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twilight

Thursday’s trail run

I pulled into the parking lot at the trailhead a little before 6:30 on Thursday morning. The nearby houses were dark. There was one other car, a gold SUV, in the parking lot but no sign of the driver or anyone else. The trail disappeared into darkness until I clicked on my headlamp, creating my little circle of visibility. A half mile in, I perched on the edge of the meadow that sits like a shallow bowl below the hills.

Emma stalking in some snow

Bend, Don’t Break

I am three weeks into a head cold that just won’t quit. I am well enough to go to work but, as I told my co-worker, I feel like half of my energy is going towards snot production. If I was bleeding as much as I am snotting I would be in the hospital for blood loss. I have two aching shoulders that keep me awake in the night, four months after a mountain bike crash. Only one was injured,

Tiny mountains in the mountains

Reset

We made it! A year-long clean slate is now rolled out in front of us to fill up with action, adventure, and unknown possibilities. Most everyone is now open to the idea of making a change. Whether to be brave or better looking, to travel, read, draw, exercise, quit something, start something. We can all soak in a week or so of heavy-duty can-do attitude from our surroundings. I love the brief season of optimism! Everyone has a different style,

wintering

Wintering

I am being reminded of the challenges of winter running. Glare ice under a thin layer of snow fluff that requires a short stride and careful steps. Snow packed into dirt, filling in the texture and making for slick descents. The curious duality of ice and goopy mud, side by side on narrow singletrack. Hand warmers shoved into my gloves to keep the backs of my hands from being stubbornly cold. It’s all just a little more work, a little

The Winter Fizz Cocktail

When the Outdoors Forces You Inside

Learning to be comfortable in different weather conditions is one of the benefits of spending a lot of time outside. Weather isn’t always ideal: hail, while one of my favorite things to watch and listen to, can be quite painful when you are out on a trail run. Wind can be exhausting and frustrating. Lightning can be terrifying if you are in the wrong place, like a ridge. But there aren’t many conditions that keep me from venturing out at

Mack the dog, stoked

Things these days

I don’t think I know anyone who isn’t see-sawing between despair, rage, frustration, and helplessness these days. On all things political, environmental, and social, it really is a heaping pile of bad news. How to manage heartache in crazy times? When even our carefully constructed social bubbles are collapsing in? When natural and political disasters compete for the headlines? I listen to music more than the news. I read headlines but only go deep on stories of unexpected awesomeness, such

Ancient bristlecone pine

Opposite Thanksgiving

If you are looking for solitude during Thanksgiving, let me recommend Great Basin National Park. We used it as a halfway point on our drive from SLC to Bishop, CA. After a short-ish hike to a very cool arch tucked away in the bottom corner of the park, we found a sweet and compact camp site in a parallel canyon. It dead-ends at a trailhead a few miles up, and we verified that we were the only people in the canyon.

Mack on a trail run

My favorite gear for trail running (in the dark)

I am a bit of a gear nerd, and a bit of a perfectionist, and it is hard for me to settle for gear that isn’t pretty close to doing its job really well. These days there are so many options! Surely, the perfect pair of running tights exists. And the perfect mountain biking pack! When I worked in the outdoor industry I was always trying to find a way to finagle pro-deals with smaller, perhaps European, somewhat obscure companies

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