Darkness Won't Break Through

Field Report No. 20160207BB

Topic: Talking with the cedars

Conditions: Brisk and sodden

COMMENTS: Today as I rose I retraced the hurried hoof-skids of a four-legged mammal on a quick retreat from last night's windstorm. In many places the storm's force had pierced the forest's soft belly with spears made of its own dismembered dendritic arms. Rootless as they are they will drop to the ground before the next storm turns its face to this holy hill. And as I worked I became unstoppable, also scratching the earth with hurried, starved feet. As any true part of this land I forgot myself completely throwing away gender, shape, politics, until I could feel my Self again: calm and silent, speaking the most beautiful ephemeral poetry to me in a secret language. Together me and my master, the inseminator of my future, these giants, the forest and I danced. In our perfect, golden rotation for a moment we held the entire universe in balance. so it goes with my many silent days in the forest spent talking with the rain and befriending bucks.

KEY FEATURES: The Cougar Squak Corridor is replete with bipedal stumps, animate ferns, animal friends everywhere. A light dusting of rain and rooted rollies for more miles than one can run in a day. Unruly off-leash dogs.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Cougar Mountain features friendly trails closest to the city with high starting points enabling minimal-elevation-gain romps. Squak Mountain is moody, meaty, cold, and a bit unkempt. Tiger Mountain hosts the mother of all Pacific Northwest ultras as well as steep, challenging, committing mountain runs at all distances in between. Five of its six summits are nearly always deserted. Issaquah Coffee Company before, Noodle Boat Thai after. Enough said.

Swinging through the sagelands

Swinging through the sagelands

COMMENTS: Communed with the sagelands on this morning's run while visiting family in the Columbia Basin. Though this land has been stifled by

Field Trip: Part III

COMMENTS: "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." Twenty-seven years later I returned to the place that gave me

Queue to my Heart

COMMENTS: Everybody loves a line. In a culture centered around convenience and efficiency, nothing excites or frustrates people more than 

Field Trip: Part II

COMMENTS: One for the books (pun- you'll see later). Everyone loves a good wedding, I don't think

Field Trip: Part I

Field Report No. 20150523AH

Topic: NorCal 

Conditions: West Coast 


COMMENTS: The familiar sounds of coffee brewing, (locally roasted and fair-trade, of course) the smell builds slight anticipation as memories of early mornings home and abroad rise to the surface--one too many whiskies last night (perhaps) but when you have a tolerance somewhere between Winston Churchill and André the Giant, I say let the night take you where it may. 

So far, boots-on-the-ground in Seattle, Reno, Truckee, and Tahoe City visiting snowless ski resorts and Olympic grounds, climbing to lookouts, wine tasting, making scratch margaritas, chatting with locals and fellow travelers, and eating lunch next to a lake in drought. Transportation thus far has consisted of planes and cars, perhaps there are trains and trollies in my future. 

KEY FEATURES: Temperate weather, comprehensive food-culture

RECOMMENDATIONS: As usual, locals possess valuable information on locales that can help you cut through the clutter and the noise to equip yourself with the necessary knowledge to pass as a seasoned "full-timer." I suggest having a friend or family member in the area or waiting patiently for Field & Compass to expand to your location.