The Waptus River Record

We stood at the high point of the first half on the Waptus River Trail.

The goal on this backpacking trip was to find a decent camping spot on the west bank of the Waptus just outside of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness boundary, and we were pretty sure we’d found our jumping-off point to cut off-trail.

This kind of go-it-alone exploration was getting to be something of a habit for us.

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Jim Bridger’s Lament

I can see it all very clearly

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Tonga Ridge Tales

I lay flat on my back in the snow, my orange fifty-pound Sportswest budget external-frame backpack pinned under me, my brand-new Trek cross-country no-wax skis twisted awkwardly if still painfully attached, poles flailing, and four-letter words spewing in a non-stop stream from my cold and ice-encrusted lips.

At times such as these, you find out who your friends really are.

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The Great Insurance Panic of 2016

To the elders at Harambee:

When you have lived on TPN for 11 years as Jenn has, every year brings new insurance coverage and home-health supplier issues. This year’s transition has been absolutely brutal.

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Epilogue: Hell or High Water

I choose the voyage prepared
The course set in the presence of my enemies
Yes, I choose the Master’s craft

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A Christmas Letter

December 25, 2015
Leavenworth, WA

My dearest Wifelet,

I write with a divided heart. On the one hand, the Christmas Eve we shared last night was perhaps the most unique and memorable of my life; on the other hand, it felt so foreign to be here, away from home, while the usual family gatherings were happening just a couple hours’ drive distant.

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In Tongues Unknown

In Hebrew we have three words for sin

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I.t I.s I

Words are not
The only things
To fail at times
Such as these

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The Shoes of a Fisherman

I rise each day with anger
Gird my loins with her, bathe with her, and bed her down
I dare not give her to God

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Not Taken

A housecat writhes
On my laptop as I write
Its tongue reels out
Again, and again
As its head bobs over its coat

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