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

    That Time I Fell & Smashed My Face in Desolation Canyon

    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…

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

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

    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…

  • Life,  National Parks

    35.

    Today, I am 35. I feel simultaneously very old and very young, which, depending on who you ask, is exactly right. I feel grown up, but not all grown up. I feel like I’ve done a lot, but I know there’s still a lot left to do.