River Alice Stillwood
Tenacious Trail Guide, Lifelong Backpacker, Poet, Writer, and all around Llama Enthusiast
How to begin?
Statistics: I’m 57-soon-to-be-58-years old, of average height and weight for a very healthy middle aged woman. I’m not vegetarian, but I eat very little meat. (I stopped being vegetarian in the 90’s while teaching English in Japan. Vegetables were so expensive there and the language barriers made finding vegetarian proteins so difficult that I dropped 25 pounds in almost no time. Then one happy day, I stumbled upon a Wendy’s restaurant in the basement of a department store tower. I ate like a genuine thru hiker — two burgers, two fries, two Frosties. I came back to the states as a carnivore of average weight).
Though I’m very healthy now, about 8 years ago I had cancer. Ugly business, that! Fortunately, I was lucky. Though it was advanced when discovered, through the excellent care of my docs, a good deal of surgery, enough chemo to poison a small army, and so many doses of radiation I was about to glow in the dark, I’m now as healthy as can be.
I’ve traveled around the world. Mostly the Middle East, Europe, and Japan (my father was an Army officer who specialized in Arab affairs). I’ve lived in California, Kansas, Florida, Wyoming, Oregon, and Missouri, and have visited most states except those of New England. I’ve backpacked in many places and worked three summer season and most of a year at Yosemite National Park.
I’ve also done “the wild thing,” moved off grid, built a dandy cabin in the woods and a vibrant, sustaining life for myself there. When the cancer was discovered, though, I returned to more conventional life, with all the delightful luxuries of modern day living.
Professionally… I’ve done a lot of things, mostly involving writing and teaching, with enough retail, and food service to empathize with anyone issued a polyester uniform and hat. I’ve got a BA (with honors — woot!). I was a CBS radio journalist and newswriter, was a weekly columnist for seven years, and have owned and operated my own country store and restaurant.
What I love most to do, in the professional realm, is to write. I love-love-love writing. If you’d like to read some of the things I’ve written, you might check out News From The Homestead: A Compilation of Columns From My Homesteading Adventures
available on Amazon
What I love to do most in the entertainment realm is to be out in nature, when possible, with animals. This PCT thru hike is an absolute dream come true.