A mid-season reflection: What are those turns worth?

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?”

Musings on mentorship, middle school, and other things I’m not qualified to discuss

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.

Continue reading “Musings on mentorship, middle school, and other things I’m not qualified to discuss”

Alaska, continued! (A story in which, for better or for worse, I find myself back on the Last Frontier)

The Farm is identified by this often-driven-by sign, cleverly hidden by vegetation on the side of Farm Loop Road.
The Farm is identified by this often-driven-by sign, cleverly hidden by vegetation on the side of Farm Loop Road.

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.

Continue reading “Alaska, continued! (A story in which, for better or for worse, I find myself back on the Last Frontier)”