On Sitting


Nature provides precious few opportunities to sit. When out-of-doors, one either stands or lies down; there is very little in-between.

When we go into nature to reconnect with the earth, we are prepared to do without syndicated sitcoms and carbonated drinks, but we often fail to anticipate the lack of seating. At the end of a long hike, you may become compelled to rest your legs as you take in a pleasant vista. And yet, lest you are possessed with great insight and packed along a folding chair along the way, you are unlikely to find adequate seating. Any self-respecting woodsman will concur: nature is BYOChair. Continue reading “On Sitting”

Summit Story: Mt. Kilimanjaro


At 10:30 pm on the night of March 7th, I woke up, crawled out of my sleeping bag and, in the light of my headlamp, put on almost every piece of clothing I had packed. This was the night that I would hike from here at base camp to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. I was leaving with the “early group” in solidarity with some of the slower hikers and in an attempt to embrace what was going to be an extremely long climb at any speed. The darkness was intimidating, and I took in what little light I could see as I waited for the others to get ready. Looking down at camp, there was a soft glow from tents lit up like nightlights by the headlamps of other cold hikers within. The camp spilled out into a great valley that contains the city of Moshi over 12,000 feet of elevation and 4 climate zones away. The sky was clear and the crescent moon small enough that the stars shone brightly. I looked in awe at the Milky Way extending boldly into the horizon, the Big Dipper strangely upside-down, and while searching for the Southern Cross, I saw a shooting star. Then it was time to go.

Continue reading “Summit Story: Mt. Kilimanjaro”

On Solitude

NCT Trail P 096

People, like deer and celebrities, tend to cluster amongst themselves. Anytime you should encounter a sitcom star, be still! Lower your gaze. Chances are good that his Emmy-winning girlfriend and the whole supporting cast will come trundling after. Continue reading “On Solitude”