So There I Was…(a.k.a. Half-Dead in Nepal)

When pilots get together to tell their stories over whiskey, it tends to start with “So there I was…” Of course, their stories only have to be 10% true I'm going to tell you a story that is 100% true. I'm also going to ask for a pass from any old fighter pilots who might be reading this, mostly because I've got a glass of Jameson's in my hand as I'm telling it (which tastes far better

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The Soundtrack of Our Lives

A sign that used to hang in my studio said “Music is what feelings sound like” and for a lot of us, this is true. It has a way of sneaking inside our lives and defining the curves of our emotional landscape. Music is tied to emotion and connected to memories. You can thank dopamine for this – the same chemical transmitter in our bodies that makes sex feel great and riding a motorcycle an

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What Does Your “Stuff” Say About You?

Everyone collects something, but not everything we keep is worth keeping. The ability to take an honest inventory of that which no longer serves us is healthy, and there's something about purging (the “out with the old” part of  “in with the new”) that does good things for the soul. People come in all shapes and sizes, from hoarders to minimalists and everything in between. Although I lean more and more toward minimalism every day, I

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Going Toward The Mountain (Or, an ounce of reinvention is worth a pound of cure…)

The idea of reinventing myself is an interesting concept. Invention refers to creative ability, but to “reinvent” means to change something so much that it appears entirely new. Entirely new? Is that even possible? Most of us try on new things. New clothes, new voices, new “favorites”, new friend groups. We try things on for size. To see if they fit. To see if we fit. And if we don't, we move on. It's not such

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Gear Reviews Part 2: More camping gear and helpful electronics

If you're just tuning in and you want to find Gear Reviews Part 1 (tent, sleeping bag, pad, etc) please click here.   Ok moving on to some of the smaller gear type items: Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit: I wanted to be as self sufficient as possible while traveling, and tent campsites don't usually have power, so charging my electronics is tricky on the road. I have my phone which is

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Some Thoughts On Gear: Reviews from a relative newbie (Part 1):

Ok so starting with my camping gear: Mountain Hardwear Shifter 2: Absolutely loved this tent. I was astounded at how fast and easy it was to set up. It has a rigid but adjustable back vestibule that can be used to stow gear. It comes with its own ground sheet, fully taped seams, and the air flow was so perfect within this tent that even though I was camped at the ocean, there was not drop

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Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History…

    I think the thing I hear most often when I'm traveling by motorcycle is: You're riding alone? Most of the time the answer is yes. This time I shared the first day's ride and then camped with a friend. It was only a 2 day adventure but I covered 433 miles with plenty of stories and a bunch of gear to review because of it!   Setting out from Portland I went north

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The Time Has Come. The adventure begins.

Tomorrow I will load out my bike with all the camping gear I have slowly amassed over the past year. I will undoubtedly overpack, then set out on an overnight “dry run” with my friend Shannon. The two of us are planning a 10 day bike trip later this summer that will take us through Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alberta (Canada) then back through Montana and Idaho before returning home, a total of just

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Madrid Day 3 – Life Is Art

By Writing

  Standing in front of Picasso’s Guernica at Reina Sofia, I became a different person. And I don’t mean that in some cheeky, self-indulgent way. I mean it in the truest sense of the word. This change was not subtle. It was startling. I have never been a lover of modern art. With its seemingly simple brush strokes, violent streaks of color, deformed faces, stick figures, and incongruent structure, it has always grated against my

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We were together, and this was just a part of our life…

We were sitting in a cafe last night about 11 pm having a little pastry before bed (because in Madrid you can do that, and because when you're on vacation, calorie counting is sacrilege) and my daughter asked me what the most memorable part of the day had been for me. I had to think about it. I'd had very little sleep in the last 48 hours so my brain felt fuzzy and even the

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Day 1 Madrid – My Own Year Of Magical Thinking

And so it begins. My own year of magical thinking. Not exactly like Joan Didion's memoir, but yes, grief is a part of it. I don't think you ever get to the middle of any story worth reading without encountering some degree of conflict, some measure of pain, some leggy seedlings of wistful regret. But this isn't a time for nurturing regrets. It's a time for putting the past in perspective, and then leaving it

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Winter Adventures on Mt. Hood

  In addition to 2016 being a year full of travel plans, I'm also committed to spending part of my time off exploring this great Pacific Northwest. Having a winter birthday means I get to go skiing to celebrate and I've been wanting to explore the slopes of Mt. Hood (Oregon) for the past several years. Mt. Hood is one of the only mountains in North America where you can ski year round (most years,

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What’s New?

I have to admit. I laughed at this one. Out loud. And then I cried a little. On the inside. And then I smiled when I realized life is kinda like that. Anne Lamott talks about writing shitty first drafts in her book “Bird By Bird”. It's one of the things that gives me the courage to keep writing. Not worrying that anyone will necessarily read that first bit of dribble, but rather just getting

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