Articles / Posts

Articles and Archives

The True Tale of Togo

Togo, the lead dog for champion musher Leonhard Seppala, was the true hero of the original Race for Mercy. In March of 1998, I stretched slightly from my usual beat as outdoors writer/editor at the San Francisco Chronicle to do an “elective,” a feature story on...

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The ‘Glades of My Youth

To summon a memory of the music of the wild that whirled from our woods each night of my childhood, is, for me, a way to recall all of Florida’s vast botanic and biologic grandeur. I don’t mean Florida as it is now. I mean the way it was back in the Fifties, when I...

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Musings on Storycraft

Book Review of  "The Drop (A Harry Bosch Novel)"  by Michael Connelly I just finished my new favorite work by Michael Connelly: “The Drop,” a Harry Bosch mystery from 2011. (It displaces “Void Moon,” from 1999.) I realize the dude’s scribbled four or five more volumes...

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Hike Like a Deer Hunter

Or How to Skulk In the Woods Our first lesson is stillness. Not easy, perhaps, to generate or even locate deep quietude in frenetic modern times. But nature doesn’t tend to do frenzy for long – that realm prefers to remain tranquil, rational, and chary of waste. Sink...

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Orwell’s Last Resort

Optimistic subtext in 1984 A literary pilgrimage can be rather fraught. One might journey to a famed writer’s studio or home, only to make a utterly unwished discovery – something that will diminish an author or his (her) work. But still worse, what if you gain zero...

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Archives: First Ascent of Mount Trashmore

Mt. Trashmore reverses that ancient poet’s line. Here, mice labored to give birth to a mountain. That was among my last lucid perceptions as I struggled upward through a methane miasma. Up here, at elevations above 100 feet, consciousness itself became mighty...

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Navy Seal Series

Stories on training, background, and history.

A Real SEALs Deal

More than a dozen top national security figures gathered in the White House Situation Room to tensely observe as elite door-kickers from the U.S. SEAL teams took down über-terrorist Osama Bin Laden.

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North Coast Kayaking Series

A 400-mile, sea kayak voyage along California’s shore. A remarkable sequence of stories published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on S.F. Gate

Tale of the Tolowa

Prince Island, just north of the Smith River, was a final refuge for the Tolowa as they sought to survive massacres inflicted by settlers eager to seize the land.

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Organic by the Ocean

On our first day, we first touched shore in California in the sumptuous Smith River estuary, after a peaceful five-mile paddle down from Oregon’s Winchuck River on Tuesday.

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Breaking the Waves

Surrounded by fog and wary of the rough waters near shore, the three kayakers head farther out to sea — and encounter birds, dolphins and big swells before Crescent City

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