It’s one thing to inspire a friend that you’ve known for a long time and know their likes/dislikes. It’s another thing to be inspiring to total strangers!

Inspiring Walkers

Last year I was tagged on instagram by this lovely young lady.

inspiring others to walk

#timetowalk#elcaminodesantiago#pilgrim#500miles#soblessed#inspiredby @andrawatkins and @cherylstrayed

4 weeks later she posted this picture:

she walked the whole way. inspiring


According to the the pictures she posted in between things were not always easy, but she finished her 800 km walk. Her journey – that I helped inspire –  inspires me.

Inspiring Bikers

biked the Natchez Trace. inspiring others

Reader Highlight: Ben Rivers biked past me on the Natchez Trace in 2014 then came to meet me at this event.

In February I received this message:

We are a group of 10 cyclists who are planning to travel the Natchez trace from Natchez Mississippi to Nashville Tennessee. I have loved your book. It is insightful, humorous to the point of hilarity, and yet very down to earth.
Thank you for the inspiration.
Paul Detrisac

And then in April:

What a hidden Gem the Natchez Trace is. We completed our bike ride without a flat among `10 bikers, quite a testament to the quality of pavement. I thought of your journey frequently during our trek and was inspired to move on. Before I left I read your book about Merry and Emmaline ” To live forever” What a masterpiece of weaving, past, present and future, into an exciting novel. I would like to complement you on your writing. Have a great year.
Paul Detrisac

Inspiration is around every corner. So go for a walk!

Who inspires you? Or who have you inspired? I’d love to hear from you in the comments here or we can connect on social media. The links to my accounts are at the top right of this page.

MTM and I saw a Hooker together. He was waaaaay taller than six foot four, but he was full of muscle.

And wind. Over three swinging bridges, I leaned into the gale. A struggle to stay upright. The Hooker Valley hike in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is a scramble through glacial moraine and capricious weather. We made it to Hooker Lake before it started to rain. Sideways. At the base of a glacier that carved out the side of Aoraki.

Aoraki must’ve been moody.

According to Maori legend, Aoraki explored the South Seas in a canoe, his two brothers in tow. Somehow, they were stranded, frozen in rock and ice to form New Zealand’s Southern Alps.

Aoraki survived as New Zealand’s tallest peak. He hid his manhood from us, behind a scrim of clouds.

We settled for a peek.


To see pictures of our Hooker Valley Aoraki Mount Cook National Park hike, click here: Andra Watkins Tumblr

Over 200 people have died trying to climb Aoraki. Would you risk your life to climb a mountain?

By the time you read this, I’ll be on the road again. On the way to Florence, South Carolina for a night with my parents, en route to a presentation in Myrtle Beach on Friday. All that means is I’m already missing Montreat.

I miss my culinary failures and the excuse to eat popcorn and cereal every meal.

failed food


I miss sitting here.


And looking at this to relieve my eyeballs from the strain of a computer screen.

trees and sky

I miss wondering whether I’m going to ram my car into the side of this gate every time I take a trip to town and back.


I miss getting night crawlers with my milk, because really? Who DOESN’T want night crawlers with their milk???


I miss simple dinners on the porch while I listen to the whistle of a train.


But mostly, I miss sheer creation. A draft is complete, and by the time you read this, I’ll be revising. I promise I’ll bathe and wash my hair, too.

draft done

For Father’s Day, we’ve put together a To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis giveaway over on Goodreads. If you want a signed copy, head on over there and enter. Five people will win. And, if you’ve been bugging your friends to read it, SHARE THIS GIVEAWAY WITH THEM.

giveaway pic