Category Archives: Philosophy

decaf-cat

Caffeine Detox: It’s Gonna Hurt

By | News and Events, Philosophy | No Comments

Caffeine withdrawal is a real thing. If you don’t believe me, try drinking 2 – 5 cans of Monster Energy drink for 6 months then shutting off the switch. Better yet, let me tell you my experience and save you the trouble. I was ingesting about 400 – 500 mg of caffeine per day, mainly because I wanted to stay sharp in my work as an editor and writer. I also used caffeine to summon energy during one of life’s inevitable rough patches, including the loss of a beloved pet,…

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Wilderness fog

Surviving the Political Wilderness

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The wilderness is both my sanctuary and my livelihood. The ardent and transparently destructive stance towards public lands by our current president and his administration has been troubling, to say the least. I’ve always been tuned into the political side of environmental issues—a “part time warrior” as crusty ol’ Edward Abbey put it—but the urgency of threats that face our public lands have increased my worry. Part time won’t cut it. I don’t like politics. I’ve had three or four day spans where I was either out in the aforementioned…

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Dull Mountains

When the Mountains are Calling and You Cannot Go

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“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit We all have reserved tickets for the pain train. That’s the closest I can come to accepting the truly dreadful things in life—death, decay, and departure of loved ones. The pain train offers…

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breakingbadcanada

Life in Kickstarter America

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I remember the first crowdsourcing campaigns that surfaced in my social media feeds. The majority of requests came from musicians hoping to release music, designers aiming to give life to their video games, or inventors bringing new gadgets into the world—fun, creative, ideas. Crowdsourcing websites began as a way to drag deferred dreams into existence, but in recent times they’ve become portals to far less whimsical notions. In many cases, they are the difference between life and death.   While the most visible crowdsourcing site, Kickstarter, is focused on artistic…

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Beautiful wilderness.

Can the Outdoors Industry Save the Outdoors—and Its Own Soul?

By | Philosophy, Travel and Adventure | No Comments

Before you read this article, let’s agree that the marketing wizards who came up with the concept of “power couples” deserve a place on the podium of “worst campaign ideas ever”. Or maybe a seat at the table in one of the lesser rings of hell. More on that later. My friend and colleague Doug Schnitzspahn recently penned a compelling editorial at Elevation Outdoors about the future of the outdoors. It’s a great read and it brings up some difficult truths about the outdoors industry. Honest conversations can be tricky…

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Wells Maine

Seasons of Change

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Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think. ~Robert Henri Somewhere in the night, deep into the heart of the midwest, I look at the passengers in my vehicle. My newly-minted wife and longtime best friend Sheila is asleep with our dog Mystic in her lap and Fremont, our other dog, is sprawled out on the back seat. We drive through the darkness together back to Colorado to resume the life we’ve known for years…

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Ye olde Hobart machine

Last of the Dish Dogs

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I still remember the conversation between the five of us like it was yesterday. Rob, Mike and myself were dish dogs — the fast-moving crew who cleaned and organized the plates, glasses and silverware at Glenbrook Country Club. Jeff was an enlightened soul disguised as a waiter, slightly older than us, the only member of the waitstaff who regularly took time to converse with the grunts. Bill was the middle-aged night manager, a quiet, intense guy we all rather liked and the closest thing to a real adult in the…

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Fremont Border Collie Colorado

The Dog Ratio Applied

By | Animals, Philosophy | No Comments

As the owner of two enthusiastic border collies, it’s extra important that they get out on big adventures on a regular basis. Thus, I have created what I call the “dog ratio” — the number of activities I do with them before I can enjoy a day out without them. Don’t get me wrong, I wish I could take them everywhere but certain activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking and mountaineering are not always dog friendly.Thus I follow this ratio as a golden rule: for every 3 outings with…

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Lone Cone Colorado

Suicide & the Lone Cone Diaries

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Lone Cone is an obscure, 12,618 ft. mountain in the remote southwest corner of Colorado. Its crumbling facade rises from the earth where forests begin their subtle transformation into desert. From Lone Cone’s summit, one can witness tracts of farmland dehydrating into brown and yellow scrubland to the west, a lonely expanse where snow-streaked mountains bookend the horizon. Its suggestive nomenclature has contributed to a sense of raw loneliness I have unexpectedly felt on the mountain. Or maybe it’s the words in the battered journal. Because so few people visit…

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zelda-1

The 8-Bit Muse

By | Philosophy, Video Games | No Comments

It is well-documented though rarely mentioned that Thoreau’s “isolated” cabin in Walden was only about a mile from town — a short enough walk for his elderly mother to regularly bring him fresh cookies. The myth of seclusion fits so neatly with the ideas in his writings that it’s easy to overlook the fact he was a 15 minute walk from civilization. I bring this up because at age 38, I’m working as a professional writer — have been now for almost 20 years. Like most writers, I have my…

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Argentine Peak Colorado

Cheers to the Unknown Mountain

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One of the great things about Colorado’s mountains are the sheer volume of peaks. Beyond the well known collection of 14,000 ft. summits (and a few glamourous 13,000 ft. peaks) wait some of the most wonderful places in the Rockies, wild places where isolation and sheer anonymity translate into unique and adventurous experiences. Many of these peaks are nameless, marked by the somewhat ironic UN (unnamed) designation on maps, or else defined merely by their topography. What I find most inviting about these places is the unknown emotion they will…

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Long live Zeb.

The Most Beautiful Room in the World

By | Animals, Philosophy | No Comments

Before it was the most beautiful room in the world, it was a small home office, fashionable and classically designed. Tasteful artwork adorned the walls. Clean, pastel colors gave off a moody, early-dawn feeling when the sun would shine through the generous window. This window looked out upon a modest neighborhood. In the distant corners of the world it framed, one could see far-off mountain tops. And before it became the most beautiful room in the world, the large, unspecified leafy tree beyond the glass would filter the afternoon light…

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