Rae Lakes

The truth is that life is hard and dangerous; that truth is only for the brave; that joy is only for him who does not fear to be alone; that life is only for the one who is not afraid to die.  –Joyce Carey I had dreamed of backpacking into Rae Lakes — said to be the most […]

All About Crutches

Recently I had the misfortune to spend an extended period of time on crutches. On the positive side, using crutches kept me mobile and fit, it taught me humility, and it educated me on what it’s like to go through life disabled. As part of that education, I learned a whole lot more about crutches […]

In High Places

It is 3:00 in the afternoon when I check in to the motel. I have in mind a gentle hike of a few miles, from a trailhead not far up the highway. But the desk clerk, a fit-looking young local, is dismissive. She has another idea. “Let me tell you about the best hike in […]

It’s Complicated

Complexity is the signature of our times. We face more choices and options in a day than our ancestors did in a year —choices requiring decisions they could not fathom. Whether it be toothpaste brands, cell phone plans, cable TV channels, car models, tax deductions, clothing styles, credit cards, investment funds, vacation destinations, hobbies, web […]

The Mountain Biking Years

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” –Soren Kierkegaard It all began with a short ride through a sultry Tennessee woodland, close to home. And it ended about four years later, sitting on a bench in the North Carolina mountains, after an exhilarating day climbing granite peaks and roaring down […]


Sometimes we don’t choose our friends: they choose us. I never invited Cornflower into my lap, or heart. She came on her own. And she changed me. She was, as I often told her, a very pretty girl. She had subtle concentric markings on an elegant grey coat, a lovely and expressive face, a taut and […]

Over the Hill

It’s a bright day, warm but not hot, summertime in the early 1980’s. I’m driving into Eldorado Canyon, just outside of Boulder, with a friend. We ease into a nondescript pulloff just across the river, grab our packs and gear out of the truck, and begin the long stroll up through pines to the base […]

Let’s Roll!

From my earliest memories, my father was a calm and wise presence, a man of principle and integrity. When I think of those qualities, he can’t help but be my archetype. Dad knew what was right, and would put his shoulder to the wheel, without regard for whether it was “cool” or not. He operated […]

Time Capsule

“You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters are continually flowing on.”  –Heraclitus As a rule, the past is lost forever. Try as we might to preserve it, remember it, relive it — things change. Usually that change is imperceptible; occasionally it’s dramatic. And once in a great while, when the mysterious causes and conditions […]

New Tools

Once in a great while, I switch to a new set of tools. This past December was one of those times. It’s an exciting and painful process because the rest of my life stops while I learn new technologies and new ways of running my daily affairs. This time around was more disruptive than most […]