Mental Hygiene

In March of 2020, COVID-19 closures began altering our lives in fundamental ways. At the time, I was unusually active on social media in an attempt to clarify and distill information on what was open and what wasn't open anymore. During that time, I heard a common refrain among folks in the hiking community who …

Lorraine, the Entitled

I've been arguing on the internet again, guys. This morning, a lady on a Facebook group had some very strong feelings about ongoing closures at Yosemite National Park. This lady - let's call her Lorraine - was angry because she wanted to go to Yosemite, but the park has so far been vague on when …

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 …

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 …