Paulina Peak

Research & Discovery

There is a lot of jagged, very striking rock in Central Oregon. A lot of volcanos in the distance, white-capped with snow, and boatloads of buttes. Last week RK was here delivering bikes and plants and we walked around a bit in the Ochocos (stay tuned for more visits to the Ochocos!!), a small mountain range that is not volcanic. But mostly there is a lot of lava. I’m still working on my internal compass. It’s hard to find trails

fishing the Deschutes

Pivot

I never really wanted to live in Utah. For at least 6 years I claimed to be on the “one year plan.” My problem was with Utah’s urban areas, but the surrounding landscapes turned out to be a huge exploration opportunity. We made a loose household rule to not spend more than 2 weekends in a row in SLC. This was one of the smarter things we have ever done. Salt Lake City is an excellent pivot point for the

Mack and the balsam root.

Tearing

Yesterday my shoulder surgeon told me I was “stiff, but nice.” I struggled to figure out what nice meant in terms of healing, but then he added, “Most people aren’t very happy with me when their shoulder is still stiff at 12 weeks.” Ugh. The way to become un-stiff is to tear apart the scar tissue. I do daily exercises and stretches with ski poles and yoga straps to get my shoulder un-stuck. My physical therapist measures my angles of

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

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

spooky trees

Spooked

You can’t trust your senses in these dark autumn mornings. The wind blows naked trees branches together and they sing like ghosts or maybe a small child in a place where there is no trail and should be no children. Dry leaves chase me down the trail like the sound of quick footsteps, piles of branches look like suspicious structures in the woods. A post with a box on it looks like a person standing very, very still and the

Trail to Van Cott

Keep it free!

There is a system of trails in the foothills near where I live. Really, I’m pretty sure there is just one official trail, but there are countless spurs, social trails, old double-tracks and jeep roads that lead up and over ridges, down steep gullies, traverse rocky hillsides and lead up and down the various peaks. Most of these are the most direct route, very steep, often loose and, if they get well used, sometimes closer to trenches than trails. The

Welcome Back to Shoulder Season

I’ve written before about shoulder season. We tend to think of it as spring and fall, when the days may be warm enough for short sleeves but the evenings are chilly enough for a puffy jacket. The leaves may be leafing or turning color, the days are getting noticeably longer or shorter. I enjoy the light in the fall and the sweetness of the heat while the sun is up. I’ve pulled out my headlamp and tights for morning runs.

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