I steadied myself against a tree with my one good arm as I paused near the top of the rise to catch my breath. Every exhale expressed as a well-formed cloud; hoarfrost and alder leaves crunched underfoot. In the distance, the roar of a distant waterfall, and wind moving through the treetops. Sword ferns blanket … Continue reading Solitude is Medicine
Alder leaves crunched underfoot as I made my way slowly up a tunneled, tree-lined, abandoned road in the Tillamook State Forest. I didn’t know where I was going. In fact, I barely knew where I was as I wandered the seemingly infinite network of active and abandoned logging roads that crisscrossed the state forests, an … Continue reading Finding Your Forest Home
As I ascended the old logging road, deep in the Kilchis river canyon, my eyes felt pulled to a ridge jutting away from the main path some three hundred feet above the river. The blinding spring sunshine fled through the trees, soaking into the earth, as a faint steam rose from the well-saturated flanks of … Continue reading The Ghosts of Giants
Upon stepping out of my car into the evening air of the river canyon, I felt at once held by the stillness and quiet. There was no sound but the river tumbling over rocks in the shallows, no wind. A bank of mist clung to the air above the water and mingled with the tree … Continue reading Nestucca, Never Home
On the first day after the air cleared of forest fire smoke, I made my way to a trail near my home. Following an old railroad grade, nearly flat except in places where the old trestles had fallen away, requiring one to scramble down into the chasms along a crumbling hillside, and then scamper back … Continue reading The pain is nothing
I had stretched my body out on a rock in the heart of the Siskiyou wilderness as the sun inched it’s way up into the sky and the heat of the day began to build in the air around me. As I laid there in repose on a slab of marble streaked with serpentinite, breezes … Continue reading Dream to remember; remember to dream.
When I was wandering off from my values, death brought me home. When I had forgotten what my purpose was and why I came to the woods, death came gently, reminding me. When the dreaded knot of “other people’s values” had tangled itself all around my work and my knowledge, death came by to show … Continue reading False Death and the Uncaring Cruelty of Mountains
When I reached the summit of the meadow I had already decided I was out of time to complete the loop I’d been impulsively eyeing. The spring sunshine felt amazing on my skin, but I didn’t trust it to last long. Not ready to turn around, I instead wandered down into a grass meadow I … Continue reading Lest you forget why we came.
When I woke I could only see a faint blueness in the sky, it was not dawn yet. The cold, condensated air was biting. I adjusted the blankets covering me and burrowed down inside. I guessed it must be about ten degrees. I was camped in the middle of a roadside quarry, thick with red … Continue reading There is no moon; there are no stars.
I used to think I was meant to share this experience with you. I used to believe that was why I came back to the woods; why I went again in search of places where the forest has a feeling. I used to think I needed to document these incredible experiences I was having, so … Continue reading I could not move you.