After seven popular books on the American frontier west, Cathy Colligan Luchetti, a native Texan, calls herself a “people’s historian” of the westward crossing, beginning with her own pioneer ancestors. One branch traveled by Conestoga to found Baker, Oregon. The other landed in the Napa Valley to found the third winery in California, called “Tokalon.” The German varietals brought by her great great grandfather, H.W. Crabb are featured today as part of the Mondavi vineyard.
After college, Cathy joined the Peace Corps and lived for two years in remote villages in Colombia, South America. This led to an interest in native plants, herbs, and remedies, which she explores today in the upcoming Travels with My Headache.
She has raised three sons, Zachary, Micah, and Jeremy. She turned summit-happy in midlife and started climbing mountains, first in California and Nevada, then Kilimanjaro, Pokalde Peak in Nepal, as well as Macchu Piccu. She enjoys backpacking, mountain scrambling, desert exploration and international travel. Her current books-in-progress focus on adventure, risk, and uncertainty.
She has spoken frequently on NPR, and has been featured in several television documentaries.
She lives in the Bay Area with her husband Peter Hadreas.
Education: University of Utah History/English
Teaching: University of California, Berkeley Extension, Creative Non-Fiction
Member: Women Writing the West, The Authors Guild, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, Desert Survivors