January 18, 2005
A few months ago, a backcountry daydream took hold in my head. I wanted to go up Sespe Creek, the undammed artery that wriggles high and deep into the Ventura County backcountry between Ojai and the Grapevine. So I called around, and the consensus was clear: I should talk to Tony Alvis.
December 21, 2004
The bleeding isn't bad. The wind is only howling occasionally, leaving wide gaps of snowy silence. I slog and scrape my way beneath the pines. My breath billows in the thin, cold air — 8,500 feet above sea level. In my pack lies enough food for just one meal. No matches. Snowshoes heavier by the hour.
November 2, 2004
Chances are you're well-wired today, one eye on the Internet, another on a news channel, antacids at hand. But on this tossup election day, some Americans just can't bear to look.
October 12, 2004
It's dark and I'm ankle-deep in desert sand, thinking about Stanley Kowalski and Mr. Peepers. There's no sound, no wind, and I can't really see where to step. But these dunes are so soft, falling is nothing. Two miles into the field, I climb a tall mound, flop on my back and drift away, just for a minute or two, while shooting stars flare and dwindle.
August 31, 2004
Outside, on the Angeles National Forest shooting range, the air trembled with gunfire. Inside the single-wide trailer, we sat elbow to elbow, a few dozen men and boys, a handful of women and girls, cooled by a single fan.
August 24, 2004
Under cover of Monday morning darkness, a 46-year-old architect creeps out of his bed in Mar Vista, tiptoes past his wife and cats and climbs on his bike. Fifteen, maybe 20 minutes later, Chris Kruszynski will be at water's edge.
April 20, 2004
In all of trout literature, there may be no volume more often prescribed, or more likely to be mistaken for a comic book, than a 28-year-old wonder called "The Curtis Creek Manifesto." But this book's admirers — hundreds of thousands of them — have never been too clear about the man behind the manifesto.
April 6, 2004
There are people who feel something like satisfaction at the sight of a dead cat. I just never guessed that I'd be one of them. Or that a team of PhDs and designers at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County would be to blame.
March 30, 2004
One OF WAVE VIDMAR'S FINGERS HURTS. FROSTBITE. Also, he has frostnip on the side of his nose and a torn shoulder muscle. "And blisters on both heels," he added the other day. "Lots of things hurt. I fall down all the time."
March 9, 2004
Vvrrrrroooooooooooooooooom. This meetingof the American Sand Assn. will now come to order.
February 17, 2004
I've never seen a better day for trespassing. The hills gleam green, the empty coast highway unwinds before us under cloudless sky, and two of us roll north, somewhere north of Cambria and south of Big Sur.
December 2, 2003
We gathered at the river. just us, the birds, A few poor people with no place else to lie down, a poet and all those tons of concrete.
October 21, 2003
Hey you, down there in the forest with the backpack. I can't see you, but I can imagine your eyes turned to the skies, the veins bulging in your neck, the steam rising from your ears. After hours or days of hiking into the raw high country, you pause to rest on a rock, your own little John Muir moment. And then the sky fills with a sinister machine scream.