Altitude Adjustment is Available!

At long last, my book is available! Second Story Bookstore in Laramie has it in stock. Call your local independent bookstore to see if they carry it. If not, they can order it for you. Or you can find it on Barnes & Noble or Amazon online. Happy Reading!

Altitude Adjustment

Another excerpt from Altitude Adjustment

“During the winter of the year I would turn six, …my father’s job took him to Arco, Idaho, and then to Jackson Hole. He returned home with dozens of slides of mountain snowscapes and elk. Holding up each slide to a lamp, I peered at the regal, full-necked animals and spears of mountains—the Rocky Mountains, Dad called them. I trembled with what I can now only describe as longing.”           

Refuge elk

5-Star Review of Altitude Adjustment on Amazon

Thank you, MP Curran, for the following review posted on Amazon:

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. A memoir – the author left New England for her calling as a wildlife biologist in Wyoming. Her tale of growth is poignant, entertaining and wryly humorous. I ached at her doubts and challenges, laughed with her joys and cheered her on as she evolved in her professional and personal journeys. The Portuguese flavor woven throughout the book was charming. The info on wild animal and plant management was educational, and her great love for the Tetons made me want to travel there myself immediately. What a treat to have a center insert of 8 pages of glossy color photos – it made the book come alive. The author has a gift for making the reader feel every falling snowflake, every aching muscle on a mountain trek, every thrill at the sight of a baby swan and every begrudging grunt from her gnarly bearded co-workers. Excellent writing.

April 18, 2014 ~ More Praise for Altitude Adjustment

Here we are, 2 1/2 weeks out from the official book publication date of May 6! Here’s another great review of Altitude Adjustment from Gail Storey. Thank you, Gail!

“These dreams of yours are too far-fetched,” Mary Beth Baptiste’s mother told her. That pulled me right into Altitude Adjustment: A Quest for Love, Home, and Meaning in the Tetons, and I gladly followed Mary Beth as she yanked herself out of her Portuguese family culture and an unhappy marriage in Massachusetts. Off she went to work for the Park Service, “feeling very single,” as she says. It was both a relief and a fear. Battling loneliness, she navigates the ups and downs of relationships with her eccentric male colleagues, earning their respect and cultivating friendships. As a seasonal employee at the Grand Teton’s Division of Science and Resource Management, she adapts to living in a decrepit trailer to work as a wildlife biologist. With considerable emotional insight and a sense of humor about herself and her situation, Baptiste passionately shares her love for the forested world of birds, plants, sheep, ducks, elk and bears. Altitude Adjustment is a treasure, imbued with Baptiste’s resilient courage to venture into the wilderness of both heart and landscape.    

–Gail D. Storey, author of I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail, winner of the National Outdoor Book Award

From Altitude Adjustment

17-Phelps LOn a hike into Death Canyon, Rachel and I climb over the Phelps Lake moraine and down to the shore choked with prehistoric-looking false-hellebore—head-high poisonous plants with pleated leaves as long as my forearm. . . Boots tramping in rhythm in the dirt, we share stories about families, long-ago hurts and joys, lost loves. We wince in pain, shriek in laughter. Dual energies of common passions and sisterly empathy arc between us.

Praise for Altitude Adjustment

Thank you, Marjane Ambler, for the following blurb:

“What is love? Mary Beth Baptiste’s exquisite book probes that question. Yes, as the title suggests, she is looking for romantic love, but that is only part of her story. Yes, she loves the Tetons, which attracted her away from her tight-knit Portuguese family in Massachusetts. But at her core, Baptiste is a wildlife biologist. She becomes weak kneed and giddy watching the gyrations of the boreal toads. Her deep feelings for the cygnet swans and their plight drive her to despair. Her heart melts when she runs her hands through the hair of a tranquilized bear and checks its ears for mites – the same bear that minutes earlier stood six feet away, threatening to charge. She stood her ground, leaving the reader trembling and breathless. This is not a book you will soon forget.”

~Marjane Ambler, Author of Yellowstone Has Teeth:  A Memoir of Living Year-Round in the World’s First National Park

Trumpeter swan

From Altitude Adjustment:

May, 1992. Wide-eyed and deflated, I clutch the steering wheel of my Toyota Corolla wagon, rain drumming on the roof, and peer out at my new home, #447 in the Beaver Creek Employee Housing Compound at Grand Teton National Park. Splintered steps tilt into the dented white and green trailer. Around its base, rusted sections of corrugated metal form a patchy apron. The roof undulates. I can’t erase from my mind an image of the home I’ve left, my Massachusetts Cape, with its cedar shingles and wraparound porch. . . . I expected better from Grand Teton. I dared to hope for something attractive, built of logs of course, where I’d put up curtains and raise a kitten.

447 Beaver Ck

Tina Welling’s Praise for Altitude Adjustment

Many thanks to Jackson novelist Tina Welling for the following blurb:

“I was completely submerged in the struggle of this woman who answered the call of adventure that so many hear and ignore. Mary Beth Baptiste uprooted herself from her marriage and career, familiar places and people, to move to the Grand Teton Mountains. Using gorgeous language, Baptiste tells us intimate truths about her inner landscape while enchanting us with an outer setting of astounding beauty. I wanted this book to go on and on. Reading Altitude Adjustment gave me the same joyous fulfillment that Mary Beth Baptiste eventually found.”

~Tina Welling, Author of Writing Wild: Forming a Creative Partnership with Nature

Morning Ski March 16, 2014

Still a bit of snow in the hills! Yes, this is a fence post and barbed wire. The skiing was fine, with a soft layer of snow on a firm base.

Fence Post

Welcome! March 14, 2014

Welcome to my website, finally live after a long and tortuous journey through Cyberdom! Here’s a quote from “Woodswoman,”  the Prologue of Altitude Adjustment:

“A twist of the binoculars’ focus wheel and I gasp: two toddler-sized black bear cubs, one brown and one black, twined together high up in a spruce tree fifty yards away. I scan the ground for the mother. In a nearby huckleberry patch, her cinnamon-colored rump bobs like a swatch of scruffy hide on a clothesline.”