Day One, and already she was lying in her journal. It was 1993, Suzanne Roberts had just finished college, and when her friend suggested they hike California’s John Muir Trail, the adventure sounded like the perfect distraction from a difficult home life and thoughts about the future. But she never imagined that the twenty-eight-day hike would change her life. Part memoir, part nature writing, part travelogue, Almost Somewhere is Roberts’s account of that hike.
John Muir had written of the Sierra Nevada as a “vast range of light,” and this was exactly what Roberts was looking for. But traveling with two girlfriends, one experienced and unflappable and the other inexperienced and bulimic, she quickly discovered that she needed a new frame of reference. Her story of a month in the backcountry—confronting bears, snowy passes, broken equipment, injuries, and strange men—is as much about finding a woman’s way into outdoor experience as it is about the natural world she so eloquently describes. Candid and funny and, finally, wise, Almost Somewhere is not just the whimsical coming-of-age story of a young woman ill-prepared for a month in the mountains but also the reflection of a distinctly feminine view of nature.
“Suzanne Roberts sets off on a remarkable Sierra journey that will test the limits of physical endurance, of friendship, and of faith in self. . . . This is not the usual wilderness story of independence, competition, and violence. Here, thankfully, is the more urgent story of intimacy, community, and compassion. A loving, and lovely, ode to life.”—John T. Price, author of Not Just Any Land
“In Almost Somewhere we get to travel both the physical John Muir Trail—its history, its flowers and trees and shadowy peaks—and the gritty emotional landscape of the three women who make the journey. Where are we in the world, anyway? Suzanne Roberts helps us know that the only place we can be is here, giving it all we have, day by day.”—Fleda Brown, author of Driving with Dvořák