The John Muir Way — now in Scotland too

Mark Grossi, a California reporter of long standing, recently retired, and his paper republished some of his best work, notably this recounting of a stretch on the John Muir Trail, walked in memory of Gross’s late father. Mount Mendel’s jagged profile turned a surreal pink at sunset. Staring at the spectacle — it’s called alpenglowContinue reading “The John Muir Way — now in Scotland too”

People of the PCT: Honeybun and Miner

Caught me lunching by the trail at about mile 1028, climbing out of the canyon of the east fork of the Carson River. They came up the trail grinning. Honeybun had a speaker pumping a Jamaican tune out of his pack. He gave me a fist-bump as he came up the trail. Miner said something niceContinue reading “People of the PCT: Honeybun and Miner”

People of the PCT: Honeybun [in section I]

On day four of my section hike from Tuolumne Meadows to South Lake Tahoe, I was taking a break and swatting flies in spectacular but hot Jack Main Canyon, about forty miles from town, when a fellow in a straw hat with an enormous staff dashed by, flashing me a smile. I caught up toContinue reading “People of the PCT: Honeybun [in section I]”

PCT Section I: Kerrick Canyon (mile 972-986)

Miles 972 to 986 on the PCT offer gorgeous views at the price of real effort. This was one time on the trail that yours truly, age sixty, was passed by folks, both younger and older, from twenty-somethings coming south from Truckee to family groups passing heading north, in both directions. Didn’t manage to capture portraits thisContinue reading “PCT Section I: Kerrick Canyon (mile 972-986)”

PCT Section I: From Tuolumne Meadows to Sonora Pass (mile 960-972)

In the last couple of weeks had the opportunity and the great joy to complete two more sections of the PCT, from Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite NP to the south Lake Tahoe area. Almost exactly 150 miles. In writing up this I’m going to try and follow the advice of a friend who saw aContinue reading “PCT Section I: From Tuolumne Meadows to Sonora Pass (mile 960-972)”

Between every two tall cacti is a door to a new way of life

On the PCT, in the Anza-Borrego desert, seeing two ocotillo beside the trail like gate posts reminded me of a famous quote of John Muir's. (Okay, I'm a nerd, I admit it.)  The quote, from a note Muir made in a margin, goes something like this:  Between every two pine trees is a door leadingContinue reading “Between every two tall cacti is a door to a new way of life”

Muirtweets: Like a wind full of thistledown

A year or two ago I launched a Twitter stream devoted to the thoughts of a hero of mine, John Muir, believing that no one better inspires a person to explore nature.  To be honest, found myself overwhelmed by life and dropped that thread for a while, only to pick up my current edition ofContinue reading “Muirtweets: Like a wind full of thistledown”

The richness of the light of these days: John Muir

Warm and bright, the valley was spanned by fibrous bows of white cloud, heated masses of air from currentless ovens of chambered and bushy rocks lifted by newborn winds and bourne whole or in fragments about the open gulf of the valley…the richness of the light of these days recalls our best mellow autumns andContinue reading “The richness of the light of these days: John Muir”

Science never saw a ghost: John Muir

After a few years in the Sierra, encouraged by friends, in the 1870's John Muir quit his job running a sawmill in Yosemite Valley and began to explore the Sierra mountains in earnest. At the same time he began to take scraps of paper along with him on his forays into the higher elevations, andContinue reading “Science never saw a ghost: John Muir”