To know yourself you must sometimes be by yourself

Last month Backpacker magazine ran a tough-minded Mark Jenkins essay on journeying alone called Go Solo. At its heart it goes something like this: Ever since Aron Ralston got himself caught between a rock and a hard place in Utah’s Blue John Canyon, hung there for five days, and then amputated his right forearm toContinue reading “To know yourself you must sometimes be by yourself”

Cheryl Strayed: To turn our suffering into beauty

From an unusually rich interview in The Millions, the friendliest of literary sites, with Cheryl Strayed, the author of the great and influential Wild:  Cheryl Strayed: I’ve always thought that the important thing is to turn our suffering into beauty. And the image of the phoenix rising from the ashes has always been super-cool to me,Continue reading “Cheryl Strayed: To turn our suffering into beauty”

The Southern California resurgence of backpacking

Too long ago our local master of the backcountry Bill Slaughter and his rock and roller partner Rain Perry led a group of mostly Ojains into the wilderness to a popular camp by the Sespe, Bear Creek, an easy but pleasant walk, well documented by Modern Hiker. We had a great time and, having sent scouts aheadContinue reading “The Southern California resurgence of backpacking”