May 2nd, 4:38pm

The journey begins!

Today we depart for the Great Smoky Mountains, as Ilyssa and I begin our travel across the country, looking for great campfire stories from five National Parks. How did we get here? 

The idea for this book grew out of our own curiosity for stories that could connect us to the outdoor escapes that we had been seeking in the margins of our life. As our curiosity and wanderlust grew, we realized the only way to scratch that itch would be to make a change to our 9-to-5 lives. So step by step, over the course of the last year and a half, we’ve been working towards realizing this project, and there are so many to thank along the way. 

We’ve spoken to anthropologists, storytellers, folklorists, park rangers and independent publishers. The Head and the Hand Press asked us to be a part of their collection. The people of Acadia National Park welcomed us as we figured out our process. And last but not least, you, our Kickstarter backers, helped us prove that there are those like us, who are eager to hear contemporary stories about our century-old National Parks. With backers from all over the country, and even from Australia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, we discovered that the lore of America’s National Parks extends across the world. 

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And that brings us to this moment. Here’s a little of what we’ve been up to: 

  • We’re fresh off a trip to Washington D.C., attending the “2016 National Learning Summit” as guests of the “Every Kid in a Park” initiative. We’re still giddy from having met Jon Jarvis, Director of the National Parks! 
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  • We’ve printed the chapbook, a sampling of stories from Acadia National Park. All Kickstarter backers who selected this reward should have received their copy! 
  • Dave read from the Acadia chapbook at a Head and the Hand Press event, at W/N W/N coffee shop in Philadelphia. We are working on a redesign of our www.campfirestoriesbook.com website to make it easier to follow our travels.  
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For the next four months, we’ll be searching for stories in the Smoky Mountains, the Rocky Mountains, in Zion, Yosemite, and Yellowstone - from Philadelphia to California and back. 

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We are so grateful to everyone who has supported us in this endeavor, and we’re only getting started. The work begins today. If you know anyone in/around these parks we should speak to - or if you heard about something that we should check out - let us know at hello@campfirestoriesbook.com. And we invite you to follow along our journey at www.campfirestoriesbook.com

Yours,
Dave & Ilyssa