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.”
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.
Swapping hemispheres for a few weeks is a surefire way to pack home some stories.
Second day in, joined hundreds in Bogota (and millions around the world) in a Global Day of Action against Monsanto. Serendipitous encounter with a fellow foot travel activist, Juanita Ariza, who ran from Tierra del Fuego to Guatemala for world water rights. Humbled and inspired. One full week in Cartagena, a coastal town spewing magic from its tragic roots as slavery port. Meeting up with old-time family friend Karina Bell. Spanish classes, salsa-dancing on repeat, swimming backstroke deep inside a mud volcano. 5 cups of coffee per day at least. To finish, a solo, 10-hour, pant-crappingly harrowing bus journey south of Bogota to the mountain village of Salento. Two days weaving through coffee plantations, sampling local trout and posting Fastest Known Times by terrorizing trails on a fluorescent bike full of squeaks, trying to keep with a fleet of Colombian kids in polychromatic Raybans.
All while devouring Craig Childs’ newest book Apocalyptic Planet: Field Guide to the Ever-Ending Earth. Certainly one of his best and not nearly as depressing as it sounds, I promise. Absolute mastery, the highest recommendation.
New camera, new possibilities. Quotes + Photos.
Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim. Required visit to Mecca for ultrarunners. 42 miles. 11,500 vertical feet. Across the Grand Canyon to the North Rim…then back. Kaibab Trail. In company with best in the biz, Joe Joe and TK (ran it sub 7-hours, what?) + Joe’s Uncle Dave (aka Uncle Boss). Took over 15 hours. Slow, meditative crossing. Full day enveloped in this gaping fantasy chasm. Most visuals snapped by the one and only Alpine Works. No one today inhabiting the intersection of Artist and Athlete quite like Joe can. Period.
Photo update of 70-mile crossing of the entire Baja Sur Peninsula, Mexico on foot in one day. Protest run joined by many to raise awareness and resistance against open-pit mining plans in the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains.
70 Miles. 9,000ft vertical. 18+ hours. Gulf to the Pacific. One day. First-ever recorded attempt. Joined by over 50 runners + hundreds in support. Runners, walkers, cyclists, police escorts, ambulances, huge crowds, film crew, running crew. Attacked by wasps, dogs, falling rocks. Perma-cramping. Some preliminary media coverage before (one and two and three) and after the race. Short documentary film in production now, due at the end of May. Full story coming soon. Some snapshots of one of the single-most powerful, moving days of my entire life.