High Uintas Hurt Ends an Era

It happened on the third day of a three-week trip in the High Uinta Wilderness in northern Utah. I was coming down Red Knob Pass—the second, steep thousand-foot descent of the day. The first was a skittery scramble on washed-out … Read More

Finding Sierras Solitude: Off the Beaten Path

Avoiding crowds in popular areas is always a challenge; and California’s iconic High Sierra mountains have always drawn people. First, they are only hours from the heavily populated California coastal cities. Second, their iconic splendor graces many scenic calendars. And … Read More

Rincons: sad reminder of aging

Last month we celebrated my birthday with a backpack trip in Saguaro Wilderness east of Tucson—perhaps my 14th visit since 1970s hikes with the University of Arizona Ramblers. The area—astride the Rincon Mountains that roll up from 2,700 feet at … Read More

Private land access conundrums

We try to stick with public lands on our hikes; private land often spells trouble. In the 1980s, a week-long backpacking trip on national forest land in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains ended abruptly at a landowner fence. On a 1990s … Read More

Aldo Leopold Legacy: gone up in flames

In 1980, Congress took 200,000 acres out of the 55-year-old Gila Wilderness and named it the Aldo Leopold to honor its namesake. Conservationist Aldo Leopold spent his early career years with the Forest Service in New Mexico and persuaded the … Read More

Four Peaks Wilderness, Still Recovering from 1996 Fire

We emerged from Four Peaks scratched, beaten and sporting minor injuries. My left knee—whiny under any circumstances—started to “pop” as I clambered up steep slopes through heavy brush in Alder Canyon. David, who clipped back manzanita and thorny ceanothus branches … Read More

Wild Times

Year 2020: unprecedented. Unpredictable weather continues. Phoenix, our winter home, missed its monsoon rains last summer but got them in fall and winter with cool temperatures. In late January we returned to Idaho for skiing. One small snowstorm and no … Read More

Going to the Wilderness

It started in Virginia. And it led to revisiting favorite places across the country and rediscovering our own need for wilderness. A plan to visit all the wilderness in Virginia—and write a book about our adventures—was born in summer 2012. … Read More

The GILA WILDERNESS nears 100; lost legacy?

I recently made my 10th visit to the Gila Wilderness in southwestern New Mexico—the nation’s oldest wilderness lying along a vast ridge and valley landscape with forests of ponderosa pine and oak-pinyon-juniper on ridges above Middle and West forks of … Read More

Wilderness Need Named Among 30 Top Wilderness Blogs

My WildernessNeed blog has been selected by Feedspot, an international marketing/promotion company, as one of Top 30 Wilderness Blogs in the world on the Internet. This Top 30 is an eclectic collection of adventure travel, advocacy, therapy and personal views … Read More

Elk Trail Management in the Pioneer Mountains

As an avid hiker I’m saddened by loss of legacy trails, especially on National Forests. The U.S. is blessed with a vast trails system on public lands. Some were early Indian and trapper routes; others built for mining, grazing and … Read More

Exploring Angst on the Appalachian Trail

Thru-hiking seems on the rise. Some even do a “triple crown”—Appalachian (AT), Continental Divide and Pacific Crest (PCT) Trails for a total 7,750-miles. I love trails. The idea of the 2000-mile trail AT intrigues me. I longed to do it … Read More

Earworms, The Cars, power of music and memories

Blogger’s note: since I have other interests besides hiking wilderness (including reading, writing, music, physical fitness, triathlons, spirituality), I will sometimes weigh in on these topics when we’re taking a break from our explorations. An earworm, also known as a … Read More

The Grand Surprise

I’ve posted an article on our recent revisit to Grand Gulch—a long canyon in southern Utah winding down from high mesas to the San Juan River and chock full of cliff dwellings, granaries, kivas and petroglyphs from a group of … Read More

Happy Earth Day from Return to the Wilds!

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. (Psalm 24) A brief talk and book signing officially launched my new youth novel Return to the Wilds Saturday, April 20, at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona. Almost all of … Read More

Syringa Mountain School: Book Fair author

As posted before, I have been pleased to learn that 6th graders like reading and writers! Last week I expanded my student sample to 70 4th to 7th graders at Syringa Mountain School, a private school just down the road … Read More

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