Showing posts from September, 2017

A Scrimmage Too Far

Maybe, at last, this is what it takes for Trump's base to fire him. There are two Donald Trumps. When he's by himself, roaming around the residence, lounging in front of "Fox and Friends," tweeting nonsense on his phone, Trump is authentically being himself: a spoiled rich kid who is shattered at the thought of failure, frustrated in his ambition for the one thing his money can't buy (respect), furious that obtaining the most powerful office in the world is still not enough for him to be taken seriously by the smart people he most wants to impress, lashing out at them for not understanding what a great guy he is. By the time we reach middle age, most of us have known people like this. We may have one in our family. We may even have been in a relationship with one. (It didn't end well.) Of course, most of the Trump-types we've known haven't had access to nuclear codes that could turn one of those midnight tantrums into an act of genocide that

56 and Counting (Down)

From Eclipse Day last month: this is not the forehead of a young man. Old wounds are coming back to haunt me. Sixteen years ago, when I was a young man of 40, I drove up to Mt. Hood Meadows for a day of cross country skiing. I went alone, as I did for most of my adventures in those days. It was a beautiful January day, the sky clear, the snow powdery and not too slippery, just the way I like it, and as I clipped on my skis, I knew this was going to be a fine day. I had decided to start my workout at a different location than usual: rather than the single-wide mobile home that served as the Nordic lodge, I was parked at the main Meadows lodge that the chairlift started from. The trail down from the lodge to the easy track I had chosen for my warmup was a short hill, but as I said, I was feeling confident. Fifteen seconds into that run, I realized I was going much faster than I had expected. On top of that, I was going to have to execute a sharp turn at the bottom of the hill, a

Gorge Grief

May 31, 2013: Amy at Tunnel Falls. Looking through folder after folder of photos, trying to find just the right one to begin this essay, one thing lept out at me: if it weren't for hiking in the Columbia River Gorge, Amy and I might not be a couple. Before we met, Amy had never been much of an outdoorswoman, but she'd always wanted to give it a try. I, on the other hand, had always aspired to outdoor feats, but had never had a fitting partner for my adventures. Almost all my hikes were solitary affairs, including one 18-mile one-day trek through the Sawtooth Wilderness in August, 2007, that could easily have been the end of me. That one began as an out-and-back, then turned, on a whim, into a loop that was far longer and more grueling than I imagined. I'd started too late, and at that altitude, it was really more than I could handle, but once I was invested in it, I really had no choice: all I had was a light windbreaker and a couple of Cliff bars. It was well af