At the age of forty I left behind the roles of psychotherapist, wife and mother, and moved
alone into the wilderness. I imagined that I would live there one year, through the four
seasons. I stayed, instead, for over five years. One never knows what soul has in store.
This solitary retreat is the subject of Living on the Spine: A Woman's Life in the
Sangre de Cristo Mountains ("It is gentle, gracious and profound ..." Library Journal.)
My second book, New Mexico's Sanctuaries, Retreats and Sacred Places, was a
natural extension of my solitary experience.
My essays have appeared in numerous magazines and publications including the Santa
Fean, and Santa Fe Trends, Inside/Outside Magazine, Writers on the Range syndicated
column of "High Country News", Mex-Connect, Taos Horsefly and numerous book
collections that include Living in the Runaway West (Fulcrum publishers, 2000) and
Writers on the Range (University Press of Colorado, 1998.) My Mexico Travel essays were
featured on Mex-Connect online. Travels have taken me into the Mayan lands of Mexico,
Guatemala, and Nicaragua, down the Baja Peninsula, throughout Canada and the United
States and across the sea to France, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Denmark.
I am photographer for three published books: my New Mexico's Sanctuaries, Retreats
and Sacred Places; In Fire's Way by Thomas Wolf, University of New Mexico Press,
2003; and Arthur Carhart: Wilderness Prophet, also by Thomas Wolf, University of
Colorado Press, 2008. My photos have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers.
In February 2008 I traveled to Tanzania as photojournalist to document the efforts of a
sister hospice program, The Kilimanjaro Hospice Initiative.
I have full-time RVed for the past decade. Two years ago I hooked the travel trailer to my
pickup truck, loaded up the dog and departed solo for Alaska. Winter closing in, I headed
for a Mexican beach where I finished my latest book, Drive Me Wild: A Western
Odyssey. Coming soon, the sequel: The Wild Road Home.
photos by Christina Nealson
Courage to Quest