Crow Morning

Crows announce the day at first light. "It's coming! It's coming! It's coming! The fiery sun is just to the east!" My brain wakes more slowly, but I rejoice in the wild exuberance of crows and give thanks. A fresh, cool breeze stirs the leaves as it stirs my spirit. Morning. The gift of a... Continue Reading →


Henry’s Great Idea

“Each town should have a park, or rather a primitive forest, of five hundred or a thousand acres, where a stick should never be cut for fuel, a common possession forever, for instruction and recreation. We hear of cow commons and ministerial lots, but we want men-commons and lay lots, inalienable forever. Let us keep... Continue Reading →


I’m not sure why, maybe because I’m feeling older, maybe because of all the changes going on around me, but lately I keep thinking about this comment by Sigurd Olson. It’s a healthy perspective, I think.  “To that boulder the trees were as grass. It lay among them huge and gray and permanent, had been... Continue Reading →

Make coffee, carry water, hang the bear bag

There is an intriguing old Zen instruction that says, “Before enlightenment chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.” I think I'm beginning to understand this advice.  This may come as a surprise to the beginner, but in backpacking, as in the rest of life, logistics always threaten takeover. The trail... Continue Reading →


I like to hike. I like wandering wooded trails to see what I can see. And whether it's 20 minutes or 5 hours, walking a trail provides welcome medicine for body and soul. Day hikes are great, but I find that weekend getaways are far better. Sometimes I just need the immersion of a full... Continue Reading →

Summer Gratitude

To everything there is a season. It's mid-August, and the leaves on the cottonwood tree are faded like an old canvas tent. Soon they'll fall crisp and dry to the ground, providing crunch to my steps. The black cherry has lost half its leaves, revealing more of the blue heavens above. Disheveled spider webs hang... Continue Reading →


“The mountains are fountains not only of rivers and fertile soil, but of men. Therefore we are all, in some sense, mountaineers, and going to the mountains is going home. Yet how many are doomed to toil in town shadows while the white mountains beckon all along the horizon!” — John Muir, in Steep Trails,... Continue Reading →

Go Be Still

Go be still. You'll need to dress for the weather, and in some places you may also want to wear bug spray. But just go. Go for a walk, wander slowly, pick a spot along the way and stop. Just stop. It doesn't much matter where. It can be in the woods, or a park,... Continue Reading →


I'm convinced questions are more powerful than answers. I am very curious, always seeking answers, but I long ago gave up the need to have all the answers. Convictions are fine, but sometimes we need to tell each other there is no shame in not knowing, in not being sure, in recognizing alternate perspectives. In... Continue Reading →

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