As I’ve written before, I’ve spent a lot of the last handful of years thinking about death. Not in an abstract way—what is life; who am I?—but in an all-too-real, terribly concrete way: both professionally and for recreation, the pursuits I’m drawn to require us to undertake a great deal of risk, and lately I’ve read the accident reports of peers, colleagues, friends-of-friends, and role models who bore the consequences of that risk in the most catastrophic way imaginable. Continue reading “A mid-season reflection: What are those turns worth?”
Immediately after my college graduation, I embarked on a three-week backpacking trip in Montana’s Beartooth-Absaroka Wilderness with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS, as it’s more commonly known in outdoorsy circles). I’ve written a little previously about the long-reaching effects this experience had on me. Still, I don’t think I realized the depth of its impact on my life until another recent backpacking experience, but I’ll get to that.
Spring Creek Farm sits on the outskirts of Palmer, Alaska, a small, rural community about forty miles north of Anchorage. In the mid-1930s, some two hundred-odd Midwesterners, mostly in their late twenties and early thirties, picked up their families and moved to the Last Frontier as part of Roosevelt’s New Deal. The Matanuska Colony has existed in various incarnations since then, and today, the sleepy township of Palmer is home to just under six thousand people and, still, plenty of dairy cows.