My soliciting endorsements kismet didn’t end with my Pico Iyer email exchange. It continued with a wake-up message from Kev Reynolds, brilliant British outdoor author and trekker extraordinaire who accompanied us on our summer 2012, five-day hike around Mont Blanc. His words were in my backpack and his voice was in my head every step of our trek from Chamonix, France to Courmayeur, Italy, into Champex, Switzerland and then back to Chamonix. When I hit “send” after carefully composing my query to him, I sighed, convinced I’d never hear back, picturing my hiking hero scaling Everest with a sherpa or holed up picking at smoke-blackened fish in a Mongolian yurt. But I’m happy I was wrong. Kev answered my email within hours with a kind, thoughtful note that, for the second day in a row, left me breathless. My composure regained, I wrote Kev back and we are now email friends, praising each other’s work and sharing our love of travel, the mountains and hiking. Writing has many rewards, some of them quite unexpected.