Thoughts on ‘A Sand County Almanac’

The irony of innovation is that it’s gradually overshadowed by its own impact. A once-seminal idea can—by its own power—become self-evident, erasing its tracks through time. This progression makes it difficult to appreciate what something meant at its beginning; the appreciation that remains is rooted more in retrospect than true inspiration. Given this, I’m surprised […]

Exploring the Magic of Summer Camp

Though the summers of my adulthood bear little resemblance to those of my youth, the season retains the alluring aura of possibility that accompanied it throughout those earlier years. Even when summer weather in San Francisco is anything but, even when I find myself engaged in the most un-summerly of activities, those months continue to lend […]

Ask Someone to the Dance

Last August, I spent a couple weeks as part of staff at Green Mountain Running Camp in Lyndonville, Vermont. Each week-long program ended with an evening dance, where (it was hoped) campers would dance away all capacity for mischief before lights went out on that final night. For a handful of senior counselors, the event […]

Epilogue

Epilogue

[ Day 447 — Sept 3, 2013 ] I wrote for many reasons—some admirable, some not. I wanted to better understand the trip, both in the moment and in the decades to come. I also wanted to share my story in hopes that it might resonate with others. The adventures of teachers, friends, and family inspired adventures […]

Homecoming

[ Day 30 — July 12, 2012 ] Erin and I got off to a late start that morning, aware that it would be our last together and in no particular rush to say goodbye. My trip was near its end, and there were things I would miss, but on the whole I felt satisfied—and […]

More than OK

[ Day 29 — July 11, 2012 ] Erin and I spent the night at Bodega Dunes, just outside the Bay Area’s northern boundary. We continued south the next morning, following Highway 1 past Tomales Bay and turning onto Sir Francis Drake Boulevard at Olema. For me, this marked the transition from what felt familiar […]

At the World’s Edge

At the World’s Edge

[ Day 28 — July 10, 2012 ] Mendocino gave way to Sonoma, and with it came our last day along the North Coast. With only three days left on the road, I tried to savor the experience. Each mile brought me further into familiar territory, but I wanted to retain the traveler’s mindset with […]

The Right Moment

[ Day 27 — July 9, 2012 ] After a big push down the Mendocino Coast, I met up with Erin just before dinner. Though I had enjoyed touring the Lost Coast, I’d grown accustomed to my newfound touring partner and was glad to reconnect with her. The two days apart had done little to […]

Eighty Percent Attitude

[ Day 26 — July 8, 2012 ] I awoke to find the clear overnight skies replaced by a dense mantle of fog. My neighbors were now disembodied voices; crows carried on measured conversation somewhere to the north. The sun was nothing more than a diffused glow, but that wouldn’t be the case where I […]

The Lost Coast

The Lost Coast

[ Day 25 — July 7, 2012 ] Sausage links sizzled as they cooked while pancakes rose to golden perfection nearby. A cheery, middle-aged woman named Barbara presided over the tabletop griddle and hot plate, welcoming sleepy-eyed campers as they wandered into the breakfast tent, lured by the promise of familiar, unpretentious fare. It was […]

Among the Giants

Among the Giants

[ Day 24 — July 6, 2012 ] It was a cold, damp morning at the Mill Creek Campground, and it took some grit to abandon the comforts of tent and sleeping bag. I woke before Erin and Charlie, trying to get a head start on the many tasks that stood between up and out. […]

The Redwood Highway

The Redwood Highway

[ Day 23 — July 5, 2012 ] Erin and I had lunch in Brookings, at a cozy little restaurant with generous portions and friendly service. This was our last town before the California border and also a point of temporary divergence: Erin’s knee had been bothering her, so she decided to catch a bus […]

Independence Day

[ Day 22 — July 4, 2012 ] Erin and I continued riding south, following the 101 as it edged back to the coastline. We rode alone at times, but mostly stayed together, following quiet, tree-lined roads across rolling terrain. The quiet belied our proximity to the ocean; we were just far enough away to […]

Bandon and the Dunes

Bandon and the Dunes

[ Day 21 — July 3, 2012 ] I woke up around seven to find Scott getting the last of his things together. He would tackle a longer, tougher ride than I would that day, and after the 85 miles back to Eugene, he’d hop in a car and drive an additional 280 miles back […]

Children of Coincidence

Children of Coincidence

[ Day 20 — July 2, 2012 ] Scott and I were on our way by 9:15, winding from one neighborhood to the next like twelve-year-olds on a cross-town jaunt. Our Monday-morning escape was mostly uneventful: each quiet neighborhood gave way to another quiet neighborhood, similar in look and feel. I remember few details, with […]

Gravity

[ Days 17 – 19 — June 27 – July 1, 2012 ] Eugene offered a vacation from a vacation: nights in a warm bed and days of easy spectating. I’d paid my admission fee in dollars and sweat, and now the wonders of Track Town were before me like a personal Disneyland. To borrow another metaphor, […]