On the Edge of Wilderness

  Stehekin is a community tucked between snow-capped peaks at the southern end of the North Cascades National Park. No roads will take you here. There is only a ferry, which makes the four-hour trip Lake Chelan once a day, bringing visitors and supplies. Alternatively the floatplane can be a quicker (but pricier) option. This…

On Our Way to the Woods

I love to travel — but I don’t think I am very good at it. On Wednesday morning we went to catch our flight only to find we’d gone to the wrong airport. Astoundingly I did this only two months before, on my trip to LA. Ah, well. After a terrifyingly high-speed shuttle ride down…

A Year

A year spent biding my time, a year spent in uncertainty. It is thrilling to go out into the world and check out a new continent, but finding a way to be content while staying in the same place has been hard. I dreamt that I was flying throughout the Grand Canyon at sunset, taking…

Voluntourism– Who Is It For?

So imagine a group of perky, and optimistic kids fresh out of high school from say, South Korea decide to go volunteer in an impoverished elementary school in inner-city Chicago for a few weeks. The idea sounds relatively absurd– but that’s the gist of it. Voluntourism in impoverished communities is increasingly popular. A lot of great articles have been buzzing around the internet on this idea of ‘voluntourism’–…

Callooh Callay! I’m Going to the Mountains!

This June, July, and August, I’ll be living and working at Stehekin Lodge, in the beautiful North Cascades of Washington State. It will be three glorious months of hiking, exploring, reading, writing and drawing to my heart’s content.  I’ll be a housekeeper and save up every penny (hopefully towards getting a tripod– my stop motions…

Mountain Summits and Uncertainty

I think of my time in Glacier National Park every day. I worked there for four months, and those four months were filled with new, strange, beautiful, and intense experiences, the kind that only can come with suddenly being stripped of everything comfortable and familiar and easy and finding yourself alone in foreign territory. That…

Cultivating a Cosmos

In the last several weeks I’ve frequently been posed the question, “what are your religious or spiritual beliefs?” and what I would like to say is, “Stanley Kunitz”, but that would leave most people confused. “The unconscious is very much akin to what, in other frameworks, I call wilderness. And it’s very much like the wilderness…

Into the Desert Wilds

What should keep us from living a beautiful, purposeful life? We piled the car full of gear and drove out of the city; savoring the thinning traffic and blasting punk rock mix tapes. The wind whipped our hair and the sun singed our knees. We talked about things that mattered. I love that. I need…

A Day in L.A.

Currently I am living in the town that I grew up in, going to my state school. I’ve been there for most of the year, trying to fight the slow death of routine. I have itchy feet, and it’s been tough to stay. It’s been tough for a lot of reasons. Every time I ride…

Glacier Diaries

The summer I worked in Glacier I kept a journal of drawings and poems that chronicled various hikes and daydreams and goings-on. That summer I was a hermit, and my journal became a companion.

The New Year

It is, perhaps, pretty silly to pick an arbitrary day to begin making positive changes. What should stop us from starting all over on any given Tuesday? There is no wrong time to begin eating more kale, reading Foucault, or wearing pants less often (or whatever your resolutions may be). I resolve to begin again…

Solitude

I never felt so gol-durn lonesome as when I worked the night shift at that lodge. ‘Work’ is stretching it actually; I semi-consciously wrote letters, watched movies and the seconds tick by on the clock. The lobby was a hundred years old– pine pillars and a massive paper lantern chandelier and mounted animal heads on…