The Author

Welcome! The Wilder Coast, a blog of huge adventure and an unusually creative life, written and created by Melina Coogan. This page is meant to provide cliff's notes that will help you understand who she is and what she's referring to. This is a great place to start if you are a new reader.

 ....has three tattoos and plenty of scars. She can be described as:  25 years old, full time writer, natural blond, photographer, white water kayaker and dog owner. She is talkative, adventurous, clumsy, and generally in high spirits. Her editor described her as bizarrely pleasant. Her now ex-boyfriend described her as the most stubborn person on the planet. She describes herself as always up for a good meal. There you have it.

Adventure Quest
......the reason for the compass tattoo on her foot. The Academy at Adventure Quest was the alternative, traveling circus high school she attended with a bunch of other kids who are now big time kayakers, or dead. Most of the kids at AQ were white water kayakers, but Melina belonged to barely-known division for rock climbers. The ups: leading bad-ass routes every day in Europe, New Zealand, Mexico and America, and getting tutored by incredible teachers who are now some of her closest friends. The downs: spending every waking second with a dozen high school boys in the midst of their monstrous adolescents. It pretty much evened out.

Ultimate Frisbee 
....the reason behind the "this could be heaven" tattoo on her back, and the obsession of a lifetime. She captained her college team, coached two high school teams to national Golds medal victories, played for an Elite team called Seattle Riot, and was completely owned by the elaborate ultimate social scene. Ups included: consistently playing the in the finals of Nationals. Lows included: consistently losing in the finals of Nationals.

....the reason behind her aversion to any coffee that is not ridiculously overpriced. She currently lives in the Emerald City, where she lived as her former college student incantation, studying writing at the University of Washington, walking around the huge, beautiful campus in the cherry blossoms or the rain, holding a coffee cup. Everyone walks around holding a coffee cup there- even after the coffee is gone. She wrote a lot of papers, won a big scholarship for fiction and a big award for poetry. She used the prize money to pay off the credit card debt she had just learned how to accrue. In a nut shell, Seattle is heaven,  an unaffordable one, but she'll figure that out eventually.

New England
....the reason for the Vermont state tattoo on her leg.  She was born in downtown Boston and raised in rural Vermont. A New England liberal for life and wicked proud of it.

....the reason for the big scar running through the Vermont State tattoo on her leg. She first kayaked at fifteen, hated it, and refrained from the sport entirely for seven years. At twenty-two, she inexplicably drove herself to a pool session and re-learned to roll. She learned to kayak for real in a miserable Seattle Winter. It was not love at first sight. It's still not love: it's an all-consuming ambivalence. Yet  for some reason, kayaking has been the vehicle for all of her employment since college: blogging for a kayak guiding company, working retail and doing PR at a kayak shop, writing copy for a raft company, writing and interning for Paddler magazine, and teaching at a kayak high school. She has kayaked, however reluctantly, all across the US, Canada, and Chile.

New River Academy
....again, the reason for the big scar running through the Vermont State tattoo on her leg. For one splendid and eventful year when she was twenty-four, Melina worked for The New River Academy- The Academy of Huge Experiences, a kayak high school created by a former AQ teacher. She traveled throughout Chile and North America with a dozen wonder-teenagers, a handful of drop dead handsome men and two hilarious women as her coworkers. She did PR for the school and taught literature, creative writing and photography classes. She gained big time experience on some major rivers, and even got some 'stout' waterfalls under her belt- although she'd never, ever use the world 'stout' seriously. Although she had to stop traveling and teaching due to chronic migraines, she still works for Huge as a web site copy, curriculum writer, and general fan.

....reading this blog, is the reason that she gets to write all day. She is extremely happy that you choose to read The Wilder Coast. She hopes you will read often and comment freely. She hopes to get to know you, too.