right now forever flows freely but only incrementally for exists a headwaters dam and where salmon should spawn instead suffocates healing breath. Mountains recede abdicating their peaks for knolls of simplicity and braid the streams ever-so-quietly as if a sandbar is all they can say right now. This is all they can give. Meanwhile the mainstream roils … More The River Drainage Of Despair
I’m excited to announce I won the 2016 Bell Prize from High Country News! My essay was published in the Nov. 14 issue, and you can read it online here. Wild spaces continue to be vitally important in our human development, and I hope they bring you joy and peace. Thank you for the support!
Desiccated air snatches raindrops before they meet ground. It’s not just hot here in the inferno of gold-fire sandstone, those stolid walls that hold the heat of eons. Copper ramparts twist to liquid illuminating and reflecting, daring you to describe water. Today it is titan rust, a metallic illusion of shadow we could endlessly follow. … More The Desert Moves Yes
Outdoor Research perfectly clapped back to GQ Magazine’s sexist portrayal of climbers with a photo essay. Never to leave all the fun to the rock slingers, some of the river ladies of OARS Idaho are here to show you why you unequivocally need ditch boots. Now you too can lift heavy things, gallivant in fall … More This Is 2016: A Ditch Boot Story
Late August on the Main Salmon punches the somewhat smoky air with bursts of laughter, sunshine, and — of course — splashes. By mid-afternoon, it’s warmed up just enough for me to invite a few playful bubbles to curl gracefully over the edge of my boat. A month ago, we were riding these same roller … More What, Really, Are Rapids For?
I follow the river through steep mountain slices warped like sparks in my soul but this time the river runs seemingly uphill and the gorges roll on unperturbed instead of obscuring their interior. I follow the river unsuspectingly until I find it, my spunky sense of youth where days of play stretch on and on … More I Follow The River
In the beginning I mostly prayed for the Transmilenio — the bright red behemoth bus — to arrive marginally on time. “One minute. Let it come in one minute.” And it always did. But later, once I learned the ebb and flow of non-existent schedules, and that the flashing letters listing “7 min” really meant … More In The Beginning
During a trip on the Main Salmon in Idaho, my friend Prester and I did some collaborative art. He watercolored the view from our camp, and I added text. Enjoy! We hugged the bend today of crooked rocks and rain-dream skies, letting sand envelop our uncertainty. Contortions are not just for the river as knotty pines … More Contortions
I’ve never loved the way I love the desert, except maybe rocky mountain rivers and deep jungle creeks that put to shame the very idea of water streaming through sand. And I’ve never hoped for anything as much as I hope for the desert, unless of course you count my hope in the glass concrete … More I’ve Never Loved
While floating on the Main Salmon River between Jim Moore Place and Bucksin Bill’s, I wrote this poem slowly in my head, waiting for the river and landscape to whisper to me. The validity of river is only a question of time and time has nothing but river to soothe its wily mind. Sticks and … More Validity