Thursday, December 6, 2012

Reading Rainbow on the power of books

Our kids grew up watching a lot of PBS shows. One of our favorites as parents was Reading Rainbow. If you ever watched the show, check out this autotune version of Levar Burton "singing" the praises of books.

While Levar wasn't talking (or, um, singing) specifically about trail guides, this video captures so much of what There and Back Books is all about. As much fun as our blogs and my Twitter feed are, the core of our business is still books, actual physical books, like Skiing the North Shore. As Levar sings in this video, "A book lets you zoom through time and space. Whether you head north, south, east, or west, a book can be your passport." 

Levar also has a big nod to maps, saying, "I love maps. Each one tells me something different about the world." I've really enjoyed working on the maps of our books, reliving my adventures in the wild with a few curvy lines on the page. Our maps really set our books apart from most other trail guides. 

Don't take my word for it
At some point in almost every show, Levar would start a new section by saying, "You don't have to take my word for it." Check out our books for yourselves. They're in a lot of libraries, but I'm hoping you'd like a copy to keep in your backpack or car.

We'd love to help out your Christmas giving with one or more of our books. Here are some of the independent retailers that sell a lot of our books:

Midwest Mountaineering, Minneapolis

The Bookstore at Fitgers, Duluth
TrailFitters, Duluth
Duluth Pack Store, Canal Park, Duluth
Lake Superior Trading Post, Grand Marais

"One of the best inventions ever," Levar says, "is the book." One of the best Christmas presents too.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Short Shore winter? Or are we just getting started?

Duluth and the North Shore are thickened with fog, the sort of cold damp fog that feels like the snowpack just exhaled all its moisture. Just two days ago skiers were pumped about the decent early-season conditions. Me, I actually skied 6 kilometers on my son's November birthday, and that felt pretty good.

Now the snow is simply disappearing into the air and we are left hanging. Will it be another awful snowless winter after all?

Time to cling to the weather forecast, to watch the skies and to feel the wind shifts. Forty percent chance of snow for Sunday? Wax up your skis, it's gonna be a blizzard.