Audrey Berger, the event coordinator at Easy Going, introduced Tim with talk of his life threatening exploits and death defying adventures.

He just rolled his eyes.

On a three-event west coast tour for the paperback release of Hold the Enlightenment, Tim spoke to a packed house here in the Bay Area. It was hot and stuffy and I hardly cared because this is the man who got me into the business. I would never even have thought of joining up with Travelers’ Tales way back when if it hadn’t been for Tim’s story, “The Howling,” in Outside more than a decade ago. I found it in a basket of old magazines at a mountain shop in Lake Tahoe the year I graduated from college.

Tim started off the night by telling us he had something non-travel on his mind. He told a story about a columnist in Colorado who published an interview that called him, “unattractive to the opposite sex.” I was laughing because I knew this was from his Introduction to the book, but the rest of the crowd wasn’t getting the silliness of it. Tim turned it on us for our opinion and the audience still couldn’t tell that he was joking around.

I, on the other hand, started to mentally dress him in lumberjack clothes. A little Pendleton here, a wool cap there—sure Tim, I’d rub up against you. He’s nearly twice my age, but all women have the Sean Connery factor, and Tim weighs in well below on that age scale.