Desert Retrospective

Ninth Day in Horseshoe Canyon March 30th, 2017 In a place of sandstone walls, boulders, perennial water and cottonwoods (they always smell to me like a mix of cut grass and spring water).   Life follows the trickle here: willows, toads, quick spiders the size of half-dollars, and cougars walking in pairs upstream.     … More Desert Retrospective

Circling Back

The road looks good at first. It’s a winding backroad through sagebrush and juniper in a valley that feels elevated, like you’re closer to the sky. It was recommended as an alternative route to take from Enterprise, Utah to Panaca, Nevada. Twelve miles in, the road turns to dirt. Fine with us, we’re used to … More Circling Back

International Cafe

The International Cafe in Austin, Nevada does not hide its political leanings. A sign a movie theater would use to announce its next feature juts out over the street holding a large “TRUMP, PENCE” poster. A billboard sized “Make America Great Again” unfurls over the front door. Because we want to understand and communicate and … More International Cafe

The Animate Canyon

We hear trickling water when we enter the canyon. It’s rainwater, seeping out of the mountain. The sand filters it and it flows spring-clear, clear enough for the pools to take on the color of their substrate. One pool is white as alabaster. The next has a green tinge. In another, a collection of pebbles—vibrant … More The Animate Canyon


The planes come and go almost all the time. They only stop between midnight and five a.m. They pass in radial arcs to and from wildly different places, all slicing though the air much too fast to see much of anything except a seemingly barren desert wasteland below them. We’re in the wasteland below. It’s … More Grounding

The First Days

A year ago, today, I sat with Paige on the northern headland of Galiano Island in British Columbia  and stared out onto the sound, looking for words to contain the emotional flood of one tremendous day and its aftermath. I wrote, Paige sketched.  I read, she listened. We reflected. These are the words that emerged … More The First Days

Cause for Hope

The fourth grade boy with round glasses and a gray variation of the underarmor sweatshirt that half the fourth grade boys wear, answers briskly when I ask him and his classmates sitting among the camas and blanketflower what this forest will look like in 200 years. “We won’t be here,” he tells me. “Yes,” I … More Cause for Hope