We pulled into Lee’s Ferry Campground around 8 pm. That wasn’t the plan. The plan was to make it all the way to the Kaibab National Forest by nightfall. But we were hungry and tired after an eight-hour drive across the desert and several misadventures in the Hopi town of Tuba City: A lost credit card, empty filling stations, and a single small grocery with … Continue reading Hope and Healing in the Desert
I guess I’m a desert person now. That’s what Pat Flanagan, a 78-year old activist I interviewed for a recent High Country News article called herself. Pat has lived in southern California for decades, but it wasn’t until 2002 that she could move to the far reaches of San Bernardino County into the Mojave Desert. Which she did upon retirement because, well, she’s a desert … Continue reading Desert People
I still don’t know if sharing this eulogy is a good idea or not. Is it exploiting my father’s death? Is it self-indulgent (well, yes). Can I rationalize some larger purpose for sharing it? How about this: On this Father’s Day of 2018, I share my eulogy of my father, who died in 2017, to inspire all fathers to spend time with their daughters – … Continue reading To fathers of daughters who love the outdoors
First, get up in the middle of the night and drive through the freezing December cold to a wildlife refuge in New Mexico about an hour down the interstate. Then, meet a caravan of biologists and volunteers at an abandoned restaurant right off the highway. When everyone has arrived, follow the line of traffic into the refuge. After you pass through the second gate, abandon … Continue reading How to catch a wolf
Everything I did on my summer vacation was free. Well, everything except for the daily bags of ice I purchased for my cooler from a groovy local café at $2.25 a pop. (Because heat). All of it was on public land in the West, and all of it was magnificent. On a mostly solo 10-day trip I hiked on the Continental Divide Trail, peered into … Continue reading Land of the free
The road stretched straight and flat before me, like you’d see in a sports car commercial or a Dennis Hopper movie. On either side, the land spread wide and open. Not quite flat–with a bit of a roll here and there–dotted continuously with juniper and other unidentifiable desert shrubs. I had been traveling out West for almost six weeks since leaving my home in West … Continue reading Where did the West go?
It’s that time of year again, so I’m reposting my seasonal rant against Rudolph. In the age of Trump, this originally lighthearted piece triggers a bit more of an ominous response. After all, we thought we had left some of this behind, didn’t we? Here goes: No, this isn’t an environmental screed. Rudolph and Santa actually seem to live a pretty low impact life in … Continue reading The illogic of Rudolph