Creepers

Off trail in Wyoming.

There are some very good reasons to creep around in the woods: mushroom hunting, bird watching, berry picking… or maybe just looking for a private spot to pee. It can be very unnerving, however, to be on a trail and see someone poking around the in the bushes nearby. Trails provide clear direction, a path to follow and a destination (even if that is simply a flat spot to stretch and turn around). Mountain bikers, hikers, runners… we tend to

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Mack loves the new year!

Mack the best dog

We have all noticed that the approach of the new year, usually a time of great optimism and anticipation, is weighed down this year with an elevated level of anxiety in many people. Our dogs, however, continue living in the moment. Anxiety only shows itself when outdoor clothes are being put on and they are uncertain whether they are going with us. Or dinner time is approaching and perhaps we have forgotten? Mack glues himself to my hip in the mornings

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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

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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

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Shoulder Season

You are, of course, familiar with the concept of a shoulder season, that time between the “peaks,” whatever those may be. In the mountains, shoulder seasons are spring and fall. In the desert, shoulder seasons are winter and summer. Basically, it’s when there is less of a guarantee of good weather or conditions. Hotel rooms tend to be cheaper, camping is plentiful, restaurants might be close to empty or even closed, and you have a greater chance of finding solitude.

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