Pouring Rain

I stood at the entrance to the train station staring out at the weather. The town dropped down into the grey swirl of low clouds and seemed to hold tight against the wash of cold rain. Streams ran along the … Continued

Memories of People I Love

Arrived in Champex this evening tuckered out from a harder climb than I had anticipated. Most of the early part of the walk wound through little hamlets with mazes of streets and crooked, weathered chalets that looked as if they … Continued

Tentative Alps Gear List

This probably won’t make much sense to those who don’t do backpacking, particularly ultralight backpacking, but for anyone who does, you might have some idea just how passionate (or perhaps obsessive?) people can get about their gear. For those who … Continued

Walking In The Plum Rain 2

Iris failing in the evening light The rainy season has opened its wings and descended upon the islands. Most people would gripe about the steamy air, constant overcast days, inability to hang clothes out to dry, and the blooming of … Continued

Jettison

Lately I’ve been contemplating the need for lightening my load. This is meant in all aspects of my life. The idea first took root three years ago when, upon returning from a five day walk in the North Alps, my knees ached so badly from the enormous weight of my backpack that for nearly six months the nerve at the side of my left knee remained numb. I carried all the “right” equipment: all the stuff that the outdoor magazines had insisted were necessary for a safe and successful spell out in the “dangers” of nature. I was protected out there and instead of relying more on my brain for coping with emergencies and circumstances, I limned myself with all manner of gadgets that would make my time in the wild less stressful.