Among the Sequoias–the fire and the future

“Hey, go stand in front of that 3000-year-old tree.” This is not something you expect to say in your life. We’ve driven to the Fish Camp entrance to Yosemite, where we’ll hike up into the biggest sequoia grove known to us, I guess the biggest known to man. The tree’s name (a tree that old…More

But It’s Butte–and snakes and bear and moose

There are days you don’t really feel like it. But this is Butte. So we go. They should call this the Pile of Rocks trail, not the Blacktail trail. It’s a four-mile loop. Less than a mile in, we start seeing colossal piles of rock. It’s not our first encounter with rocks, but these are…More

To See a Glacier

“Climb up on that rock,” Tizi will say, in the most offhand way. We’re on the trail, any trail, and the viewing is spectacular. She would like me to take a picture, an enhanced picture, improved by my higher elevation, by my closer proximity to the subject. The subject: waterfall, rushing stream, ravine, ridge, meadow,…More

Don’t Just Run–where there are bear

I’ve got a whistle. I bought it just before we left on this trip, planning to use it, if necessary, to scare away bears. Actually, I bought two. They’re like referee whistles, stainless steel, on a black string.  I bought two just before we left, one for me and one for Tizi. It was foolish.…More

Road Words–how can a cloud be a saint?

Deep into North Dakota, Tizi asks: “Do you know the words to the national anthem?” We’re doing 80 mph on I-94, west of Bismarck. Today is a 700 mile day, La Crosse, WI, to Medora, ND. At Bismarck there’s 120 miles left to go. North Dakota looks a lot like Minnesota, and a lot like…More

The Upward Gaze–Copernicus, I-90, and the Mississippi

After the convent, we were ready for a drink and a bite to eat.  We were a couple nights in Ferrara, checking out another great Emilia-Romagna city, famous for many things, among them the fortress, the bread, and canoes. The archeological museum actually has a canoe room, where monoxylous canoes (made of wood, by the…More