The Colorado Mountain Companion: A potpourri of useful miscellany from the highest parts of the highest state
(West Winds Press, The Pruett Series: 2012) Stylistically based upon the earliest English-language encyclopedias, which first appeared in the late-1600s, “The Colorado Mountain Companion.” which took four years to write, consists of material that personally interests me, gleaned from a quarter-century of living at altitude. “The Colorado Mountain Companion” is a treasure trove of everything you could possibly want to know about Colorado’s Mountain Country. I’m not just talking about county and town populations, low points, high points and Fourteener stats and information (although these are included). This book contains far more: mountain lexicon (so that you’ll know what a gutter bunny, potato chip and prune really mean), Colorado as a movie set, Colorado songs, skiing, fishing, avalanches, geology, historic districts, hiking, snakes, superfund sites and strange festivals. “The Colorado Mountain Companion” is a handy-dandy reference guide to settling (good-naturedly) any arguments about Colorado’s High Country. Buy here.
Cover photo of Colorado Mountain Companion
Smoke Signals: Wayward Journeys through the Old Heart of the New West (Raven’s Eye Press: 2012) In 2007, I started writing Smoke Signals, a monthly column for the Mountain Gazette. For the most part, my Smoke Signals columns have consisted of truncated versions of long-winded stories I have been telling in bars and around campfires for years. In 2012, I decided to aggregate the original, fulsome versions of 22 of my favorite Smoke Signals stories into book form. From illegally entering a closed area in rural China with a pack full of pot to paddling across a crocodile-infested lake in a leaky Zodiac in the Dominican Republic to crash-landing in a hot-air balloon in the most-redneck part of Appalachia, “Smoke Signals” juxtaposes highly unlikely misadventures with tender tales about losing a beloved dog, about the scars that define people in the High Country and about friendships forged in the most-remote parts of the American West. Buy here. Cover photography of Smoke Signals book
Bottoms Up: M. John Fayhee’s Greatest Hits from the Mountain Gazette (Round Mountain Publishing: 2010) As its title indicates, I culled through my favorite stories that had been published in the Gazette, tweaked/expanded/cut/embellished those stories and glued them together into a single volume that begins with a series of warnings about bad language, drug and alcohol use and a general propensity toward telling lies.Buy it on Amazon
Comeback Wolves: Western Writers Welcome the Wolf Home (Johnson Books: 2005) Editor Gary Wockner asked me to contribute an essay to this astounding volume. That essay, “Unreal State,” was well received in several of the publications that reviewed the book.Buy in on Amazon
When In Doubt Go Higher: A Mountain Gazette Anthology (Mountain Sports Press: 2002) A greatest-hits-type compilation of stories from the old Mountain Gazette of the 1970s and the resurrected Gazette. I wrote the Introduction and one of the essays.Buy it on Amazon
A Colorado Winter (Westcliffe: 1998) Last book I did with John Fielder. Contained four wintry essays about camping, climbing, skiing and just living in a land dominated by snow, ice and cold.Buy it on Amazon
Along the Arizona Trail (Westcliffe, 1998) This book, which contained photos by Arizona photographer Jerry Sieve, was based upon a two-month hike I did along a trail that, at the time, was little more than a theoretically planned route. Extending from the Utah border to the Mexican border, this 800-mike journey was extremely arduous, necessitating lots of bushwhacking, route-finding and extrications from getting lost.Buy it on Amazon
Up At Altitude: A Celebration of Life in the High Country (Johnson Books: 1994) Collection of mountain-based essays published previously, mostly in the Summit Daily News, where I worked without adult supervision for a decade.
Along Colorado’s Continental Divide Trail (Westcliffe: 1997) Another lamely titled collaboration with photographer John Fielder. This one was based upon a 62-day, 850-mile hike from the New Mexico border to the Wyoming border along the crest of the Rockies. Book contained almost as many photos OF Fielder as it did BY Fielder. This was the book where I began to realize that trying to dumb down text to fit with flaccid nature photos might sell books, but is ultimately unrewarding to the point of embarrassment.Buy it on Amazon
Along the Colorado Trail (Westcliffe: 1992) The first of three long-backpacking-trip, trail-related coffee-table/nature-porn books I did with photographer John Fielder. Based upon a six-week, 500-mile through-hike I did from Denver to Durango. I swear to god I had nothing to do with the hyper-unoriginal title.Buy it on Amazon
Mexico’s Copper Canyon Country, first edition (Cordillera Press: 1989) My very first book. Marketed as a hiking and backpacking guide to the world’s largest system of canyons, was actually far more of a bullshit-based series of travel narratives that happened to have a bit of factual information (much of which was inaccurate and/or made up) intertwined in just to keep the publisher happy.
Mexico’s Copper Canyon Country, second edition (Johnson Books: 1994) Based upon the success of the first edition of this book, I ventured once again to Chihuahua to hike some more in the Copper Canyon area, and that experience made me realize how much negative impact guidebooks can have on backcountry locales and the indigenous cultures that dwell in those locales. I quietly let this book to out of print as a result of that realization and vowed to never again have anything to do with guidebooks, even those that, when push comes to shove, really don’t include much practical information. Buy it on Amazon

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