Author Archive

Week Nine: As the Man Burns

“Big dust storm comin’!” announced a burly ranger, who seemed to appear out of nowhere. “Best be getting back to your tents… batten down the hatches.” I glanced at my friends,... read more...


Week 7: Urban Adventures

“Are you serious?” I asked my new friend, drawing my gaze down from the ladders that led to the alley rooftops. Snowbird gave me a look that said climbing rusty fire escapes o... read more...


Week 6: Crisis on Froze-to-death Mountain

What was I thinking? If I stayed huddled here any longer, I would surely freeze to death, which would be a completely unoriginal thing to do on a mountain named such as this. ... read more...


Off the Map: Week 5 - Windswept

I pushed another corn chip into my mouth, stretched my toes and gazed with sudden interest at the mountainous valley to the west. The sun had vanished, and dark clouds now ch... read more...


Week 4: Losing my bearings

First, let me say a few words about the importance of maps in the back-country. A good map can mean the difference between a successful expedition and a tragic descent into de... read more...


Week 3: Electrical Seduction

As black as the skies appeared, perhaps it wasn’t such a wise move to attempt 14,060-foot Mt. Bierstadt so late in the morning. Afternoon thunderstorms are fairly predictable ... read more...


Off the Map: Week 2 - Hail freezes over

I already had a bad feeling about this mountain, even before the thunderstorm struck and coated the slopes with a treacherous layer of hailstones. I emerged from my tent besid... read more...


Week 1: Too hot to handle

First gear. I pull away from the gas station, praying that the extra coolant won’t come hissing and steaming out of cracks in the radiator before I can make it to Vegas. Seco... read more...


Week 17: End of the road ...

On the final morning of my summer journey I woke up, stretched my limbs like a contented cat, cracked open an eye then immediately threw the other eye wide open to focus upon ... read more...


Week 16: Jackson to Santa Barbara

Sometime, while kicking up plumes of dust on the empty dirt roads of southeast Oregon, my Jeep rattled through its 200,000th mile. I glanced down below the rim of the steering... read more...


Week 15: Pinedale to Jackson Hole

Gone. I couldn’t believe it. It was all gone. My tent, stove, sleeping bag, down comforter, extra blankets, insulation pad, pillow even the stakes had been stolen. Nothing re... read more...


Week 14: Titcomb Basin

As I left the Cirque of Towers, a search and rescue crew with five helicopters, seventy-five rescuers and several teams of dogs were gathering at the trailhead, preparing to h... read more...


Week 13: Rock Springs to Pinedale

Cirque of the Towers. The destination had been in my mind for ten years, ever since the original expedition to the backcountry basin in 1996 had to be aborted. That summer, th... read more...


Week 12: Grand Lake to Rock Springs

My foot reflexively slammed on the brakes, bringing the Jeep to a halt in the middle of a dusty Wyoming road as a herd of twenty pronghorn antelope burst out from behind a sag... read more...


Week 11: Estes Park to Grand Lake

Somehow, I can’t help but feel that John Denver’s approach to the Rocky Mountains was a little more laid back. This was supposed to be my down day, and here I was, bushwhacki... read more...



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