#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Living Vicariously

I spend most of every day living the lives of my Civil War characters, and you can probably guess how exhausting that can be.  My reading/listening habit provides some relief, and this week, I seem to be on a hiking kick.  (Vicariously, remember.)  I’ve been listening to THRU-HIKING CAN BREAK YOUR HEART, by Carrot (yes, Carrot) Quinn.  It’s fascinating, and reminds me a little of Cheryl Strayed’s book, WILD.  I’ve downloaded several similar books, most of them about hiking the Appalachian Trail, though Quinn, like Strayed, chose the Pacific Trail.  Can you imagine hiking from Mexico to Canada, with nothing but the clothes on your back and the gear in your pack?  Hikers mail packages to themselves, to be held at various post offices along the trail until they arrive to collect them.  When in town, many hikers eat at restaurants, stay in motels, and buy fresh fruit and Gatorade at the local supermarkets, but most of the time, they’re on their own.  If the food or water runs out, they’re in big trouble.

This is an experience, I assure you, that is NOT on my personal bucket list.  I am too spoiled and too old for this kind of trek; while I enjoyed camping in my salad days (whatever that means), I have become set in my ways.  I like a good hotel, with 24-hour room service, Wifi, and–this is a must–a bathtub.  I carry scented bath salts when I travel, and I get upset when, occasionally, I find myself in a room with only a shower.  To me, that’s roughing it.  

What is 0n my bucket list?  (Brace yourself, I think big.)  1) I’d like to attend some kind of social function at the White House.  2) Spend a week at a dude ranch, trail riding.  (Please note, I would not be roughing it.  I would need a cabin with a bathtub.  And lavender bath salts.  Especially after a day on horseback!.  3) A cruise on a Mississippi riverboat.  4) A trans-Atlantic cruise.  5) A train trip across Canada.  (A sleeping car is fine, but I might need to get off every other night to stay in a good hotel.  :) )

I really enjoyed your comments on yesterday’s blog.  You can bet, there will be more Civil War talk coming your way.

28 comments to “Living Vicariously”

  1. Gloria Herring
      · December 14th, 2016 at 12:04 am · Link

    Linda, my son that died dreamed of hiking the Appalachian Trail, but never got to hike but a little of it.

    If I had a bucket list, it would be to have my youngest son well and help him put his log cabin back together, and the second things on my BL would be to have my old house made livable, not fancy, just livable. The most precious thing would be to have my oldest son back, but we know that isn’t possible and this is the 10th Christmas without him. My poor bucket list is sad, but that is what I’d like to do with the rest of my life.

    I pray you and yours have a very Blessed Christmas, and a New Year, and that you finish your bucket list in a timely manner.

  2. Sherry Wallace
      · December 14th, 2016 at 12:10 am · Link

    Love that bucket list of yours & most of those would be on my list as well. I also would love to trail ride in Europe! There are excursions in various countries where you see that country from the back of a horse all day. Then each night you stay in a different hotel or quaint local inn. All luggage is transpored to each new place & waiting when you arrive. Luscious meals @ dinner & breakfast, a light lunch is packed for you. You can choose western or English saddles, but experienced riders only since you’re in the saddle all day except for breaks Can you imagine – what a dream come true that would be for me!!❤️

  3. Renae Kinsey
      · December 14th, 2016 at 12:18 am · Link

    I would love to do any of these with you!!!! Trail ride and train ride first and White House anytime they’ll open the door! I love u LLM!

  4. Renae Kinsey
      · December 14th, 2016 at 12:25 am · Link

    Oh yeah- train won’t have tubs right ? lol!
    I will never forget my first London England layover – I remember my late Father speaking about his military days in England and I took such delight when I first stepped foot. My hotel in London had a large tub! And I made a bath for myself, put a pot of tea on and used my bat bubbles. Turned on the “Telly” TV and delighted in the British accents – that night we as a crew walked through cemeteries and drank “ale” in a bar that was so quaint. It was low ceiling….meant for trolls I do believe. Something from a storybook – I think we drank and then walked through cemeteries! This was 1990

  5. Phyllis Odell
      · December 14th, 2016 at 12:47 am · Link

    I have a couple of the same things on my bucket list. I am anxiously waiting for your Civil War story. My Great Grandfather was in the Civil War from Illinois and I have been to Gettysburg. A very interesting place. Keep the good books coming.

  6. Karen cotton
      · December 14th, 2016 at 12:48 am · Link

    Come to wyoming and see me! We can have a girls weekend at a dude ranch that I spent my honeymoon at ;)
    Karen Cotton

    Merry Christmas

  7. Jane
      · December 14th, 2016 at 4:31 am · Link

    Your bucket list sounds achievable, Linda! And when you do these things, you will need to add more to keep yourself going!

  8. pat Dennis
      · December 14th, 2016 at 6:25 am · Link

    Go for the bucket list (but don’t forget your readers are always waiting for the next book – LOL)

  9. JoAnn Baker
      · December 14th, 2016 at 7:25 am · Link

    Sounds like a good bucket list. My only one is a trip to the beach! Love the ocean. Have a great day! My Birthday is Friday so have a wonderful week!

  10. Elaine Key
      · December 14th, 2016 at 7:55 am · Link

    I agree with you, Linda, about the hiking. That is not on my bucket list either. When my husband retires in about 3 years, we plan to buy a luxury RV and travel across the U.S. Who knows? Maybe we’ll travel your way.

    • Barbara Roney
        · December 14th, 2016 at 11:59 am · Link

      Elaine, I hope you do plan a trip out west. Oregon and Washington are beautiful states. I know you would enjoy every minute you were here. So many historical sites, beautiful beaches, fishing, Mt St Helens, Mt Hood, Multnomah Falls, Crater Lake, and oh so many other wonderful places to see. I do know you would not be disappointed in our two states. But then all the states you would drive through would also offer a wide variety of exciting, fun and beautiful places to see too. You have a long time to do some research! Good luck Elaine. If you do get out this way, email me and we can have you over for lunch. Barb Roney.

  11. Ann Bartholomew
      · December 14th, 2016 at 7:58 am · Link

    I agree with the bathtub and lavender salts. The more hot water the better. I started rereading An Outlaw’s Christmas last night for my annual December reading list. I love Sawyer and Clay and the women they married. Next on the list is Mustang Creek. Keep writing those great books!

      · December 14th, 2016 at 8:24 am · Link


  13. Dawn Roberts
      · December 14th, 2016 at 8:26 am · Link

    A Mississippi river cruise is available outside of New Orleans, the paddle boats are amazing, grand a beautiful. I’m not a hiker but a friends hiked rim to rim of the grand Canyon, I want to go to Europe and visit some of the concentrations camps, that history fascinates me. I also want to live in another country.

  14. Melaine
      · December 14th, 2016 at 8:29 am · Link

    Have you read “A Walk in the Woods”, by Bill Bryson? A wonderful and funny book about his personal experience walking the Appalachian Trail.

  15. Dorothy Hilton
      · December 14th, 2016 at 8:56 am · Link

    I love your bucket list. In my younger days I went camping and hiking. Needless to say, sadly I can’t do that anymore. I love your books. Can’t wait for your civil war novel. I love anything written about the civil war. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. Give your babies a hug and kiss from me.

  16. DONNA
      · December 14th, 2016 at 9:00 am · Link

    Can’t wait for your Civil war book to come out! Your bucket list looks like a lot of fun.

  17. Virginia Horton
      · December 14th, 2016 at 9:11 am · Link

    My bucket list would be a lot like yours. I am not much on roughing it myself. I am getting to old for that. I do enjoy a good walk when I can get one but not hiking any where. I can’t wait to read your new book when it comes out, love books set during the Civil War.

  18. Alison B.
      · December 14th, 2016 at 9:45 am · Link

    I’m so excited for you new Civil War series!!! Your historical romances are some of my favorites!

  19. Tammy O
      · December 14th, 2016 at 10:11 am · Link

    I know how you feel Linda! Our oldest son & his girl friend moved to South Carolina in Oct. We miss him terribly but he is happy & as a parent that is what you want for your child! Our youngest son lives about the middle of the state & we live at the very top of the state. You can’t get much more northern in Indiana then we are. He got his girl friends engagement ring off of lay away & is proposing for Christmas! To say we are thrilled is a major understatement! Fingers crossed we may get a grand child yet! :lol:

  20. Margy Manear
      · December 14th, 2016 at 10:11 am · Link

    Living so close to Gettysburg, I’m really looking forward to this book !!

  21. Leanna
      · December 14th, 2016 at 1:14 pm · Link

    I have been on long trips and we always treat ourselves to a nice hotel, because sitting in a car for 10+ hours is exhausting. I cannot imagine going on a hiking trip where I wouldn’t have access to a real bathroom. I like my showers.

  22. Louise McCourt
      · December 14th, 2016 at 4:57 pm · Link

    Your #5 on your list is also on my list. Would love to take a train ride across Canada…

  23. Ruby Norwood
      · December 14th, 2016 at 7:03 pm · Link

    Linda, I just love your bucket list, but I’m like you when I travel I got to have a motel room at night..Love to walk,but never been a hiker!!

  24. Linda Beaudoin
      · December 14th, 2016 at 7:49 pm · Link

    My bucket list includes a vacation with my husband after the holidays.

  25. Diane Sallans
      · December 14th, 2016 at 9:10 pm · Link

    I’ve been on bits of the App Trail, had long thought it would be a fun thing to do, but am now reconciled that it won’t happen for me. Have you seen the movies ‘A Walk in the Woods’ with Robert Redford & Nick Nolte about hiking the trail?

    I like your bucket list – especially the transatlantic cruise.
    There are also a lot of books to read on my list.

  26. Peggy
      · December 15th, 2016 at 11:43 am · Link

    Gee Linda, How about Bull Hill for your dude ranch experience? LOL… it may be in your “backyard” but it is a wonderful place and you know the people who own it!

    • linda
        · December 15th, 2016 at 5:27 pm · Link

      Actually, the owners of Bull Hill are my cousins!

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