Glacial erratic, a piece of rock that differs from the size and type of rock native to the area in which it rests. It was a long drive down from Fairbanks, but the wild and incomparable scenery kept my attention. With little to no traffic, the narrow road was fine, except for a few spots […]
“I hate ’em,” he said grimly, “and I’m gonna get every last one of ’em.” My neighbor was usually calm and patient, but today he was clearly on the warpath. He pulled out the sprayer, pumped it twice and began the massacre of the violets in his lawn. It was a spring ritual he followed […]
This is dedicated to Marion Galant, a friend who recently passed following a second bout with cancer. In our memories, she remains a part of us. The old apple tree came down during the night. Fire blight and age combined with the wind and finally took their toll. It leaves a large empty spot in […]
Her excitement was contagious. “We got the permit. We’ll go again in June!” “Again?” I asked, “You’ve rafted the Grand Canyon before?” “Oh yeah. This will be our fifth trip. It’s so incredible!” Never having rafted the Grand Canyon, I nonetheless found her description appropriate, but I felt a nagging sense of disapproval. For something […]
“People should adjust to, rather than change, nature.” – John Wesley Powell We came into the Everglades from the south; the transition from rough country to national park marked primarily by the absence of structures, fences and side roads. Where old shacks, farms and trailer houses were interspersed with the trees and grasslands, now there […]
“Those eagles, like angels, don’t distinguish between work and play. To them, it is all one and the same.” Rebecca Wells, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood 2002 – I saw an eagle the other day. I was in a mass of traffic moving north over a ridge, when out of the corner of my […]
“I am glad that I shall never be young without wild country to be young in.” Aldo Leopold, quoted in In Service to the Wild by Stephanie Mills 2002 – There’s a place where I walk often that I think of as feral land. At one time it was on the edge of a research […]
1999 – When my Old Man drove us somewhere to go fishing or hunting or visiting, I would lean my head against the window and watch the landscape go by. Our two-door ’54 Chevy had lots of room for two boys to roll about in the back seat, but that got boring pretty quick, and […]
The other day my son wanted to show me something he had found. As he pulled the small Christmas tin that contained his special things off the shelf , I had a sudden flashback to my own childhood. My own cigar box had contained feathers, a fossil or two, special sea shells, a shark tooth […]
“The important thing is to touch the earth and stand in the wind, to know that you are part of the whole- not superimposed, like asphalt.”
Gaydell Collier, Leaning Into The Wind
Reese Witherspoon is great in “Wild”, the story of Cheryl Strayed hiking the Pacific Coast Trail and I enjoyed it immensely. Something was missing from the movie, however, and it took me a while to find it. I never sensed the joy, the discovery, of being in the wild.
While never undertaking anything as difficult as hiking the PCT, I’ve done my share of camping and hiking, mostly in the West. What stands out most about my trips, though, is not the incredible views or the pain and hardships, but the sensory overload that comes from being out in nature.