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Into the Outback

You’d have to be crazy to hike in the Australian Outback in the middle of the summer.

And so, there I was, planning a four-day walk through the Western Macdonnell Mountains, hitching to the trailhead, setting up camp in a dry river bed to wait out the hottest part of the day. The Larapinta Trail […]

A Walk in the Wilderness

I’m going to step back in time for a moment. About three weeks back, to the time that I was in Hobart, Tasmania, folding a strange man’s laundry.

Is this weird? This is weird, I thought to myself, but in a good way. Susan Munroe, professional houseguest; maybe I should put that on my resume. […]

Quiet in Melbourne

I haven’t had a real conversation with anyone in days now, not since leaving Salt Lake City in the wee hours of the last day of last year. Tiptoeing down an icy driveway into the waiting airport transfer, shivering in my summer-in-the-southern-hemisphere jacket, I slipped out of the city in a contemplative quiet that has […]

teething: march 12 – 20

They’re called the Teeth of Navarino. Better they should be called the Fangs. Vicious, merciless, and sharp, these rocks bite. El Circuito de Los Dientes de Navarino is the southernmost trek in the world, a five-days-plus mission into the exposed interior of the island that sits south of Ushuaia, between the water of the Beagle […]

Puerto Williams

This is it – this is as far south as civilization gets until that big, white, cold continent. Puerto Williams is situated on the northern shore of Isla Navarino, across the Beagle Channel from Ushuaia, Argentina. Home to 2,200 inhabitants, it’s bigger than McMurdo Station in Antarctica, with more stray dogs and less to do. […]

camping with grizzly bears is scarier than hitchhiking

There I was, leaning against the wall of the Grant Village Campground bathroom, mechanically shoveling warm oatmeal into my mouth, absently re-reading the campground recycling guidelines for the thirty-seventh time. Rain hammered on the roof and dripped noisily off the gutters onto the pavement outside. The bathroom was the only place where I could cook […]

wanted: women, aged 20-30

BG, one of Bob’s female friends, thought I was crazy to go. A six-day trip, in the backcountry, with three 40+ men I barely knew? I’ll admit I had my doubts.

Lou, the trip organizer, is a local antiques dealer with whom I’ve become acquainted over the summer. The other two, Joe and […]

*yawn*

Is it possible to relish a boring life? For weeks now, I’ve considered making updates here, only to shrug helplessly: what can I say? The moments that make up my day to day existence are small and simple, and while it would be possible to write stories about them and expand them into epic […]

returning to civilization after a long tramp in the bush

Today I have spoken more words than I have uttered in the last month. My throat is dry, my tongue and mouth are tired, but I am out of my head – I have rejoined humanity and am relearning the finer points of human communication. I’m on the North Island: this bustling metropolis of an […]

a month later…

…I find my way out of the rain forest! Has it really been a month? Can I blame the delay in updates on my freezer-burned brain? Apologies, faithful readers. Writing, as of late, has felt more like work than play, and after six months as an Antarctic galley slave, I’m all about play. This is […]