• California,  National Parks,  U.S.A.

    The Feral Power of Mojave National Preserve

    I wasn’t 10 minutes into the park when I felt the overwhelming need to remove my bra. It wasn’t the right kind of bra for such an adventure. It was a polite society bra, the kind you wear to the grocery store, to dinner, to work, to anywhere but the wild. It wasn’t a bra I could sweat in, and, given my arrival into the desert, it was time to sweat. I could have stopped, sure. I could have pulled over on the side of the road, hopped into the back of my car and completed a quick, modest bra change. I could have waited until getting to the visitor…

  • Life

    Being Single, Traveling Alone, Feeling Fear & Committing to Wildness

    I drove almost 1,000 miles, starting in Los Angeles and driving across California, through the bottom corner of Nevada and the top corner of Arizona, up and into southern Utah, to Zion, to Bryce, to Capitol Reef and then up, up, up to northern Utah, almost all the way to Idaho. Alone in the car for that many miles, I played the same 13 songs on a loop, mostly Lord Huron, Manchester Orchestra, Joni Mitchell and Nathaniel Rateliff. I listened to just three podcast episodes and the radio only when my rental’s bluetooth refused to recognize me or my phone. I thought a lot, mostly about love, a little about…

  • Life

    Five Friday Favorites: Ducks, Books & Shorts

    It’s October, but this morning I ran in 100 percent humidity, so everything is a lie, I guess, but here’s a few things making life a little less miserable. THE STATE FAIR OF VIRGINIA I spent a decent amount of my youth on a farm and even did some 4H things for a bit and so I love a fair, any fair, especially a big fair like the State Fair of Virginia. I love fair food, I love the colors and the people watching, I love the 1,000-pound pumpkins, but most of all, I love the critters. I love the horses and the cows and the pigeons and the pigs…

  • Adventures,  National Parks,  Pennsylvania,  U.S.A.

    On 9/11, the Flight 93 National Memorial & Remembering

    I spent the drive there pushing away the weight of it, singing with the windows down. It was day one of a five-day getaway and I was reveling in it, that good vibe sensation of free, open days spread out in front of me. I let it creep in as I got closer. I stopped pushing, opened the door to it and let the thought of it, the heft of it, sit with me as I drove. I didn’t try to shape it or guide it, I didn’t fight it, I just let it in and let it be. And then I was there, at the Flight 93 National Memorial…

  • Adventures,  Maryland,  National Parks,  U.S.A.

    Antietam National Battlefield & the Bloodiest Day in American History

    On the way there, I thought about blood. Blood and how I really should have refreshed my Civil War memory bank before embarking on a long weekend of Civil War battlefield immersion. Blood though, was the thing I remembered about Antietam. It’s what stuck out in my mind, the tiny piece of information I picked up some time in high school and managed to hold onto until now. I couldn’t remember the exact date, couldn’t remember which generals led the Union or Confederate troops, wasn’t even 100 percent sure which year the battle took place, but Antietam, my memory told me, was bloody. The Battle of Antietam was so bloody,…