ELWHA, Wash. — When the mountains called Bainbridge Island writer Nancy Blakey, she answered with a book.
She wrote "The Mountains are Calling: year-round adventures in the Olympics and West Cascades" to encourage people of all ages and stages to get outside. Part of the title is something you see on a lot of bumper stickers and t-shirts lately. It's also a quote by John Muir, which Blakey thinks has inspired many to get outside.
"I think this book works, this book is a big invitation."
She took us to the Elwha Valley, in Olympic National Park for a short hike she included in her book that has a big reward: Madison Creek Falls, a 1/3 of a mile hike to a waterfall that has a paved, accessible path.
Blakey’s entire book is an easy-access guidebook to the trails, plants, and wildlife that give the Pacific Northwest's mountains their majesty. It’s filled with illustrations, packing tips, hiking trails, and mountain cabin getaways. You’ll also find plenty of sumptuous photographs. In short, it’s a vision board for anyone who wants to spend more time in local mountains.
And Blakey did one thing while writing it she wants everyone to try.
“A lot of solo hiking — and I really want to encourage people for solo hiking. If you wait for the right time and the right weather and someone to go with you, a lot of times you won't do it. But you never regret it,” she said.
"The Mountains are Calling" is a fun guide book. It’s also a reminder that we're lucky to live in a place where it's this simple to answer the mountain's call just like this author did.
“Basically, getting outside is just one of those uppers in life, whether it's your backyard or in the mountains.”