For the Birds

RK just told me that studies show that certain birds sounds (magpies, jays, crows) are not calming to humans. I wonder if that is that because we have pre-judged those sounds. I love the sound of jays — raspy, bossy, and confident. Often they are the only bird sounds that can amplify over the noise of the city. Jays can put a cat in its place. Birds are unfairly separated into good and bad. Why do some people call a

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Keep it free!

Trail to Van Cott

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

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Gasoline

Mack taking a nap

A friend of mine shared a video with me recently, which is funny and touching and inspiring. This guy, Isaac, had been in a terrible skydiving accident and was not expected to walk again. In the video he hikes and scrambles to the top of a volcano, despite not having quads or sensation in his left leg. One of my favorite parts of the video shows him driving a motorcycle, “A real motorcycle, not a dumbass little scooter.” To shift

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The river of sticks and scared fish

It is the nature of exploration that not every adventure will be the best adventure. Last weekend we drove out to the West Fork of the Duchesne River. We’d heard rumors that this was a worthy river and fishing great, and just our style. It’s a longish drive on pavement and the dirt road is rough, but we figured it was day-trippable from the city. For the first few miles we drove on a forest service road that goes through

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Images From A Mountain Bike Ride

drawing by Laurel Hunter

The missing tooth in the mouth of the rider who passed me at the rock garden. He didn’t clear it either, but “life goes on,” he said. He was wearing a blaze orange vest, unzipped, flapping at his sides as he pedaled away. This same rider on the trail, riding up “Gravity Hill.” The spring green sloping ridge was backed by a wall of steel blue rain clouds. The orange vest a vivid, slow moving dot against the sky. A

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