The Ritz of Camping


"My idea of camping is staying at the Ritz." That’s exactly what Ashlyn Waters would tell you, because that’s exactly how she felt her entire life. Only a five-star hotel with room service, a spa, pool and a private penthouse would do. She would cringe at the thought of trees, bugs, and bears. Don’t even mention a tent or sleeping bag—completely out of the question, even if it were designed by Tori Burch or Gucci. It would never have entered her mind to visit a national park—ick!

But I’m not Ashlyn. She’s a figment of my imagination, in all her beauty product, hair styling, couture world. Even though her worst nightmare comes true and she’s sent to the Redwood Forest for a year of community service in the novel, Waters Rise, I actually crave the quietness of the forest. I love leaving the crazy concrete jungle of LA and escaping to the lush greenscape of Prairie Creek, where the only noise is the rustling of the trees, not the honking of horns. The smell of Christmas trees fills the air when you least expect it. And I can take a deep breath and feel it move into every cell of my body.

And while Ashlyn may not want to celebrate this place I find magical, I will along with lots of other Redwood National Park fans. It’s their 50th Anniversary this year. And you can escape to this stunning scene for free every second Saturday during 2018. See where Ashlyn’s adventures (or as she would say misadventures) all began.

$1 from every book of Waters Rise sold goes to the National Park Service. What are you waiting for?