The video in the car with Avi (mammoth dude)

plus a hiking guide + Happy End of Year Holidays to you all

12

Dearest Friends,

Did you catch the latest episode of Wild? It’s a very glorious, life-affirming episode that sums up why I choose to live (and it is mostly a daily choice for me; you?). I live for these kinds of encounters.

Some of you might have read my book This One Wild and Precious Life and remember the bit where I find myself in Mammoth in the Sierra Nevada (after a 5-day vision fast in the desert goes awry) and I rant at a young guy sitting in a vegan smoothie café about his single-use plastic cups (plural; he was drinking several vegan beverages at once). He takes it well and asks to read a few pages of the book (I was working on the draft of the climate chapter as we chatted). "Wow! Can you put that mind-blasting stuff in dot points?" he says. I told him I would if he quit his stinking single-use habit. I kept my end of the deal (I shoehorned the whole climate catastrophe into bullets!!). And, it turns out, so did he!! 

This is the green smoothie I got put into a big yellow mug which Avi refers to in our chat.

It was an adventure to find “Mammoth Dude” - Avi Pell is his name - because - wait for it - he’s now quit consumption altogether(!), lives off-grid in a trailer in the forest with his dog and... had read my book! In the podcast, it takes me a while to realise he actually made the massive switch because of our conversation! I apologise for this. Sometimes I’m just too excited in the conversational moment to grasp everything.

Me. Hiking. Sierra Nevada.

This chat brought me so much joy. We cover capitalism, loneliness, leaning into people, the magic of meeting strangers and those margins I put in my books for writing notes in.

But the story gets even better…

Following our chat, Avi went on to live out one of the life dreams he flags in our conversation. Spoiler! He now runs a dog hiking business in Sierra Nevada. Here’s the link to it should you be in the area.

I promised two things in the podcast:

  1. To include a hiking guide to the Mammoth mountains and lakes region. Here it is.

  2. To include a bit of our email chain!

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    Happy End of Year Holiday to you all. I’m going to take a few weeks off writing these posts, to rest and get ready for 2023. If you’re a paid subscriber, you’ll have got a letter earlier explaining that I will pause payments. Hope that’s all OK!

    Sarah xx