tiny drawing - laurel hunter - spaceship

Pause

You may remember that I took a spill last September. Turns out I tore my rotator cuff (my supraspinatus tendon, to be specific), and had to have it repaired last week. While I can scribble down ideas for posts, my inability to type as fast as I think, with only one hand available to help with typing, is leaving me disinclined to write for now. Wild Westish will return to normal posts in 5 weeks. Anyone interested in what to

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.

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

My Favorite Coyotes

I was recently asked what sound has the greatest influence on me and my first thought was “silence” quickly followed by “coyotes.” I start my runs in the dark these days. It’s pretty darn cold, solitary, and generally a testament to my doggedness that I am out there at all. The coyotes are really vocal now that it is mating season, and hearing them assures me that the sun will, in fact, rise. As I run, the latest version of the winter

Winter Gray

We all know people who view the world in a very black and white fashion, but I am all about gray. I once infuriated an Austrian who I went wine tasting with. “Do you love it?” he would ask. “I don’t love it, but it is interesting.” “So you hate it,” he said. “No, I don’t hate it.” He didn’t understand the vast possibilities of the middle. I spend a lot less time loving winter than I do the other seasons, but

Trudge

For years I fantasized about making a movie called Trudge. It would be roughly 3 minutes of short clips of outdoor trudging, no words (other than the expletives that come naturally from the athletes), just the parts of outdoor activities that slow us down, lean the body forward, pull our faces down into concentrated grimaces, make us profusely sweaty, muddy, cold or windblown, but presumably get us to where we want to be. I never thought there needed to be a

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