Words and photos from the past few weeks of visitations by good friends, talks and thoughts and travels through Wyoming wilds. Tetons + Yellowstone + Big Horns. Summer.
I SAIL IT
I sail it
A boat to travel;
Or dive deep?
I follow it
A path to meander afoot;
Through soft and tough,
Tangled bramble and view-sight-awe.
I scratch it
A wound to bleed;
On me on others on everything,
Purple scars stick around.
I hear it
A coyote to rise at dawn;
Snout-snot pointing at melting starscape,
Liberated yelp begs Moon to stay.
I browse it
A library to know to penetrate;
Ribbed rows of prose and bones,
Stillness and headphones and butterfly-catchers.
I find it
A key to unlock;
Shadowed cellar-box dusty and stale,
Only to discover another key.
I love it
A world to rest here-now-naked-alive;
Gifts of perceptual song,
Bubbling up from chambered mystery
Too grand for us, but of us.
Following a month of travel and visiting family and friends in California and Oregon, I met up with artist-beat-writer-poet-friend Trevien Stanger in Washington for a circumnavigation of the Olympic National Park. From coastal camping to running through the rainforest, this place sings songs, and we spent a few days joining in. Photos + quotes from Elizabeth Kolbert’s highly anticipated new book I just finished, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. Haunting and illuminating. (Spoiler Alert: We’re in it and we’re causing it.)
“What history reveals, in its ups and downs, is that life is extremely resilient but not infinitely so. There have been very long uneventful stretches and very, very occasionally ‘revolutions on the surface of the earth’…To the extent that we can identify the causes of these revolutions, they’re highly varied: glaciation in the case of the end-Ordovician extinction, global warming and changes in the ocean chemistry at the end of the Permian, an asteroid impact in the final seconds of the Cretaceous. The current extinction has its own novel cause: not an asteroid or a massive volcanic eruption but ‘one weedy species.’ As Walter Alvarez put it to me: ‘We’re seeing right now that a mass extinction can be caused by human beings.’”
After touring last summer with The Postal Service, I was excited to go work with Death Cab for Cutie this summer as they played a handful of shows on the East Coast. My responsibilities included: Photographer, Trail Running Coordinator + Coach, and Personal Assistant to the Production Team. So intense. So much fun. This band and crew are some of the most talented, most professional, and kindest people I’ve ever met. Some photos.
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.”
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
Two weeks ago, I was asked to take photos for the 2nd annual “GClaw,” a popular, all-women’s arm wrestling competition in downtown Missoula. It got rowdy. The event was a fundraiser for KGBA College Radio, our very eccentric, local station. Important stuff to support. Great sound, great fun. Some photos…
On July 15th, I started one of the most memorable experiences of my life: touring with The Postal Service. 23 days. 3 tour buses. 3 semi-trucks. 24 people: Band, Production Management, Merchandise, Stage Techs, Drum/Guitar Techs, Sound and Lighting Personnel. And me. All traveling together from Spokane, WA, through Vancouver, BC then down the entire West Coast, finishing off in the Midwest.
11 tour stops, 15 shows. And 15 running adventures.
As “Wilderness/Trail Coordinator,” I was hired to research the best trails/mountains at every stop along the tour, take lead singer and good friend Ben Gibbard on them, then return to the venue (alive) before soundcheck. I also worked closely alongside the production team to help with show responsibilities. The opportunity was simply unparalleled. The people were incredible, professionals in their craft, of the highest caliber, all supporting musicians embodying great humility, love and knowledge for their art. An article brewing about the experience, but for now, a few photos from the music side of things…
On June 29th, I reported for both Ultraspire and iRunfar on the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile foot race in the world, the Western States 100. Was a most incredible experience. Here’s my full article, “The Western States 100-Mile Healing Ceremony,” recently published on iRunFar. An excerpt:
“The art of long-distance foot travel encourages this kinship with the natural world while inviting us to venture into our own inner wilderness of possibility that, by conventional standards, discourages such drifting. When we forge this relationship, we are able to understand what some have termed the “ecological unconscious,” or shared emotional reciprocity with environmental conditions. When the world is under siege, we too are being attacked, and so we experience grief, anxiety, and pain. Conversely, when we enter healthy ecosystems exploding with vitality, we heal. The strength and diversity resonates within ourselves. So, for every training run, for every exploration into mountain hinterland, for every running log scribbled with hours and miles, it is critical to remember that we are simultaneously tracking the healing process of both ourselves and of the world.”
Read the full article.
“To speak of wilderness is to speak of wholeness. Human beings came out of wholeness.” - Gary Snyder
Took my cousin out into the High Sierra for a few days of wandering North along Ebbett’s Pass to Raymond Lake. This area is one of California’s finest and best-kept secrets (shush). Images paired with some notes from Bill Plotkin’s new book, Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche. Plotkin is a true visionary and someone you should be following. Psychologist, wilderness guide and unbelievable human being, I got to spend some time with him last Fall and it definitively changed the course of my life. A dedicated revolutionary and leader for the co-creation of sustainable, life-enhancing cultures.
In this book, he explores a pan-human, nature-based map of the human psyche. I’ve included some basic characteristics of the four dimensions of human wholeness, but there is so much more to it, so I recommend picking up this or any of his other books.