Blue Moon On Mt. Lassen

Last Friday I drove the four and a half hours over Hwy 299 to meet with friends old and new to hike up Mt. Lassen, the southernmost of the Cascade volcanoes. We’d been planning this trip for a while, having cancelled it back in 2010 due to thundershowers that dropped several inches of rain on the area on the day we had planned to go.

Mt. Lassen from the parking lot at dusk. It’s higher up there than it looks.

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Blue Trails, wilderness adventures on civilized rivers.

I’ve had the incredible privilege to raft or kayak many wilderness rivers, including some of the most amazing runs in the Western United States. From a nine-day trip on Alaska’s Copper River, complete with icebergs, glaciers, wolves and grizzly bears, to a couple three-week trips on the Colorado River through Grand Canyon, these adventures have been the best times of my life.

Somewhere along the way, I seem to have absorbed the notion that river trips had to involve wilderness or whitewater to be worthwhile. Read why this is silly

Rafting on the Klamath

Getting it all together at the put-in on Saturday morning.

This weekend I had the pleasure of two days of rafting on the Klamath River, a few hours north of where I live. Klamath Riverkeeper held a benefit float and party on Saturday and then six of us put together an impromptu trip on Sunday. There are few things more conducive to unwinding than floating a river and it wasn’t till I got off the water Sunday afternoon that I realized how much better I felt compared to the last few weeks. Read the rest

The postcard and the portaledge

Life moves so fast sometimes that keeping perspective beyond the needs of decision-making in the immediate present becomes difficult or requires more energy than I have available. I find it a useful exercise from time to time to stop and reflect on the current moment from an imagined future. What will I think of this moment, looking back on it from that future then? What will be important? Will it even matter at all?

Let me tell a story about a postcard that changed my life. In 1984 I was in Boulder for a land surveying job that never materialized. I met another rock climber and we did a climbing tour around the Southwest in October, traveling in his VW bus named “E.m.m.a.” While I’ve long since forgotten the origin of the acronym, “Emma” was also named in honor of anarchist Emma Goldman. The sides were covered with anarchist and anti-militarist political graffiti, getting frequent and mostly-positive comments from passers-by. We were probably just a bit too out-there for rednecks to even know what to say.
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