As a child, I was led by my mother’s hand to discover the many delights of nature. In the various places we lived in the west while I was growing up, my mother always found trails to hike and trailing blackberries to pick to make the very best pies. These skills have been passed down through the generations.

Many years ago, a friend invited me to hike to the summit of Saddle Mountain. The hike was challenging, but the sky was clear, the wildflowers were in all their glory, and I was hooked. I have repeated this hike many times, including sharing it with grandchildren when they were old enough.

When my husband and I met 50+ years ago, we shared the love of nature and vowed someday to live on acreage of our own. We achieved that goal, and now live on and steward 160 acres of mostly forestland in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Range.

As a retired elementary school teacher, I have always loved sharing books with children. I hope this book will bring joy to adults and children alike, and that it will spur them on to explore Saddle Mountain or any other trail that beckons.


About the Illustrator

Elecia Beebe grew up drawing and painting watercolors with parents who were artists themselves. Her artwork has illustrated View-Master reels and zoo literature, but this is her first time as illustrator for a children’s book. Elecia was honored to be asked to do so by Bonnie Shumaker, who gave her daughter and so many other children in their small rural community a wonderful start in kindergarten and first grade. Elecia and her husband live down the road from Bonnie’s farm and close to the magical Saddle Mountain trail.