiting for furniture to arrive or your new car to unload or (ahem) thousands of books to make their way to distributors, the union strife has been a hot topic all winter.

I can actually see the country’s largest port from my house, making the current state of affairs feel (literally) close to home. The twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach alone handle 40 percent of our incoming container cargo, and for the past few months, dozens of vessels have been anchored at the docks, waiting to unload, with dozens more idling at sea, waiting to pull in. The port congestion is surreal considering a single ship can span over a thousand feet long.

Here’s a fascinating pictorial on what’s going on off the Southern California coast, and an update on the port situation as of three days ago.

Why am I telling you all this? It just so happens that The CSA Cookbook is currently sitting on a ship at the Port of Oakland with no ETA on when the container will unload. We’re told the dispute should resolve any day now, but that merely means our book cargo will be in line along with thousands of other containers.

Advance reader copies (ARCs, which in our case are paperback versions of the final book) are still being sent out to the media, but if you’ve been waiting for a retail hardcover to arrive, that’s where we stand at this point. Any release dates given by Amazon or another vendor will likely change in the next week as we hear more from the ports.

This threw a tiny wrench in the plans for my book signing in Seattle last weekend, but on the upside, I was able to sign limited-run ARCs (only 90 were printed) for people who couldn’t wait for their preorders to arrive. (Much better than a bookplate, I’d say!) With my book still weeks away from release, it was actually pretty neat to see it in the hands of fellow gardeners and Garden Betty readers long before it hits stores.

Though I only spent a couple of hours each day signing books, I have to say they were the highlight of my whole weekend. I’m so used to interacting with readers online that finally meeting some of you face to face, engaging in real-time conversations about gardening, cooking, hiking, skiing, and road-tripping, was such a fun and wonderful experience. (Thanks for all the tips on what to see and where to eat!)

It had me totally amped, thinking about my upcoming book tour (which is still in the very long and logistical planning phase) and wishing I had a whole extra month to traverse the country this spring so I can meet as many readers in as many places as possible!

While that isn’t quite feasible, I still hope to present at a variety of blog- or book-related events this year. As I’ve discovered, I just love sharing information, hearing all your stories, and crossing paths with people I otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to meet in my day-to-day life.

I am deeply thankful for the opportunities I’ve had to visit other communities, promote a greener lifestyle, and celebrate good food with great people. It’s all been possible because every time you like a post, share a link, and mention my blog or book to a friend (or even a stranger) who then becomes a new reader, it gives me a greater chance of getting my name out. Let’s keep the momentum going!

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