Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature. -Rachel Carson
The President stole your land. While easily forgotten thanks to the hundreds of other scandals since, in an unprecedented act Trump reduced Bear’s Ears National Monument by over a million acres and Grand Staircase-Escalante by over 800,000 acres. Recently, documents accidentally released by the Department of the Interior revealed biased decision-making in favor of extractive industries. All the while the Trump administration continues to favor special interest groups and profit, rolling back regulations meant to protect us and the environment at an alarming rate.
Views of the San Juan Islands from Mount Erie
Protest that endures, I think, is moved by a hope far more modest than that of public success: namely, the hope of preserving qualities in one’s own heart and spirit that would be destroyed by acquiescence. -Wendell Berry
The hours when the mind is absorbed by beauty are the only hours in which we truly live, so that the longer we can stay among these things so much the more is snatched from inevitable Time. -Richard Jefferies
I spent this summer playing around the San Juan Islands working as a kayak guide, where I successfully managed not to lose anyone at sea, although I did have to rescue capsized clients (twice!). During my months in Washington I started lead climbing, hiked many hikes, and entered a new decade. I can hardly believe the summer is really over, although it’s even harder to believe in less than a week I’ll be leaving my beloved west coast, bound for a new job in Oman.
Guide training at Deception Pass
Hard to focus on climbing with this view
As the year comes to an end, I’ve managed to find yet another place to leave a piece of my heart. How can there be so much to love in this world?After finishing up a second season with Naturalists at Large, I took a canoeing trip with co-worker friends down the Black Canyon that basically rocked my world and spent the following week playing around in my old stomping grounds back east. Following a cozy Thanksgiving with family I then landed in Big Sur, where I pitched my tent to volunteer at the Henry Miller Memorial Library.
Catalina, White’s Landing
One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am- a reluctant enthusiast… a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breath deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. -Edward Abbey
Andrew Molera State Park
If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy; if the world were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I wake up each morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor the world. This makes it very hard to plan the day. — E. B. White
Canada in a nutshell.
Oh Canada– land of poutine, Caesars and unfailing politeness. I cannot understate just how much I enjoyed spending a month visiting my northern neighbors.
Good morning from Yosemite Valley
…Back there it is so difficult and desperately important to find a reason for staying alive. How else should a person go on living? Sheer misery makes one profound. But here there are no problems, mere thinking becomes a game, existence needs no justification. A person discovers: the world is beautiful, and life is brief. -Herman Hesse
Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music- the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls, and interesting people. Forget yourself. -Henry Miller
Yosemite is such a flirt! Views for days, meadows that glow gold, plunging waterfalls. It had been awhile since my last visit to the park, yet I still had that fluttery feeling in my stomach while driving in, proving once again just how easy it is to fall in love with places, and that true love can last a lifetime.
To make living itself an art, that is the goal. – Henry Miller
Now I know why many men have stopped and wept/ Halfway between the loves they leave and seek/ And wondered if travel leads them anywhere… -Leonard Cohen, Stranger Music
Early on while walking the camino I worried about returning home and feeling as if nothing had changed. After living back in sweet San Diego for four months, I can see that my dear friend Nicole was right: if you have changed, then so has everything else. I think about the camino and subsequent 10 day vipassana retreat I did almost immediately upon my return stateside nearly every day. As cheesy as it sounds, after a rough year in Brooklyn I think they somehow managed to restore my soul back to a more primitive state. If I carry anything from these experiences with me, it’s the importance of embracing each day- its pleasure and its challenges, while making others feel welcome and appreciating the company of those you’re with now.