A Stormy Night on the Lost Coast

The rain began just before we arrived at camp. It was a fine mist, falling gently but persistently as we removed our shoes to cross the creek, as we set up our tents in the valley, as we cooked our dinner. My rain gear, aging and worn, was not up to the task. By the … Read more

The Founding Fathers Don’t Support Your Argument

Let’s stop pretending they knew anything about today’s world. Can we stop using the founding fathers as the basis of our political arguments? It’s a sloppy way to argue, filled with fallacy, and it does an injustice to both the past and the present. The founding fathers were imperfect human beings. They had some good … Read more

Backpacking Checklist

This is the backpacking checklist I use for almost every trip. It makes my packing faster and less stressful. Italics are things that I only bring on specific occasions (desert/cold weather/hiking with friends/long distance/etc.). Strikethrus are things I rarely ever bring, but I keep them on the list just in case. I don’t include my … Read more

Backpacking Advice

General Spend top dollar from a cottage shop to go light on the big items: backpack, sleeping bag, tent, puffy coat. Spend big on those 4 and it will save you money over the long run. Test gear before you go: rain gear, tent, drybags, inflatables*, headlamp*, stove*, lighter* *test these before every trip Feet … Read more

Klamath Basin – Part 7

Today it’s Wayne Shorter, the eminent Jazz Saxophonist. Shorter is the front man and composer of this album, Speak No Evil, but the other members of his quintet are each legends in their own rights: Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; Herbie Hancock, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Elvin Jones, drums. One might expect a collection of such jazz … Read more

Klamath Basin – 6

The guttural thrum of a diesel engine, muffled by shoreside trees, wafts across Upper Klamath Lake. Though it permeates my present locale, the engine is a small sound in these spacious shores, and leaves room for others, such as my footsteps on this dirt road, and the flapping of loons, scattering from the shore at … Read more

Yosemite High Route Slideshow

The Yosemite High Route is a 94-mile off-trail route through the high country of Yosemite National Park. In the summer of 2020, I set out to hike it with Konstantin Yakovenko, a friend and fellow backpacking enthusiast. Composer Bill Gantt saw my photos on Instagram and offered to set them to a piece of original … Read more

Klamath Basin – 5

Part 5 – Amid Tears and Sorrow The land is black and stinks of ash resin. Against purple skies, a hobbled tree stretches its blackened branches as if reaching for help. To my right, the surface of Tule Lake reflects the failing light between tule reeds huddled together in the shallows. I’ve returned to the … Read more

Klamath Basin – 4

An outboard engine spasms to life behind me, a great rattling noise against the serenity of the lake, then disintegrates into a thousand ruffles and throbbing palpatations. I turn to identify the sound; there’s no engine, only a flock of geese exploding into flight, wings percussing the water membrane, beating at air, thrumming with life. … Read more

The Klamath Basin – 3

This is Part 3 of a multi-part series.Read Part 1 here.Read Part 2 here. III. A wall drops away from the side of the trail, and the ground with it. The gaping hole in the earth is filled with brush—the collapse happened long ago. Peering down from the rim, I imagine tense Modoc faces gathered … Read more