Friday, March 13, 2015

Lonesome Whistle Dove

Hello friends! Worry not, a regular 200 Things post will go up later on tonight. But right now I just wanted to give you a short Preview of Coming Attractions!! (I want you to imagine lots of sparkles and rainbows rocketing out of your computer around those words, i.e., Geocities webpage heading circa 1996)

Whistle, our good friend and protagonist of my blog while I was hiking the Appalachian Trail, just started her long-distance hike of the Continental Divide Trail on Tuesday, 3/10. The CDT is a 3,100 mile long trail that runs though from Mexico up through New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, and ends at the border of Canada. The CDT is only marked occasionally, and Whistle has a GPS and maps to keep her on track. She is hiking alone.

Before she left, we made a blood oath plan! Pretty soon my 200 Things list will be over. Whistle wants to be able to tell her story of hiking, but doesn't really want to have to write. So we have teamed up. Whistle and I both have an app on our phones called Voxer, which is kind of like a recording walkie talkie. It's more or less a conversation box. Through this magical technology, her words and my storytelling, our powers will combine to create LONESOME WHISTLE DOVE! A series of vignettes, novellas and stories about the brave Whistle cowboy out in the west, blazing a trail through the desert and mountains.

Here's how it will work:

1. Whistle will vox me whatever she wants to tell me about her adventures, with stories and pictures. She will just be talking, unedited.

2. I will take her words, and like a ghost writer, write her biography of hiking the CDT in real time.

3. You get to read and ENJOY!

Here's a photo of all of Whistle's pack items for the CDT!
I am not going to be transcribing Whistle's voice directly, or at all, though every once in a while you will surely get a direct quote. I will be listening to the info and then putting it all together into cohesive stories. This means that, just like when I was hiking the AT, it won't be a verbatim account of things that happened during Whistle's day. It will be vignettes, with updates on where these things occurred (approximately). The updates will be random, just like when we were hiking the AT, because sometimes Whistle might not feel like voxing and sometimes I might not feel like writing.

Lastly, the schedule is going to be kind of odd. I still have two more weeks of 200 Terrific Things, which I need to finish before I can move onto this project, because my life is insanely busy enough as it is, and I know if I try to do these things in parallel, it just won't be pretty. Like, lots of crying and blood and stuff.

So, in 2 weeks you will get a BUNCH of stories all at once because Whistle will have been hiking for 2 weeks at that point. It will be like one giant info dump of delightful hilarious stories of hiking the CDT, right into your brain. Then after that the schedule will be random throughout Whistle's journey, and will end when she finishes hiking!

I hope you follow us on this new adventure. Based on the voxes I've gotten so far, I can promise that it's going to be hilarious, heartwrenching, and beautiful.

Clever Girl

Whistle has a mini-blog that she put up before she left with info on how you can send her mail drops, and a bit more about the CDT! That info is here:


  1. I can't tell you how happy I am that the Blog posts will continue once "200 Terrific Things" has wrapped up. That the continuation will be chronicling Whistle's CDT hike is all the more wonderful! Someday, I'd like to hike the CDT and I'm looking forward to hearing a first hand (would that be "ghost hand") account.
    I'd also like to say how much I've enjoyed your blog, Clever Girl, it has kept some small feeling of long distance hiking in my day to day life and brought back many fond memories, not to mention, provided a lot of laughs.
    -The Starman

  2. Wasn't there a character in Lonesome Dove that went by the name of Famous Shoes? Yes there was, don't argue the point with me, I'm simply not up for that kind of debate.
    This is going to be so cool! Plus all the things that Richard Crowley mentioned (Bern)

  3. This reminds me of baseball broadcasts from the 1920's, where a very curt play by play would come over the teletype from a distant city where the game was being played. The announcer read the teletype to himself and then filled in all the "background" from his own experience and imagination, creating exciting games from the sketchiest of information. Some of the best parts were when the teletype would stop unexpectedly, and the announcer would make up elaborate battles at the plate where ball after ball was fouled off; dogs running on the field stopping play, the sprinklers came on unexpectedly, etc. The a rapid 2 innings in 10 minutes as the teletype caught up! have to keep the message flowing so Clever Girl doesn't have to say things like "well, another boring zero day" while you're zooming ahead 100 miles! It'll be so great to follow your journey thru the eyes of Clever Girl. The perfect combination! We miss and love you and wish you the best on the trail. We can't wait to hear your adventures as interpreted by our very own Miss Marvel! Love, John and Liz

  4. Wow! What a gal. Looking forward to reading her adventures!