Off trail in Wyoming.

Creepers

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

Mack the best dog

Mack loves the new year!

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

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

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.

Dirt Roads are the Best Roads

Gravel, finally. RK releases his seat belt, windows go down, the dogs perk up, lift their heads and stick noses out the window. Gravel and dirt lead to the good places: creeks, trails, camping, real darkness, stars, rocks, trees, views, solitude and quiet. In the roughest bits the truck is put into 4WD and slowly crawls over rocks, ruts, and generally tricky spots. Springs creak, the engine revs, there is an occasional smack of the skid plate on rock. Branches

Spooky, Stingy and Educated

Fishing, like a lot of activities, has a certain amount of ritual involved. Sure, you could just go fishing… but wouldn’t it be better to stop at the fly shop and have a word with the fellas? Tell ’em where you’re headed, see what’s fishing well, find out what flies the fish are going for… Part of me always wonders if this is an opportunity to sell off some extra fly inventory, but I do enjoy saying hello to the guys (when

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