A Sketchy Summer

Aiguille du Midi

Aiguille du Midi (As Seen From Gloria’s Window)

Ostensibly, I went to the alps this summer for writing. For whatever reason, often, I found myself drawing instead. I have a history as an art major (no degree, just lots of studio time, a healthy appetite for criticism, and outlandish ideas about the inessential role of beauty in human forms of expression). This is to say, I used to draw all the time. But it has been years. This summer, sitting in front of my laptop/ a sandwich/ a new friend who was in the middle of telling an amazing tale about jumping from literal cliffs/ no matter where; absentmindedly my hands moved to capture something of the moment. Somehow most of the art student pretense has fallen away, and I’ve reverted to the cartoony metaphysical caricatures I loved drawing as a kid. In no particular order here are some of my favorites:

Portrait of the Professor, His Wife and Son

Portrait of the Professor, His Wife and Son

She Who Parapentes

She Who Parapentes

A Trusted Guide

A Trusted Guide

Intergalactic Cat of Joy

Intergalactic Cat of Joy

The Fierce Raccoon King

The Fierce Raccoon King

I will return soon with more articulate and deeper thoughts on travel, adventure, the world, and our place in it. Until then I will be glancing at these pictures and thinking of the very real friends, times, and places that they represent. These silly cartoons will transport me back to that place where life had only one easy to understand focus. Time existed only to fill with acts of creation. Creation of literature. Creation of art. Creation of friendship. Creation of unstoppably goofy laughter and stories to good to be believed.

A Sound Business Model

A Sound Business Model

 

Purposefully Erratic

Approaching Aiguille du Midi

Approaching Aiguille du Midi

Traveling has left me caught in an expanding web of magnificent eccentrics. Last night I had dinner with a pair of mountain bikers I met in Chamonix this summer. Though we’ve known each other less than three months, I knew by the light in their eyes – knew by the grin that started in the right corner of Tom’s mouth and didn’t stop until the left corner of Gloria’s (across the room) – that their latest expedition was a grade A sufferfest. A two hour bike ride that turned into eight, uphill over roots and boulders, through the viscous, silty mud that forms in the rain that really hasn’t stopped falling all season. Only a coke and a few madeline’s to sustain them. Continue reading

A Celebration of Filth

I'm All Up On This Alp

I’m All Up On This Alp [Photo by Halliday Reynolds]

I woke up last Wednesday, pine sap matting a wad of hair to the back of my scalp, just above the beginnings of a redneck sunburn the likes of which I haven’t experienced since high school; before sunscreen was a thing. The previous days’ outfit lay strewn about my bedroom, covered in a Jackson Pollock masterwork of bar-b-que sauce, forest floor dampness, the black smudges of charcoal, pine needles, and a dash of red wine stains. None of this is bad; it’s glorious. Continue reading

Pretrip Nostalgia: There’s No Place Like Home…

Sad to Go

Sad to Go

Next week I’ll take the 210 to the 2 to the 5 to the 110 to the 105 to the 1. Then, I’ll hop on a plane and head off for an almost three month festival of lucky-swine Alpine writing workshop followed by a slow paced mountain and/or continent conquering aimless wander. I am excited and humbled beyond expression at the particular path my life is currently following. Continue reading

Good Looking Out, Smokey

Yosemite

Yosemite

For a week each spring we celebrate our National Parks. This is not nearly enough time. For ninety eight years the parks service has collected and curated eighty four million acres of Continue reading

Colonize the Montage

Dogwood Flowers Chillaxing in the Sunshine of a Sierra Spring

Dogwood Flowers Chillaxing in the Sunshine of a Sierra Spring

This past week has been completely overrun with two activities. The see through-tanning, internet-searching, hair-pulling minutia of planning my epic summer and a knock-down, drag-out, full blown, gloves off bout of RA fatigue. In the seven or eight hours per day that Continue reading

The Single Best Brownie and Latte in the History of Humankind

Mmmmmmmmmm Civilization...

Mmmmmmmmmm Civilization…

The above latte/ brownie combo may look run of the mill to the untrained eye. To the eyes of a deeply inexperienced outdoors-lady who has just spent three days drinking instant coffee, Continue reading

The Greatest Picture Never Taken in Denali National Park

This is a picture of a real live wolf! Squint, it's there. I swear it.

This is a picture of a real live wolf! Squint, it’s there. I swear it. If you’re on a smart phone you’re S.O.L. though.

Some people are possessed of a second sight. One specifically reserved for spotting interesting flora and fauna that the rest of us mere mortals miss. Personally, this skill set never developed Continue reading

Ripping Off Your Bunny Ears

Not an alp in Denali National Park

Not an alp in Denali National Park

I have disgustingly good news and I ask that you bear with me for a braggy second while I tell you about it. I swear there will be a pay off, just hang on.  Continue reading

Inherited Obsession, or Why I Will Someday Import an Italian Ape Car

Ape Car Climbs an Alp

Ape Car Climbs an Alp

They say that retirement is a time for reflection. A time to look back on your greatest accomplishments with a sense of pride. In this spirit, my father spent a significant part of his first year of retirement assembling a photo album of every car he has ever owned. Continue reading

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