Becoming Melis’

The sky has the pregnant look of impending delivery of snowflakes, but I have learned to distrust such things here in the valley floor. I have also realized it is kind of nice to not have to shovel before leaving the house to ski. If it snows above 8,000 feet, I am usually content. Under... Continue Reading →

Struggling with Monogamy

I professed love to a single river. From the age of six, I was going to live and die for the Rio Grande. Coming from Minnesota where rivers were plump, clear, and departing headwaters on long journeys, the idea of a pitiful little stream that gave all she could for growing peppers and pecans before... Continue Reading →

Sleeping Bag Therapy

How is it that a nylon sack stuffed with feathers or polyfill can restore balance in a sometimes-twisty world? One “bag night” can deliver therapeutic benefits beyond anything chemical or funky mushrooms. Spend a night out in fresh air tucked into a sleeping bag and you’ll find your blood running with more vigor and neurons... Continue Reading →

Go High

It has not been a good summer to be a trout in Colorado’s rivers. The lackluster snowpack, made worse with ongoing dry weather and missing monsoons, left most watersheds in dire shape. As August rolled around, the shallow water had many advocating to stay out of the rivers and leave the trout alone. Rumors of... Continue Reading →

Wading Beneath the Bathtub Ring

Every year I live in the West I shed another layer of my prior contempt for dams. The naivety I possessed growing up in the water-rich environment of Minnesota, and the disgust I felt for those red mud-infused waters of Oklahoma, has been informed by life where mountain water drains towards the desert but only... Continue Reading →

52 Days

A year zips by like a springtime river. The trick is to put on your waders and get in there to seize all the potential within those 365 days. I rarely indulge in setting lofty goals and clever resolutions--really, a headstand a day will either happen or not--but there has been a bare minimum desire... Continue Reading →

Learning to Overland

I was never the child that pushed the limits of outdoor play. I spent as much time outside as possible, but did not climb the tallest trees, jump absentmindedly into a creek, or dig a snow cave. I am a dip the toes in, obtain sufficient data, and develop a plan of attack kid to... Continue Reading →

Midlife and Overland

I started wondering what a midlife crisis would look like in our world a couple of years ago. I was pretty sure it did not involve surgical interventions, second homes, or fast cars, but there were murmurings and random admissions we could use an ATV to gain access to more terrain in the mountains. As... Continue Reading →

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