By Mary Beth Baptiste
Acutely aware that her formative years is slipping through, Mary Beth Baptiste makes a decision to flee her lackluster, suburban lifestyles in coastal Massachusetts to pursue her lifelong dream of being a Rocky Mountain woodswoman. To the horror of her conventional, ethnic relatives, she divorces her husband of fifteen years, dusts off her flora and fauna biology measure, and flees to Moose, Wyoming for a task at Grand Teton nationwide Park. In those rugged mountains, unforeseen classes from nature and natural world advisor her trip as she creates a brand new lifestyles for herself. Set opposed to the dramatic backdrop and quirky tradition of Jackson gap, this fantastically written memoir is a considerate, usually funny account of a woman’s bumbling quest for objective, redemption, and love via barren region experience, solitude, and offbeat human connections.
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Additional resources for Altitude Adjustment: A Quest for Love, Home, and Meaning in the Tetons
Excerpt on page 132 from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. © 1974. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Lyrics to “Sweet Wyoming Home” on page 160 reprinted by permission of Bill Staines, © 1976 by Mineral River Music, BMI. Project Editor: Lauren Brancato Layout: Chris Mongillo Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Baptiste, Mary Elizabeth, 1953- author. Altitude adjustment : reflections on leaving home and finding my inner / Mary Elizabeth Baptiste. pages cm Summary: “A recent divorce from a marriage of fifteen years, Mary Elizabeth Baptiste makes the decision to fulfill a life goal to work at Grand Teton National Park.
A hare—a snowshoe hare. Part of me fizzes with excitement; part of me feels I’m stepping off a cliff. I can’t imagine what lies ahead. I draw out three brass keys from my pocket and set them on the table before me. One for my house trailer, one for the S&RM office, and a master key for the locks on the park’s gates and backcountry cabins. I slip the keys on my key ring and jingle it. The sound of belonging. Can this really be happening? True, I’ve traded an upscale New England Cape for a ratty trailer and a General Delivery mailing address.
Let’s find some birds,” she says, leading us off the bus. We walk through different habitat types—lodgepole pine, aspen, sagebrush, willow wetland—and Katy identifies every bird we see. Standing behind her, Don raises his hand above her head and points downward. ’” I scribble. Yellow-rumped warbler. Red-tailed hawk. Swainson’s thrush. Ruby-crowned kinglet. Three-toed woodpecker. I’ve got a lot to learn. Years ago when I studied ornithology at Virginia Tech, I discovered I lacked the bird identification gene.