Although he has written or updated all of the BC and Alberta Backroad Mapbooks, the newest edition for Northern BC was a special book for writer and researcher Trent Ernst.
A native of Waldheim, Saskatchewan, Trent moved to Tumbler Ridge, BC two days after graduating high school. For a prairie boy, moving to the mountains was a life-changing experience. ?I remember the first time I went to see Kinuseo Falls, in Monkman Park. At the time, the only way in was along the old Monkman Pass Road, and there were five or six bridges that were washed out, so you could only go in late summer with a 4wd vehicle. I followed the path down to the base of the falls, and when I got there, I just stood and stared, enraptured. This was true wilderness, I thought. When I left, instead of following the path, I climbed up between the path and the falls. As I did, I thought to myself ?I wonder if anybody has ever stood right here, this very spot where I am standing.? For a teenage boy from Saskatchewan, it was a heady experience, and it was the day that I truly fell in love with the wilderness.?
The experience was a watershed moment for the teenage Trent, and he began spending as much time as possible in the outdoors. However, it wasn?t until after moving down to the Lower Mainland in the early 1990s to attend writing program at Douglas College that Trent realized that it was possible to make a living as an outdoor writer.
?My first real job as a writer after moving down to the Lower Mainland was helping a local writer with the research for a book covering all of British Columbia. Because I had lived up north, he asked me to do all the research for the northern half of the province.?
While Trent had lived in the north, the chance to research that book opened his eyes to the amazing recreational opportunities in the far north. ?I remember when I did the research for that book, I fell in love with the idea of canoeing the Grand Canyon of the Stikine. But because I was still a student at the time, I didn?t have the time or the money. Doing the research for the Northern BC Mapbook rekindled that fire to explore inside of me. That?s both the biggest blessing and the greatest curse of researching and writing these books. I discover so many interesting places to go: trails to hike, rivers and lake circuits to paddle and campsites to visit. More than I could probably ever do in a lifetime.?
Trent continues to enjoy the great outdoors and is currently researching a Backroad Mapbook for Cariboo Chilcotin Coast BC and Northern Alberta. The Backroad Mapbooks series has expanded across Canada with over twenty titles coast to coast. They are the most comprehensive outdoor guidebook available and combine detailed maps with information on all the recreation activities in the given area. The mapbooks can be found at leading bookstores and outdoor stores throughout the province or visit www.backroadmapbooks.com for more information. Trent can be reached for interviews at firstname.lastname@example.org.