Yesterday I was at Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island SC talking about the national parks of the South.
I felt that this was the culmination of so much that I had been working for for several years.
I’ve spoken at bookstores, outdoor stores, hiking clubs and even a private evening.
But here I was at a national park, speaking to an audience which included national park rangers, Eastern National staff and VIPs (Volunteers in the Park). I was pumped, even though it was 100 degrees outside around the fort.
Yesterday was Carolina Day at Fort Moultrie (FOMO) where they commemorated the 240th anniversary of the Battle of Sullivans Island. Besides my talk, there were a bunch of reenactors, men and women who dressed like the militia men in the Revolutionary War.
“Is is more fun to be a Patriot or a Loyalist?” I asked anyone in costume.
Most had never been a Loyalist or a British soldier, though there had been both who attacked Fort Moultrie.
One fellow, who was supposed to be a surgeon, explained that he was more like a butcher, sawing off limbs and pulling teeth.
Another big bonus of going to FOMO was that I finally met Andra Watkins, author and promoter extraordinaire. She’s written several books both fiction and nonfiction, but her most successful one is Not Without My Father about her thru-hike on the Natchez Trace Parkway.
Though I have several more book events through the summer and fall, I feel that I’ve reached a milestone with Forests, Alligators, Battlefields: My Journey through the National Parks of the South (FAB).
* I’ve done a lot of traveling and speaking about the national parks. I hope I never let my book overshadow the parks.
* I’ve answered many, many questions, talked to a lot of people who only knew of the Smokies and the YY (Yosemite and Yellowstone) parks. Every time a new person learned that this year, 2016, was the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, I said a silent “Yippee”.
* I sent a copy of my book to every superintendent in the Southern region. Though I only got an acknowledgement from the superintendents who knew me personally, I tried not to let it bother me and “got over it”.
The actual anniversary day is August 25, so there’s lots of celebrating left to do. But at this point, Fort Moultrie is a highlight.
If you’re interested in where I’ll be appearing next with FAB, see my events page.