The Bear and the Maiden Fair

I live in a place where there are still wild things. I live in the kind of place where men still hunt bears. Where men accidentally kill a mother, and then rescue the cubs from the tree they’d climbed, yowling. Where people still raise bear cubs, letting them roam in the woods outside their cabin,Continue reading “The Bear and the Maiden Fair”

My Own Private Iceland

Inwards from Route 1 at the town of Hveragerði, a mere 40 minutes from Reykjavik, I find the trailhead to the area’s famous hot river. The sign says Reykjadalur: 3 kilometers. Not so far, I can easily go up and back and continue along on my day of Iceland sightseeing. A steaming landscape of bubbling mud andContinue reading “My Own Private Iceland”

Moving my DNA

It’s pretty great when you find some scientific, health-related justification for doing what you’re already doing, which is “whatever the crap I want,” as I once scribbled on a doctor’s form asking what I did for exercise. And that’s basically how I’m interpreting Katy Bowman’s book, Move Your DNA. My approach to health and lifestyleContinue reading “Moving my DNA”

Climbing in the rain

It’s been raining every day here, which makes rock climbing difficult. You need (mostly) dry rock to climb. However, there are so many routes to choose from in this area that some are protected even in the most horrific downpours. The cliffs here are so high and the rock formations so spectacular that it’s reallyContinue reading “Climbing in the rain”

Finding climbing partners in Tonsai

Everywhere you look here in Tonsai there are the shirtless, smooth-skinned, compact bodies of climbers, the men short with overdeveloped lats, or lanky and stringy, the women with well-muscled shoulders. Some have aged like leather, pliable, rugged, striated, brown. I gather my climbing gear together and I set out to see if I can meetContinue reading “Finding climbing partners in Tonsai”

Glacier in September

Backpacking Glacier was less rugged than I thought it would be. I was sort of envisioning cutting cross-country with the bear spray primed and ready, while stumbling over branches and weeds with 30-plus pounds strapped to my back. Instead, there were well-maintained trails and flat dirt campsites with tall metal rails to hang your foodContinue reading “Glacier in September”

Ice climbing Copper Creek Falls

This week, the temperatures dropped to below zero, freezing moving water and making ice climbing possible. I’d never been before, for a few different reasons — with the chill factor being topmost. But a few friends were heading out to Copper Creek Falls, only a few miles from where my parents live, and the elementsContinue reading “Ice climbing Copper Creek Falls”

Diary of a snowstorm, part two

Day 7, January 10 The day is off to a bad start when I still haven’t fallen asleep at 1 a.m. because my lungs have decided that it’s a great time to protest how hard I’ve been going. Or maybe it’s the dry air up here. I’m wheezing and coughing to the point I’m worriedContinue reading “Diary of a snowstorm, part two”