Lessons from the Trail

By virtue of spending a mildly obscene amount of time on hiking trails over the last decade, I've had a lot of time to ruminate in the midst of an astonishing array of hiking experiences. Because I'm one of those people who seeks out patterns in everything, from which I often derive analogies, I've been …

Trip Report: Whale Peak

This weekend, I took a trip out to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to take an overnight hike up to Whale Peak with my friends, Jim and Alex. As with any hike into Anza-Borrego, this was also an opportunity for me to re-scout a few routes (5, in this case) for a possible 6th edition. I …

Sequoia

When I was 19 years old, I worked in a grocery store that often kept me late hours into the night. Much of the time, I would be awake until 4 in the morning. On one of those late mornings, I found myself aimlessly rifling through the cabinets where my parents kept family photo albums. …

An Ode to the Walkabout

If you spend enough time on the trail, the practice of hiking will change you. Once upon a time, I was hellbent on the summit, pushing at maximum speed to rack up the miles and check the destinations off an ever-growing list of challenges. I've come to call that sort of hiking "bucket-listing." Bucket-listing stems …

Mountain Music

At the beginning of the song¬†Grown Ocean by the band Fleet Foxes, drummer J Tillman counts off two half notes and then four quarter notes right before a pounding, lush acoustic arrangement erupts into the band's cavernous reverberated sonic environment. Within these first moments of the song, my memory transports me instantaneously to Sequoia National …