Family: Married to Julie Trevathan
Occupation: Assistant professor at Maryville College where he teaches creative writing, journalism and literature; author.
Kim Trevathan has written two books about canoeing. He grew up on Kentucky Lake at the other end of the Tennessee River from Blount County in Western Kentucky. “I never really started seriously canoeing until I moved here. We had a place on the Little River in Rockford. I thought, ‘All this is connected to my home in Western Kentucky, and I could paddle to Western Kentucky if I wanted.’ That’s how I got the idea for the first book and that got me onto the river and using a canoe as a writing tool.”
Trevathan worked with IPix in Oak Ridge for five years, but other than that has spent his career working in education. After earning a Bachelors degree from the University of Louisville, he was a graduated assistant at the University of Illinois where he earned his Master’s in English, Master’s in Journalism from the University of Wyoming and a Master’s in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama. Trevathan’s first book, “Paddling the Tennessee River: A Voyage on Easy Water,” was published in 2001 and recounts a trip down the 652-mile river. His second book, “Coldhearted River: A Canoe Odyssey Down the Cumberland,” was published in May 2006 and tells the story of his 700-mile trip from Harlan, Kentucky, through Nashville, to the Ohio River in Western Kentucky.
Trevathan said most surprising aspect of the Tennessee River trip was how being on the water each day affected his senses. “The most mind-blowing part was when I’d get off the river and stay in a hotel with my wife and wake up and think the river was flowing through the room. I’d always think I was floating. The river would infiltrate my consciousness to the point it was in my dreams.”
On Cumberland trip, Trevathan said he learned there is beauty someone can only see after spending an extended amount of time on the river. “I remember one night it came a really hard rain, and, after it stopped, it looked like floating lights on the river,” he said. “The rain fell so hard it knocked the fireflies onto river.”
Here is Kim Trevathan:
What is your favorite quote from television or a movie?
“The Dude abides. I don’t know about you but I take comfort in that. It’s good knowin’ he’s out there. The Dude. Takin’ ‘er easy for all us sinners.” Sam Elliott from “The Big Lebowski”
What are you guilty of?
“Being overly competitive, mainly in tennis. I’m probably a little too serious about it sometimes.”
What is your favorite material possession?
“My camera. It’s a really nice camera. A Nikon E-80, it’s a good writing tool, and it is fun.”
What are you reading currently?
‘”War and Peace,’ by Leo Tolstoy. Very slowly. I have a student who is doing a thesis on it, so I’m reading it. It’s something I needed to do. I love Tolstoy, but I’ve never read ‘War and Peace.’”
What was your most embarrassing moment?
“Too many to recall, but most recently tripping on the steps in Lawson Auditorium in front of the majority of my journalism class. Also spinning around and running into the podium in composition class.”
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
“Hang Gliding, kayaking the length of a major river in Europe or Asia, returning to Paris, France.”
What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“Easygoing and laid back.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“Be more easygoing internally as well as externally. I came from a family of worriers so I came by it naturally.”
What is your passion?
“Tennis. I love to play tennis.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“Bob Dylan. He’s my favorite musician, and I like the stories he tells in songs. He’s a great songwriter.”
Do you Myspace, Facebook or Twitter?
“Yes, yes, and no.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“Mid-eighteenth century Kentucky and Tennessee.”
What is the best present you ever received in a box?
“A skydiving lesson from my wife. It was a tandem deal, but it still scared the crap out of me.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“Don’t try too hard. I think sometimes in sports or other things you can work so hard at something you lose sight of what’s fun about it.”
Other than your parents, who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?
“My wife, Julie. I think she came along at a time in my life when I needed focus, and I think she’s inspired me to stick with things a little bit better.”
What’s the worst job you have ever had?
“Washing windows in Santa Fe, N.M., for a demented boss. Once it was so cold that we used anti-freeze in our water at a three-story apartment complex in the mountains.”
What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon and why?
What irritates you?
“Know-it-alls and tailgaters.”
What’s one place in Blount County everyone should visit?
“The mouth of Pistol Creek, in a boat. You’ve got a put in at Rockford near the town hall. You go down the Little River and then you can see the mouth of Pistol Creek and go up it a ways. It is real pretty.”
What is your greatest fear?
Doing something stupid on an adventure and having to get rescued. That almost happened a few times. It would be very embarrassing.”
I still can’t quite get the hang of...
“Wasting time without feeling guilty.”
If you could do one impulsive thing, what would it be?
“Drive to California in the dead of winter. It seems it would be a good time to head out to Southern California and be warm for while.”