• On Widforss Trail

    North Rim Vista

    The topography resembles papier mache, crinkled a little here and there.  This is a region of implacable upheaval. I become lost in its bays and shelf forests.  When one region falls into shadow and cools, my eyes, like ravens, fly off to another butte, or an adjacent scarp.  I stand on […]

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  • Flow You, Too

    A Daoist might say: Go with the flow. A Buddhist might advise you: Detach from it. A Hindu yogi may conclude: There is no flow. It’s an illusion, and a Christian might tell you to embrace the flow. It has something to teach you. In the end, they all say the same thing.

    I’d been drawn […]

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  • Abert

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

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  • The Rock with Wings

    I’m perched on top of a knife edge, a volcanic dike. I’m completely enswathed in solitude for miles in every direction except for the far off, silent glints of the pickups on the highway rattling toward Newcomb, NM. I hiked up toward the Shiprock monolith, its Anglo name, of course. To the Dine’, it has […]

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  • Leaves of Ice

    Today stands as the last day of the year, 2004, and I suppose it is a miracle that the mercury cloys out of its winter torpor to stretch up into the cloudless blue of 59 degrees F and counting.  I claw my away out of my own Chicago torpor.

    You need to send out your work, […]

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  • The Music Tree

    You ever feel like running your car over someone’s face? Maybe it’s just me.

    This particular Saturday felt with its cold gray clipper blowing in off Lake Michigan like the first real day of winter, even though a month of days stood between now and its official start.  In the Windy City, this weekend before Thanksgiving, […]

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  • The Absence of Man

    “The greatest joy in nature is the absence of man.”

    -William Bliss Carman-

    Every time I hike along the shoulder of a mountain or even just walk in a local forest preserve outside Chicago, I recover a part of myself.  I gain a fragment of my self that I had lost to civilization.  In the world made […]

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  • Night of the Ringtail

    Deadlier Than It Looks

    Know what a ringtail is?  I didn’t either, until New Year’s Eve, 1998.  That’s when one checked in to my pitch black hotel room on the floor of Zion Canyon in Zion National Park.  A ringtail is a southwestern relative of the raccoon, though the only resemblance in my book […]

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  • Light Catcher

    I’d just finished a day hike down Thunder River Trail and was looking for a place to park my truck and camp. Drift smoke from a few fires farther east along the rim swaddled the lower reaches below Steamboat Mountain. I decided to camp randomly. Whatever the next road was, I’d take it. The next […]

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