Tuscarora Trail Journal. Chapter Two: Happy Hour in Sleepy Creek (Sections 11-13, Basore’s Ridge Shelter to Hancock, March 26-28, 2021)

Intro. Welcome back to the Tuscarora Trail! Claudio, Kyle, Brian, and I continued our 2021 section hike with 45 miles taking us through the tri-border region of Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland and covering sections 11-13 (and a bit of 14) as described in the PATC guidebook. We finished in historic Hancock, Maryland after passingContinue reading “Tuscarora Trail Journal. Chapter Two: Happy Hour in Sleepy Creek (Sections 11-13, Basore’s Ridge Shelter to Hancock, March 26-28, 2021)”

Profound Historical Fiction and Riveting Epic Fantasy (Reviewing Robert Jones, Jr.’s The Prophets, and Brandon Sanderson’s Rhythm of War)

January started with a significant reading list. I’ll spend the rest of 2021 trying to even equal the power of the two books I read to start the year. No, these two books don’t share much in common. But each on their own merit is worth a “stop what you’re doing and read” urge. HearContinue reading “Profound Historical Fiction and Riveting Epic Fantasy (Reviewing Robert Jones, Jr.’s The Prophets, and Brandon Sanderson’s Rhythm of War)”

Tuscarora Trail Journal. Chapter One: My Kingdom for My Snowshoes (Sections 14-16, 48/55 to Basore’s Ridge Shelter, February 13-14, 2021)

Intro. I need another trail section-hike project like I need some new backpacking equipment. Which is to say I absolutely don’t but certainly will take one on anyway. As far as section hikes go, it seems everyone in my backpacking orbit is working on their own Tuscarora Trail version. And why not? At 250 totalContinue reading “Tuscarora Trail Journal. Chapter One: My Kingdom for My Snowshoes (Sections 14-16, 48/55 to Basore’s Ridge Shelter, February 13-14, 2021)”

An Inauguration Worth Commemorating

Backpacking seasons come and go. DC UL Backpacking should know. It’s been around for 11 great years. Though I founded the original version of the group as — essentially — a personal backpacking crew for me to ring lead in 2009, it has grown beyond my wildest dreams. I bestowed a name, an ultralight orientation,Continue reading “An Inauguration Worth Commemorating”

Upon this Dharma I Will Build My Church

In ways I have not felt since family church attendance and teenage religiosity, I’ve undertaken some changes to my life and habits of late. This surprised me, to be honest. After a solid 20 years as a set in my thinking go-it-alone atheist/agnostic*, I wasn’t planning for or seeking a change of pace to myContinue reading “Upon this Dharma I Will Build My Church”

A Year in Trees (And Tree Books)

2020 meant many things to me, not surprisingly or even remotely unique. But 2020 was, in the end, a year of trees; a year in trees. This has been a surprising, enriching tree awakening that began around January 1 and blossomed into a spring of discovery in the neighborhood and the mountain trails I frequent.Continue reading “A Year in Trees (And Tree Books)”

Are We Entering a New Progressive Era? (Reviewing Robert Putnam/Shaylyn Romney Garrett’s The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again)

I came across Robert D. Putnam and Shaylyn Romney Garrett’s The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again in David Brooks’ October 15 New York Times opinion column “How To Actually Make America Great Again.” It’s worth quoting at length. Here’s what David wrote: The Good andContinue reading “Are We Entering a New Progressive Era? (Reviewing Robert Putnam/Shaylyn Romney Garrett’s The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again)”

The Long and Short Of It (Reviewing Samantha Shannon’s The Priory of the Orange Tree)

Note: This is a review of Samantha Shannon’s The Priory of the Orange Tree. I avoid spoilers but touch on general themes, world build, and plot dynamics. You have been warned. The Good. The Priory of the Orange Tree came to my attention via the best possible path: received as a meaningful gift picked outContinue reading “The Long and Short Of It (Reviewing Samantha Shannon’s The Priory of the Orange Tree)”