Journey of a Lifetime


Jolene Witt sent her daughter, Cote, to college with a very special memory along with the typical freshman supplies. Weeks before Cote left for college, the two drove 3,000 miles from Michigan to the Oregon coast, where they climbed Redwood trees and spent a night sleeping in one 120 feet above the forest floor. The story of that trip and the mother-daughter relationship they strengthened during that adventure is told in Witt’s book Rooted Together: A Mother and Daughter Rite of Passage, recently released by Moore Publishing.

“I was looking for a chance to spend time with her before our relationship changed forever,” Witt explains. “She had wanted to sleep in a tree, and I agreed to go with her. We decided to drive so we could see everything along the way.”

Mom journaled during their journey, noting their conversations and silences, and celebrating the natural wonders they encountered. They enjoyed quiet time together on long stretches of road in Iowa and Nebraska, and slept joyfully in a hammock tucked into the branches of a Redwood. They marveled at the sights on their return trip, including Yellowstone Park, and “floated home on a wave of reflection.”

Witt took her journal entries and wrote this book as a gift to her daughter. She repeated the process for her two younger daughters. She and daughter Josie worked as volunteers at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN, and Witt accompanied daughter Hannah to Puerto Rico, where they worked “tidying up” the rainforest. She hopes to write books about those adventures, too, and encourages all mothers to take their daughters by the hand and “forge a bond that will last a lifetime.”

Rooted Together: A Mother and Daughter Rite of Passage
is available at