The Snow Didn’t Stop Cheryl Strayed Print

Cheryl Strayed at Mt. Baker TheatreDespite a severe winter storm the day before the Whatcom READS! keynote event, 920 people showed up at the Mount Baker Theatre to hear Cheryl Strayed speak about her trek along the Pacific Crest Trail and the writing of her bestselling book Wild.

The enthusiastic crowd alternately laughed and gasped at Cheryl’s descriptions of her hiking experiences. And when she asked how many had read her book, it was easier to count the number of people who hadn’t.

Quilt ShowThe evening started off with the Wild Quilt Show co-sponsored by Fourth Corner Quilts.  The show was the result of a quilting challenge to read Cheryl’s book, Wild, and using a special challenge fabric, create a quilt inspired by the book. Thirty four quilters took the challenge and the results were stunning! Watch the Whatcom READS! website, www.whatcomreads.org, for individual photos of the quilts and artist statements, coming soon.

By Tuesday morning, the snow was melting and much less of an obstacle.  With Strayed interviewBellingham Bay and the Canadian Rockies as a backdrop, Cheryl was interviewed by WWU Professor Susanne Paola Antonetta in front of a standing room only crowd in the Bellingham Cruise Terminal Dome Room.  Cheryl was very well received and kindly stayed to sign books for the many people who lined up at both events.

Book signingAt the end of the interview, Julia Menkee, owner of Fourth Corner Quilts, presented Cheryl with a Wild quilt by Francie Gass, titled “Evolution of a PCT Hiker.”  Cheryl was thrilled with the gift and posted a photo on her Facebook page!

If you missed hearing Cheryl in person, you’ll get a second chance. The interview was filmed and will be broadcast on BTV10. Watch their schedule for the dates at
http://www.cob.org/services/education/btv10/index.aspx.