Author Archive

Week 14: Bringing it all back home

From the rim of the hot springs, I languidly observed the approaching doe, who appeared interested in the delicate, soft grasses at the water’s edge. Two fawns crept up timidl... read more...


Week 13: Soaking in the Sierras

A moonbow. I couldn’t believe it. I was staring at an actual moonbow! I stood awestruck in the rain and moonlight, halfway between my Jeep and my tent beneath the lava clif... read more...


Week 12: Engine Failures

It was a cold night on San Joaquin Ridge. I sat behind the wheel, staying warm and killing time until I grew tired enough to inflate the mattress and try to get some sleep. ... read more...


Week 11: Never lost a toenail

A blue feather caught my eye, so I stooped to pick it up and continued down the trail, twirling it between my fingers. I was temporarily entranced by its simple beauty, which... read more...


Week 10: Safety Third

The man in the orange protective jumpsuit spoke up for a third time: “This is going to be 10,000 gallons of propane fuel exploding. It’s not going to be over quickly. For 26 s... read more...


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...



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