The Week it Rained Kittens

It was a Monday when kittens started falling from the sky. I didn’t know then that the kittens had fallen from the sky, just that they were in the way. Half a second before letting out Luke, my 70-pound, bird-killing, husky mutt, I spotted a very small, very young kitten two steps away from the back door. I stared, dumbfounded, for a beat, trying to make sense of the little slash of fluff on my deck. I apologized to Luke, told him to wait, and slipped out the door to inspect the kitten, which was, as suspected, a kitten.

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Yellowstone, Part III: Where the Wild Things Are

Driving toward Hayden Valley, legendary land of Yellowstone’s wildlife, I decided to temper my hope. I would, I thought, release my expectations. I wanted to see critters. That’s why I was awake before the sun, why I was already on the road by six something, but I knew better than to hope. Mercury was in retrograde. It had been a bad year and a worse month. I’d see critters or I wouldn’t. By that point, I’d spent two days wandering around the park hearing sticky children and their snot-nosed parents screech about wanting more, more, more from the park’s wild inhabitants and I refused to count myself among them. I swallowed a sip of coffee, inhaled a heavy breath and let it go. What was to be, would be.

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21 Things I Didn’t Hate In 2021

Just when we thought 2021 was done lighting dumpster fires, raining COVID and murdering joy, it took Betty White from us. Here’s what I didn’t hate about this shit storm of a year:

RUNNING RACES. I did a handful of virtual running challenges in 2020, and while they definitely helped me survive the chaos of that year, nothing beats the excited anxiety of an in-person start line. I didn’t set any new records this year or even run any new races, but it was nice to show up again for a few old favorites.

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Yellowstone, Part II: Pillow Fights, Horde Evasion & Camping Cats

In the immediate aftermath of a loss, you may find that you wake without remembering. Maybe it hits you within seconds, maybe it takes whole minutes. Either way, grief will strike. It might hit you like a wayward wave, bowling you over, ripping the air from your lungs. Maybe it’s a quick strike, less cinematic, more like a gut punch, a face slap, a snake bite. Or maybe it’s a slow swell, starting with a distant thunderclap of remembering, a realization that incites your hair follicles and slowly, relentlessly floods your consciousness. Maybe it’s not like any of that. Maybe it just fucking hurts.

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Yellowstone, Part I: Grief, Gurgling Geysers & Wolf Songs

I was fresh off the loss of her, hadn’t made it more than 10 hours without a full-body cry and I was probably running from the devastating emptiness of a single-dog house. But, I was there, in Montana. Work sent me there, and I, being an opportunist, added an adventure to the backend of the work. It was a decision I’d made before I lost her, one I kept in the immediate wake of the loss. An escape, I thought, might help with the healing.

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The short

I had to say goodbye to Sadie, Wolf of my Heart, on June 5th. 

It has been weeks and weeks, and almost months, and I am still heartsick and aching. 

I want to tell you the story about her life. I want to tell you how she came to me, what she was like in those early days and weeks. I want to tell you about the shoes she ate, the snuggles she demanded, the comfort she provided. I want to record all of it, but how? How do you capture 13 years of perfection? How do you pay tribute to a creature who made life worth living for all those many years? 

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20 Things I Didn’t Hate In 2020

Things I Didn't Hate In 2020 || terragoes.com

Blah, blah, blah, 2020 sucked, but it wasn’t all bad, blah, blah, blah, deep thoughts, etc. Here are some things that got me through that dumpster fire of a year.

MY RUMPL. A Rumpl is a blanket, but like a really good blanket made for outdoor adventures. It is very cozy, very good and very warm. If I made a list of five adventuring items I am deeply in love with, my Rumpl would be on that list (along with this pillow).

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That Time I Fell & Smashed My Face in Desolation Canyon

That Time I Fell & Smashed My Face in Death Valley's Desolation Canyon || terragoes.com

On my second day in Death Valley, I tripped over my own feet, landed on my face and left a puddle of blood in Desolation Canyon.

Really, I’m a little surprised it took me so long to hurt myself while alone in the wilderness. I am clumsy. I trip often and without reason. Sometimes my ankles roll out from under me, just for fun, as if they have better things to do than keep me upright. I am forever knocking into things, dinging myself lightly on furniture, cabinetry, sun shades and dog paws. I stab myself in the eye with a mascara wand at least once a week, never mind that I’ve been wearing mascara daily for more than 20 years.

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Death Valley’s Ubehebe Peak & the Tremendous Power of Solitude

Death Valley's Ubehebe Peak & the Tremendous Power of Solitude || terragoes.com

I found the trail two years ago, back in 2018 when I first visited Death Valley National Park. It wasn’t a planned hike. I didn’t even know there was a trail there, didn’t even know what it was called. As soon as I saw it though, I knew I was meant to take it.

I’d followed a long, winding, bumpy, gravel and pit-ridden road for 26 miles to get there, to get to the Racetrack. It’s this far-flung and magical place in Death Valley. It’s a place where stones float themselves across the floor of the desert, gouging a path as they go. It’s a place where you can be totally alone in a vast and incredible desert.

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20 Years.

I took a deep breath, trying to find the words to explain a thing that used to be so close to the surface that it seeped from my pores. It wasn’t information I’d introduced to anyone in so long and this wasn’t the time to dig into it, to crack it open and unpack it. 

Quickly, I said, “When I was 16, a friend, David, committed suicide. He gave me a ride home that day, asked if I wanted a ride the next day and I said no because I was afraid of missing the bus and then twenty minutes later he was dead.” 

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