Guest post by: John Addiego
John Addiego reads from Tears of the Mountain on Saturday, October 9 at noon on the Wieden+Kennedy Stage.
For years I wanted to write something that evoked a sense of the life of my California pioneer ancestors, and in the early stages of gathering thoughts for this novel I took a midsummer road trip with my daughter, Emily, through the country of our ancestors. We sped down I-5 from Oregon to Redding and approached the Napa Valley the next morning by back roads from the north. Through twisted hills to Clear Lake and the switchback highway along the flank of Mount St. Helena, we came to Calistoga. This is where my great-great-great grandfather, John York, built a cabin in 1845 after trekking across the continent. The dwelling has since burned to the ground, but the state historical society placed a plaque on a large rock there: California Landmark 682.