• Wrecking the W(r)est

    Sand Canyon

    I imagine that the farmers which lived on the outskirts of the first known city, Ur, in Mesopotamia, formed a committee to oppose its development. They appeared before the first Planning and Zoning Commission and pointed out the regulation against subdivision in lots smaller than three acres. And lost. It’s been the […]

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  • My Unconditioner is Broken



    I was hiking in a canyon off the beaten path just after dawn when I decided to reach a ridge and see if I could spy Monument Valley from it. I waded and zigzagged through the sage and Mormon tea, finally using a box-shaped juniper as my guidepost. Out here in southeast Utah, […]

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  • I Ain’t Ready for Paradise

    I went out for a hike with my good friend, Ben. Before the lockdown, we’d go out every Sunday up Horse Gulch or down the Animas River or even just stroll through Durango, addressing and solving the problems of the world. Today’s hike was a little more significant for me. I was sticking my toe […]

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  • In Each Moment, a New Skin

    It’d been a depressing start to the day. More bad news on the virus, on riots, on another type of depression we were all going through, only they spelled this one with a capital ‘D.’ I’d spoke via phone with my normally ebullient mother back in Chicago, but she was depressed, too. Everybody seemed to […]

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  • Felling a Tree

    I’ve been surrounded by trees these last few weeks. You know what I learned?/ That there are over 3 trillion trees on planet earth. No, I haven’t counted them. I might’ve missed one or two that way.

    A lot of the trees around me are dying. Might’ve mentioned in my last post that I’m surrounded by […]

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  • Is This It, Then? The End?

    Oh shit! Did you put out the campfire?

    A lot is happening right now: Coronavirus. Stock market collapse. War in the Middle East. Political instability. You could be forgiven for concluding that the world is at an end. There are certainly enough websites out there that are saying that.

    People have been predicting The End […]

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  • Red Canyon, Utah

    Like Yale Forestall, the hero in The Dirt, a novel of mainstream-contemporary fiction, I live on the edge of the Colorado Plateau, which means I’m on the verge of red rock country. While I love the mountains which I’m also perched on the flanks of, a slight favorite is southeast Utah. Once west of Blanding, […]

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  • Gooseberry Mesa

    Cedar Breaks

    Campsite envy is a horrible disease, a pernicious gangrene of the soul. I’m on Gooseberry Mesa, a couple miles from Smithsonian Butte. It’s the backdoor to Zion NP. I drive with a few miles of red dust as my rooster’s tail to find my spot, only to see someone snap up an […]

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  • Abert

    I dropped down a gravel road from the western scarp wall of Hart Mountain, a gigantic fault block mountain that, like a keep with retaining walls 3,600 feet in height, dominates the surrounding terrain of Warner Valley.  The road almost in freefall. These cliffs impose heavy shadows upon the floor of Warner Valley near the […]

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  • My Own National Park

    North Rim Vista

    Amazing how the cosmos cosmoscizes.  I need to let someone know I’ll be out of phone contact for a few more days, but my cell has no service.  Hadn’t seen a two-legger in even more days. Four mountain bikers show up, one of whom has a perfectly splendid and working cell […]

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