John Muir On Mt. Ritter: After scanning its face again and again, I began to scale it, picking my holds With intense caution. About half-way To the top, I was suddenly brought to A dead stop, with arms outspread Clinging close to the face of the rock Unable to move hand or foot Either up or down. My doom Appeared fixed. I MUST fall. There would be a moment of Bewilderment, and then, A lifeless rumble down the cliff To the glacier below. My mind seemed to fill with a Stifling smoke. This terrible eclipse Lasted only a moment, when life blazed Forth again with preternatural clearness. I seemed suddenly to become possessed Of a new sense. My trembling muscles Became firm again, every rift and flaw in The rock was seen as through a microscope, My limbs moved with a positiveness and precision With which I seemed to have Nothing at all to do. Gary Snyder
The Arctic is one of my favorite places on the planet- magical, surreal and vast. Here’s an article that came out in a past issue of Mountain Magazine about a trip to the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska that I was on with a crew of scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society. Thanks Patrick Endres for the beautiful photography. http://www.mountainonline.com/circling-ravens/
“I hear the bleating as our raft rounds a long lazy bend in the Utukok River. The distressed, desperate call comes from a baby caribou stranded on a small rock island midstream. Seated next to me is Joel Berger, a wildlife biologist. He estimates the calf is three days old. The cloudless sky is busy with ravens soaring in concentric circles. A sign of carrion. On the far bank we spot the white rump of a caribou cow racing through the tundra. And then another. Berger guesses a calf has been killed and a predator has separated the bleating calf from its mom. To distract the unseen predator, the cows spring up and down in the willows like Whack-A-Moles. I fight back a wild urge to save the calf, to smuggle it out on the raft. Finally, guided by instinct to survive, the calf quiets itself and curls up, camouflaged in the tawny cobbles. We float on…”
Here’s an Op Ed I wrote that appeared last week in one of our local papers, The Teton Valley News about the link between good economic health and good education.
“Lately there’s lots of buzz about economic development in Teton Valley—it’s exciting, invigorating and the efforts are much appreciated. But, one critical element seems to be missing from the dialogue—the undeniable link between a community’s economic health and the quality of schools.
As a kid, I moved a lot and each time good public schools were at the top of my parent’s shopping list. Even last year, as my parents moved yet again, one of their primary criteria was a home located in a good school district. No, in their 60s they weren’t planning on having another kid, but they did recognize how the quality of schools directly affects a home’s resale value…”
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An essay on of my favorite places to go in the winter- Yellowstone’s Shoshone Geyser Basin. Well worth the trip!
It’s not just about log cabins in the woods. Jackson Hole and the Tetons are pushing the envelope not only in extreme sports but also architecture. Here’s an article I wrote for the Winter issue of Jackson Hole Magazine.
One of the Teton’s lesser known but coolest winter activities is to spend part of the day at the Teton Raptor Center in Wilson. Click on my Jackson Hole Magazine article about the Center to learn more (and something about raptors while you’re at it.)
Also in Sierra- my cover story on Yellowstone Bison. This herd is the last wild, native herd in the United State, yet ever year they undergo hazing that results in animal deaths. It’s a fascinating conservation, cultural and economic topic with implications far beyond the Greater Yellowstone. Share the link!
If you’re looking how to stay cozy while camping this winter, check out my outdoor gear reviews in Sierra’s latest issue for lots of goodies:
Ever dream of being a river ranger? Here’s a piece I did for the Jackson Hole Magazine on David Cernicek