Joan Burton
Author Joan Burton was introduced to hiking as a child, and by the time she was a teenager, she had climbed the six highest mountains of Washington. Later, as a parent with growing children, she introduced not only her own family to the joys of outdoor exploring, but also members of the Girl Scout and Cub Scout groups of which she was leader. Burton is a long-time member of The Mountaineers, and a graduate of both the basic and intermediate climbing courses taught by that club.

After a number of years teaching high school English, Burton became program coordinator to the University of Washington Retirement Center, from which she has since retired. She has published several magazine articles on outdoor subjects; Best Hikes with Children: Western Washington and the Cascades was her first book. Since then she has co-authored Urban Walks: 23 Walks Through Seattle’s Parks and Neighborhoods with Duse McLean, published by Thistle Press, and a new book best hikes with KIDS with Ira Spring published by The Mountaineers Books. She has also become a grandmother.

The two volumes of Best Hikes with Children in Western Washington were the first of 14 similar books written by other authors across the nation. These books have been important to parents of children who want to know where to hike, but don’t know how to get there or what to expect. The books suggest ways to motivate them and how to make the hikes fun. They tell how difficult and how safe the trails are, what seasons they are open, and what to expect to see along the way. The trail descriptions give children chances to test their strength and to feel strong and capable, chances to learn, to observe, and to see what they have never seen before, and appeal to their sense of wonder.


Canoeing on Baker Lake

My friend Gary Rose and I had planned in 2000 to participate in an August 10-day canoe trip on the Nation Lakes in northern British Columbia. To prepare ourselves for this outing just before Memorial Day, we planned to paddle his aluminum canoe up Baker Lake to a campsite on its east bank called Maple …

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9/11 Memories

On 9/11 morning I was packing my pack for a backpack trip in the North Cascades. As I searched for food and gear, I turned on the morning news to find reporter Peter Jennings, my favorite evening news host. “That’s odd,” I thought to myself. “Why is he broadcasting now?” The answer came in a …

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