Monday, October 29, 2007

A New Chapter

Greetings from sunny Toronto! If you're in Canada, look for me tomorrow on The Weather Network between 3 and 4 pm ET.

I'm also excited to announce that the Chapters/Indigo website in Canada is now selling Sex in a Tent. The date for availability is October 31. I'm not yet sure how many of their physical stores will be stocking the book, but I'd like to welcome them aboard and I'm glad that Canadians now have another option for buying the book.

Those who pre-ordered it from should be receiving their books at the end of this week! (Just in time to have me sign them at my launch party next Tuesday.)

On a less spectacular note, I am no longer scheduled to appear at Marmot Mountain Works in Berkeley on November 13. Instead I'll be using my time in California to hopefully do several press interviews.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Two Days, Two Hikes, Two Seasons

This past weekend was Labour Day Weekend in New Zealand, which is kind of the unofficial start of the summer tramping season. We had been planning to go tramping, but a few things made us change our minds.

First, the weather forecast was a bit foreboding. Second, South Africa was playing in the Rugby World Cup Final so G was kind of keen to watch. And third, I've been so busy organising my trip to North America I didn't want to organise a tramp too!

So instead we went on two day hikes. Saturday, the foreboding forecast was pretty accurate. The weather was windy and cold, and for the last hour of our hike the rain slowly got heavier. We did a loop track in Kaitoke Regional Park, which gave our lazy, winter legs a good workout for almost six hours. Here are a few pics. The dead trees in the first one are probably due to possum damage.
Then on Sunday, we planned a shorter hike after the rugby ended. (South Africa won.) About half an hour north of Wellington, near the city of Porirua, is a scenic reserve called Colonial Knob. (I know, bad name!) That day the sun was shining, the winds were calm, and we could see clear across to the South Island! Here are some pics from that hike. In the first picture you can just see the snow-capped Kaikoura Range in the distance, and in the second there's a view of the Marlborough Sounds across Cook Strait.Monday we sat around nursing our stiff legs. And now that I'm off for the next few weeks, I'll be in no better shape a month from now! Gottta get my fitness level up before we head down to the South Island in February. Otherwise, those tramps are going to hurt!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Toronto Book Launch

For those of you in the Toronto area, I'll be heading your way soon for my hometown launch of Sex in a Tent. Here are the details:

Tuesday, November 6
6pm - 8pm
C'est What (67 Front Street East at Church Street)

I'll be there with copies of the book for sale, and happy to chat with everyone about camping, sex, visiting Toronto and all kinds of other stuff. And I'll sign your copy of the book if you're into that sort of thing!

I hope to see lots of you there!

And for everyone else, my apologies if the posts slow down a bit for the next few weeks while I'm on the road.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Milford Madness!

Come February, G and I are planning a wonderful 6-week trip around New Zealand's South Island, doing short (2-5 day) tramps in as many places as possible.

The most famous track in the country, without a doubt, is the Milford Track. It's known around the world, and as you can see from the picture, the superlatives are right up there. I know it will mean going on an expensive and crowded "Great Walk", but I just have to see "the finest walk in the world" for myself - just this once!

Since we finally decided on the dates for our trip, I went to book us onto the Milford Track straight away. After all, the finest walk in the world fills up fast during the all-too-short summer tramping season in Fiordland. But I figured four months ahead was pretty good planning on our part. Since you must do the track in one direction, and you must stay in the huts (no tent camping), they control the numbers of people allowed on the track at any one time. Basically, 40 independent walkers can start on any given day, because that's the capacity of the huts.

But when I looked at the booking page on our choice of dates, it was already fully booked out! In fact, the first three weeks of February were completely full. I'm sure that December and January are long gone too. In the end, I booked us in for about a week later than we were planning.

To add insult to injury, the huts (mandatory, remember!) on the track are obscenely expensive. It costs $40 per person per night, for a total of $120 to walk the track. But that's not all... You also have to take a boat to the trail head at $59 per person, and a boat from the end of the hike to Milford Sound for another $29 per person. In all, for two of us to complete the Milford Track, we have to spend at least $416.

All I can say is, this had better be the finest damn walk in the world!

We are only doing one other "Great Walk" during our trip - which will be the Routeburn Track. Thankfully there are no boats required to access that one, and only two nights on the track. Also, if you don't mind carrying your tent, you can choose to camp for $10 per person instead of paying $40 for the huts.

For anyone now second-guessing their plans to come to New Zealand - let me just stress that these expensive huts are only on the "Great Walks", and in fact these ones in Fiordland are more expensive than the rest. For a standard hut, you can buy a $5 hut ticket, and for a fancier hut it's $10. Only the "Great Walks" require bookings, and only during peak season.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Blog Blitz

I've been guest-blogging like crazy for the last few days! (Does that make me a blog slut?) So I wanted to make sure I've got everything linked back here.

Go ahead and follow your links to go on your own little blog tour. Maybe you'll find a new second-favourite blog. (Because this one will still be your favourite, of course...)

Best Hike was nice enough to highlight some of my recent activities, including my story in October's New Zealand Wilderness Magazine and my podcast on The Outdoors Station.

Camping Coop introduced their readers to me and my book.

And Weird Darren ran an exclusive excerpt from the book on his White Spider blog. If you and your partner tend to have arguments in the wilderness, have a look at my words of wisdom on the subject. (The subject is covered much more thoroughly in Chapter 2 of Sex in a Tent, but you'll get a wee taste anyway.)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Tour - HappieGrrrl Climbing gets sexy!

Thanks to HappieGrrrl Climbing, a blog by a rock climber who lives in New York, for hosting the latest stop on my blog tour. Just for the climbers, I wrote a post about why climbers are sexy. You can see it here.

Here's to you climbers - you look far better in spandex than I could ever dream of!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

New Location for San Fransico Area Event

Sex in a Tent - Doing it Marmot-style

The fine folks at Wilderness Press have found a new spot for me to do a live appearance now that the REI dates have been cancelled.

If you're in the Bay Area, come and join us at Marmot Mountain Works in Berkeley on Tuesday, November 13 from 5-7 pm.

If more live appearances are lined up, I'll be sure to post them here.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Too Hot for REI? Yes and No

What a difference a week can make. Just seven days ago I was here announcing my live appearances at two Bay Area REI stores. Sadly, someone in management has pulled the plug on those events. Seems the subject matter was just a little too risque for some.

However, I'm pleased to say that the book will still be avaible at REI stores across the country, so drop in on your local shop, pick up the book and tell them what a shame it is that I'm not there to sign it for you!

Hopefully, there will be another event organised for my visit to San Francisco next month. If you've got any suggestions, do let me know!

The book launches on Monday, October 15 - so the long wait is just about over! If there's no REI near you, you can always get it from Amazon. (For anyone who has tried the Amazon.UK site and seen their notice that the book is unavailable, I'm hoping that's a temporary glitch and it will be up again soon. There's no reason for it to be unavailable.)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Outdoors Station Book Club explores "Sex in a Tent"

Yesterday I was interviewed about "Sex in a Tent" by UK Podcaster "Podcast Bob" Cartwright for The Outdoors Station. It was a lot of fun, and the results are already up on their website! Or you can listen to it here, by using the play button below.

Thanks for a great interview Bob! Here's a shout out to you UK campers. I wish you many rain-free days.

And if anyone else with a blog or website wants to post the interview, you can do it for free. Go to the above link for The Outdoors Station and follow the instructions from the "Copy MP3 Player" link beside the player.

In A Tent

Download MP3 File

New Zealand From Space

The Gadling blog recently featured this awsome shot of central New Zealand from space. Unfortunately, the view of my place is blocked that rod sticking up from the spacecraft. How rude!

Still, it's a great photo of the Cook Strait, with the South Island to the left and the North Island to the right. Perhaps the most impressive thing about it is the clear skies - after all, New Zealand is also known as Aotearoa "The Land of the Long, White Cloud".

Click here for the hi-res version of the photo.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Do The Wave

The Best Hike blog recently had a post about hiking "The Wave" in Utah. This hike was something I did as part of an adventure tour in Arizona and Utah in 2004, and I was blown away by the unique and fantastic (in the true sense) scenery there. This area, also known as Vermillion Cliffs, (The Wave only refers to the specific formation pictured below) sits on the Utah/Arizona border. While the crowds ooh and aaah over the Grand Canyon, I think this was in many ways even more spectacular.

It's difficult to imagine a landscape of red and white striped rock, so smooth that it looks like liquid. Pictures can't quite do it justice, but I've put a couple here to try to give you some idea. This has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth, and hopefully it will stay untouched and unaltered for many years to come.

Two other members of my group of four, heading down into The Wave.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Live Sex (in a Tent) Coming to Bay Area REIs

Tom Mangan over at Two-Heel Drive beat me to my own announcement, but at least I got to use the catchy title!

To help launch Sex in a Tent, I'll be visiting San Francisco in November and appearing at two local REI stores to sign my book and generally stir things up. So if you live in the area, write these dates on your calendar:

November 12 - Corte Madera REI
November 13 - Berkeley REI

Both appearances will be in the early evening. I hope I'll get to see you there (and sell you a book or two), and do let me know if you've been following my blog! It's lonely out here in cyberspace.

More details as the news unfolds...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sexy and Hitched

Hitched Magazine, aimed at inspiring and educating married couples, have just published a story on "Sex in a Tent" on their website. Here's the link.

Other than assuming I'm married (don't worry Mom, I'd tell you first!) it's a pretty good article. Hopefully the publicity will keep on rolling in! The book will be available later this month, and with all of the REI stores across the US carrying it, I'm keen to get the word out.

Also - if you are registered on Digg, please go onto the site and Digg the story! It's free to register there.

Thanks Hitched, married people rock!