• Camping with Kids: A Non-Primer

    Recently published on Longreads, my essay about parenthood, camping, and how neither is an exact science:

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  • Ode to the Paddle

    Ode to the Paddle

    I live in Virginia, the southeastern corner, the heart of the military-industrial complex. It’s not a very wild place, at least not in the traditional sense. What it does have is access to waterways—brackish, sweet, and salt—lots of coastline, and low-lying wetlands. It’s nice if you have a canoe or kayak (I do) though not…

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  • A Pipeline Runs Through It

    Newly published in Sierra magazine, my piece about hiking the proposed path of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline through Virginia’s National Forest:  

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  • It’s been a long time comin’

    The old Sam Cook song trolls through my head. The surface meaning is appreciable, so avoid looking for anything deeper in the words to follow. I’ve always been more of an Otis Redding guy anyway. How’s that for a lede. So here’s the post that I’ve owed myself (and the other two of you that might read…

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  • Hammocking in Hermine

    Hammocking in Hermine

    I’m lying in the hammock as I write this. The rain has mostly abated but comes heavily in spurts every now and again. The wind out on the water is blowing upwards of 50 mph but here behind the house and trees it whips through in weaker gusts. I think the worst of the squall has passed…

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  • From the Archives: Jefferson National Forest, Fall 2006

    It was a late autumn Saturday and the football team was away. As things settled into the weekend forays of a typical college town, I set out alone on the Blue Ridge Parkway, an hour or more on that endlessly winding road into the reaches of Jefferson National Forest somewhere west of Roanoke. I’d woken up…

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  • Wading in Rockingham

    Wading in Rockingham

    I wanted to share a few tidbits of a weekend spent in Rockingham County. My wife and I had driven out early Saturday morning to meet up with friends and prepare for a wedding later that evening. As always, my wheels began to spin, devising ways to get out into the woods for a turn, hiking…

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  • Discovering the Forgotten Wilderness

    Living in a somewhat urbanized environment, I find it difficult to stave off the feelings of being suffocated by too much that is manmade, stark, grey, ugly. I daydream about time spent elsewhere, in more rural and wild places. But such as things are, I’m here now and as my children guide me through the…

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  • Night at Featherfin

    Night at Featherfin

    I had my druthers and took the rare opportunity this weekend to camp and explore someplace new, take a break, try some fly fishing, be in the woods, etc, etc. I mapped out my radius of travel, an imaginary string pinned to Portsmouth and fanning out some 200 miles by land, where all viable paths run west…

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  • Bannock in the Backyard

    We thought we’d practice making the traditional wilderness trip staple – bannock. Essentially unleavened bread cooked by an open fire. The variations in recipe are legion, but we kept it pretty simple. Simplicity is good and, as this was a decidedly impulsive midday activity begun while my youngest napped upstairs, it needed accomplishment with only…

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