Last weekend, I joined the Blue Skies Campaign to lead a rally at Missoula’s Courthouse, speaking out against plans to expand coal export projects in Montana. The event was overwhelmingly successful. 200+ people braved freezing temperatures, including former city commissioners, indigenous leaders, and poets. B+W photos courtesy of Alex Wardell/E Media, colors by Dov Weinman. In the media: The Independent and KPAX (video). More bold plans in the works. Fired up.
Photos from 3 weeks in Todos Santos, Mexico. After living there last winter, it was restorative to spend time with family, old friends, and mountains. Quotes from Alan Weisman’s (“The World Without Us”) newest book, Countdown. Incredible achievement covering the complexities of our world population predicament. Heavy. Bleak. And important as hell. Read it.
A World Bursting its Seams. ”Even if today’s breeding generation is having fewer children per family, because their grandparent and parents had so many, every four-and-a-half days, there are a million more people on the planet. Even to a schoolchild, that does not sound very sustainable.”
Some poetry exploring psycho-adolescence and the lessons taught from our wilds.
Boy stripes face
Deeply with color
Lathered thick and slanting
He bursts outside through
Frail screen door
Heart tha da da dumping
Like battle drum phantoms
Scouring hilltop mist moist
2013 turned out to be a year of unprecedented commitment and progress. Lived in Mexico. Organized a protest. Ran the Grand Canyon, Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim, in one day. Traveled to Colombia. Represented my sponsor Ultraspire at Western States 100, then teamed up with Anton Krupicka to pace/crew Joe Grant at Hardrock 100. Went on tour with Ben Gibbard and The Postal Service. Started graduate school in Missoula, Montana. Got detained by police for protesting Montana’s coal export and sitting on train tracks to stop coal train traffic. Honored to have my work published in Camas Magazine, Trail Runner Magazine, irunfar.com and the Dirtbag Diaries.
2014 will be even richer. More bold, more urgent action, more participation in this mysterious and wild planet on which we live. Happy New Years to you. I love you. I love you. I love you. Thanks for reading the Jasmine Dialogues.
Now, it’s time. Time for us to fight for what we love. Time to dance. Time to revolt. Wildy, n
The Dirtbag Diaries, a Duct Tape Then Beer Production affiliated with Patagonia, just posted a podcast called “Fighting with out Feet,” where I tell the story of one of the most ambitious environmental activist projects of my life: a 70-mile protest run across the Baja Peninsula to resist proposals by US-Canadian companies to open-pit gold mine.
The podcast turned out to be an incredible production, thanks to great work done by the Dirtbag Diaries. I’ve been a longstanding listener of their audio creations for years now and am excited for my story to be a part of their family. I feel strongly that this story should be shared, so please share with your spheres if you feel inspired. (Download mp3 or listen on Soundcloud.) Onward! Here are some previous Jasmine Dialogues posts about the protest:
Honored to have my article “In the Way,” selected for the Winter 2013 issue of Camas Magazine, a well-known environmental literary magazine from the University of Montana.
Humbled to now be part of an incredible line-up of past contributors and inspirations of mine, including: Bill McKibben, Rebecca Solnit, Wendell Berry, Derrick Jensen, Craig Childs, Rick Bass, etc. The piece was about being detained in Helena, Montana during an act of civil disobedience where I sat on the train tracks with a group of others to protest coal exports. It also involves elephants. Big elephants. One my proudest pieces, lots put into this one. Want a copy?
This is a blog entry I am submitting to the Trail Runner Blog Symposium for their November 2013 prompt: “Do Trail Races Result in Unnecessary Harm to the Environment?”
“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”
- Henry David Thoreau.
15 Thoughts on Trail Races and Environmental Harm
1. We have a choice.
2. We can pursue an interest in our running practice with thick padding, blue-rubber alley bumpers, to distance ourselves from the great perils our planet faces. And we can just train. We can just race. We can scribble down our miles and our hours and wash our socks and armpits and then do it all over again. And we do. Lots of us do. I do. I forget. I often get lost in my goals, my adventure-mind wanting to experience longer races, ones with higher peaks and more prestige.
3. Or we can wake up.