It was the last Sunday in July, and I had already hiked more than 350 miles on the 500-mile Colorado Trail. In a matter of hours, I went from sipping tea at sunrise to feeling like I might die alone, face down in the mud, on top of a remote mesa.
On the first day of second grade, I felt sick to my stomach.
I stood with my two older sisters at the end of the long gravel driveway to our farm, waiting for the bus to pick us up and take us to school in nearby Gilbert, Iowa. It was the fall of 1977, my new teacher was Miss Marjorie Bly, and I wondered what I had done to deserve such a horrible fate.