This Will Be Our Year

This Will Be Our Year

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It’s been a while since I last wrote, and in that time life decided to scramble my carefully arranged plans. Rather than finishing my fourth season with Naturalists at Large, I instead was evacuated from Catalina to deal with a severe kidney infection caused by two large stones. The infection and subsequent surgeries rendered me more or less immobile for six weeks, and honestly, the whole experience really shook me to my core.

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A Kind of Magic

A Kind of Magic

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

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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.

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Blues Run the Game 

Blues Run the Game 

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

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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.

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The Moon As a Kite

The Moon As a Kite

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.
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The Littlest Birds

The Littlest Birds

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
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