Author Archive

Off the Map, Week12: Dust, smoke and steam

With the coming of sunrise over Long Valley, one might expect to be greeted with fresh, crisp breezes and gentle birdsong, especially from an isolated campsite perched one tho... read more...


Off The Map week 11: The Burning Ambassador

One minute I’m being harassed by overvigilant teachers for eating cereal outside the public library, and the next minute I’m suddenly a special guest speaker, thrust in front ... read more...


Off the Map, Week 10: Storm over the playa

“It’s a tornado!” shouted Justice from the top of the scissor lift, excitement and disbelief coloring his voice. I followed his gaze through the cluster of tents and shelters,... read more...


Off the Map Week 9: Clearing the Decks

There seemed to be no end to the refuse and relics of bygone years as I continued to haul load after load up the basement steps and out to the rapidly-filling dumpster. When I... read more...


Off the Map: Week 8, Highlander

The Pintlers… these were dark, humorless mountains with the temperament of a Scottish highlander, prideful and dour.  Forests clung tenaciously to the crumbled mountainsides. ... read more...


Off the Map: Week Seven, Heavy Weather

Right in the middle of the trail. Great place to put a mountain goat. If it wasn’t all cute and shaggy, like Santa Claus’ beard, I’d be a little more annoyed. I felt bad about... read more...


Off the Map: Week Six - Heir to the Copper Throne

On a hill above the Montana town of Anaconda, the great and mighty Stack watches placidly over the remains of a once-vast copper empire. After 90 years, the smokestack still l... read more...


Off the Map: Week Five - Bedeviled

This couldn’t be right. I should have reached the junction by now, surely. Instead, I was continuing to sweat my way up the side of Devil Canyon, clambering over deadfall and ... read more...


Off the Map: Week Four, Stranded

I was going to get lost. At least, that was the plan. On a map of my hometown county in upstate New York, this area seemed to feature one of the greatest expanses without road... read more...


Off the Map: Week Three, The Return to Dunraven

If only I hadn’t misread the map the first time, back in 2007, then I wouldn’t need to violate the boundaries of the fire closure and sneak into an active forest fire zone.  B... read more...


Off the Map, Week Two: Pins and Needles

All right… time to make a decision. I leaned over the edge of Crestone Needle one more time, attempting to discern any possible route down the cliff that stood a reasonable ch... read more...


Off the Map: Week One - Grand Canyon by moonlight

Sunset. Time to head into the canyon. At the Grandview Overlook, shrill, overprotective Texan parents were grabbing at their children, yanking them away from the ledges as a... read more...


Week Twelve: Big Game

The ants were on the move. I pulled my head back below the open roof and called to the driver, “Hey…. wait…. Dickson, can you stop here?” Our guide dutifully brought the modif... read more...


Week Eleven: Two Africas

The first thing that impressed me about the Kenyan chicken farmers was that even though I wasn’t interested in buying a chicken, they still sat me down inside their tumbledown... read more...


Off the Map Week 10: Dust to dust

Wearing horns, fur and a tail in the middle of the Nevada desert may sound embarrassing. But wearing horns and fur and getting your tail stuck in your bike chain… now that’s t... read more...



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