Elizabeth and Carroll O’Neill, teachers in Stockton, California, spent a lifetime hiking, backpacking, climbing, and skiing in the nearby Sierra Nevada, and further afield in the Alps, Pyrenees, and Canadian Rockies with their children and, later, grandchildren.
After retirement in 1976, they built a home in Groveland in the foothills of the Sierra, close to their favorite mountain range. Now they could indulge in their hobbies of photograpy, painting, alpine botany, reading, and writing. They could also explore to their hearts’ delight the nearby alpine world at their fingertips.
Elizabeth began writing travel and nature articles for Sierra, Woodall’s, Mother Earth News, and other publications. These were often illustrated by Carroll’s photographs and her drawings.
She collated her historical researches to produce, in 1984, her now-classic book, MEADOW IN THE SKY. She followed it up with MOUNTAIN SAGE, THE BIOGRAPHY OF CARL SHARSMITH, the famous and beloved ranger/naturalist of the Tuolumne Meadows Region.
The couple’s friends often asked for advice about routes in the Yosemite High Sierra, and Carroll and Elizabeth obliged by posting a campground list of suggested day hikes. One day the inevitable light bulb lit up: let’s write a book! Tioga Tramps had just been conceived, and in due time was born.
Meanwhile, with more titles in print for both adults and children, they established their own company, ALBICAULIS PRESS.
In July 2010, she transferred ownership of the press to her daughter and son-in-law, Adele Nova O’Neill and David Carpenter. Carroll died in 2011 at the age of ninety-five. Since then, Elizabeth has traveled extensively around the world and continues to write and paint.
Under Adele and David, the press has expanded and changed its name. We are now GREAT OWL PRESS! Our line of children's books are the LITTLE OWL BOOKS.
Recently we have added a series of bilingual books for children in Spanish/English and Khmer/English (Cambodian).
We joyously look forward to offering our loyal customers and readers some enticing new titles we have in the works. Don’t be surprised. The next one is completely different. Like you and all good mountaineers, we just can’t sit still.