• 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 […]

    ... read the entire post


  • 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, […]

    ... read the entire post


  • 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, […]

    ... read the entire post


  • 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 […]

    ... read the entire post



  • 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 […]

    ... read the entire post


  • 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 […]

    ... read the entire post


  • Water Falls Yet Does Not Die

    Water falls over the cliffs, bashing itself against the granite again and again, dropping down into plunge pools dozens of feet below.  It does not die.

    Water drops from the highest sky, yet doesn’t shatter.

    Not imprisoned in a skeletal shape, water sculpts the bones.

    Water assumes no form, and so it’s every form.  Unborn, it dies not.

    Ice […]

    ... read the entire post


  • 96

    It was so hot…

    ‘96’ upside down is  . . . 96.  Put down that dirty mind!  96 is also the designation of a BLM road a few miles east of Hall’s Crossing at Lake Powell.  You access 96 off of Utah Highway 276.

    You’ll drive down to Hall’s Crossing on July 4th, and find […]

    ... read the entire post


  • I’m Sorry, There’s No Record of Your Birth or Death

    North Rim, near Crazy Jug Point

    NORTH TIMP POINT, NORTH RIM, GRAND CANYON

    That’s my byline.  Sitting under a juniper, my back suffering death by a thousand cuts from cheatgrass.  Swallows, ravens cut darting arcs overhead.  Ants lay trail up and down my arm, scurrying across this very ink as I jot this down.  Horseflies strafe.  Swifts […]

    ... read the entire post