Ken Ilgunas is one of those loony environmentalist types.
A few years ago, he made a name for himself writing about his extremely frugal tenancy in a Ford Econoline van, which helped him graduate Duke University completely free of debt. More recently, Ilgunas walked the entire length of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast in South Texas.
Saturday, December 31, 2016
Sunday, October 16, 2016
The Lost Chord and the Wild Within
In days of yore, when I was a musician, my friends and I sometimes referred, half-jokingly, to the Lost Chord. Legend has it that some distracted soul doodling at a piano one day struck upon a combination of tones that so mesmerized him, he spent the rest of his unhappy life trying to recreate it. It was the sound of bliss, the strange music of the spheres; it was the answer to all his questions, ever.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Durable Goods: The '90s-Teal Day Pack
It was April 1996, and I was standing in Eastern Mountain Sports on Lower Broadway, not far from my tiny apartment in the East Village. I'd been nose-to-the-grindstone in the work world for 10 years, and now I was kitting up for a real vacation. A week in the Southwest, the site of my long-ago teenage awakening to the Earth.
Friday, September 9, 2016
Durable Goods: Prana climbing knicker
The Durable Goods series features that killer piece of kit, that failsafe bit of gear, that's been with you for years, and goes with you every time you head out. You can neglect or abuse it, and it's always ready for more. All hail!
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Tully Lake, Royalston, Mass: A weekend in heaven
Monday, August 22, 2016
Michigan and Niagara Falls: A Midwestern Outdoors Tour
The beginning of August brought a long-awaited road trip to Michigan, a place of mythical outdoor opportunities. My wife’s family has had a large cottage on a beautiful lake there since the beginning of time—an old-school lake house with hand-built bunkbeds, raw pressboard walls, and the mellow waft of 50 years of damp swimsuits. The ideal place for a mid-summer escape.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Five Ten Guide Tennies as Mountain Bike Shoes: First impressions
First, a disclaimer: Though the Five Ten Guide Tennie was built by a venerable climbing company as an approach shoe for pure rock-heads, I'm going to review it as a mountain bike shoe and day hiker, because those are my jams. I haven't climbed in nearly 20 years, and, though I hope to flail around on some local boulders with these, it'll be rare.
Your mid-season training plan
Here is your training plan for August:
If you feel like riding your bike, take it out of your garage/living room/shed and get on. Start riding.
Monday, August 1, 2016
The Year of the Upgrade: Ride whatcha got
I swore to myself this would be the year of the upgrade—that I would dance with the one who brung me and not buy any new bikes.
So far, so good.
So far, so good.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Brattleboro Area Mountain Biking
A two-night trip to beautiful Southern Vermont this past weekend with my friend Steve. Our main goal was to ride the well-known Retreat Trails just outside Brattleboro (practically speaking, the capital of the southern part of the state).
Saturday, July 9, 2016
Doug Tompkins: Go thou and do likewise
As a longtime conservation and outdoor advocate, I've heard of Doug Tompkins for years, but didn't know the larger arc of his story. He died late last year in a kayaking accident. Below is a short, inspiring, biographical vid that Brenan Leonard at semi-rad just pointed to last week.
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Don't Quit Your Day Job: Wild as a state of mind
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Couples Bike Camping 101: Gill, Massachusetts
For nine years I've been kissing my dear, patient wife good-bye on weekend mornings and disappearing over the horizon on two wheels, not to be seen for hours. Though I've engineered a number of enjoyable short joint rides over the years, my dream that she would catch the cycling bug never quite came true.
Until this year.
Until this year.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Camp Stove Love Song
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Sunday, June 12, 2016
The Hero Machine Wants You to Train Harder
|© moreskybetter.com 2016|
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
How Far Would You Go if No One Could Know?
Friday, May 13, 2016
We go into the wild because it reveals to us what we refuse to see about our daily existence: that most of life can not be known in advance. Can’t be listed out, quantified, managed.
Monday, May 9, 2016
H is for Hawk: The Struggle to Go Wild
Wilderness writers down the ages have been renowned weirdos and misfits. John Muir’s sporadic attempts to live in town inevitably ended with a hop over the back fence with a bunch of tea leaves and a crust of dry bread in hand, not to be seen for weeks.
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Why Are the Trails So White?
There are very few minorities on the trails. And no one's talking about it.
Have you ever looked around you at a trailhead parking lot and wondered at all the pale skin? Or paged through a blingy outdoor gear catalog, and thought to yourself, “Don’t Black, Latino, or Asian people go outdoors, too?”
|How many minorities do you see? Source: www.outsideonline.com|
Monday, April 25, 2016
Walk Wherever We Want? Huh...
thoughtful piece about how Europeans can walk wherever they want in the wild—including private property if they're respectful of it—and why we can't.
It makes me sigh very wistfully.
It makes me sigh very wistfully.
# # #
Friday, April 22, 2016
Nature Is Not a Panacea
Nature in her green tranquil woods heals and soothes all afflictions.
~ John Muir
The wild is not a panacea for the human soul; too much [time]
in the air can corrode it to nothing.
~ Helen Macdonald
|Gold Hill, Taos, NM. Photo Alan Ellis|
Summer 1996, Taos, New Mexico. I’m hiking down toward the trailhead after topping out on 12,700-foot Gold Hill, a quiet peak up near the ski valley.
Monday, April 11, 2016
Getting Outside Changes You Inside
Sometimes the best rides happen when you have no idea where you're headed or how you'll get there.
Friday, April 1, 2016
Active at Mid-life: The Two Biggest Secrets
Let’s face it: middle age sneaks up on you.
At 52, I can still ride year ‘round, but it takes longer on chilly mornings to get the neurons firing and the muscles following suit, even after the ritual java jolt. Old injuries, which used to crop up only occasionally, have moved in the furniture and hung pictures on the walls.
Sunday, March 27, 2016
Are Your Bike Shoes Killing the Planet?
I was online last night, excited about shopping for a new pair of shoes for mountain and dirt-road biking. This popular brand… that arcane brand… flashy colors… sticky soles… which one, which one?
Monday, March 21, 2016
Inaugural Pioneer Valley Sugar Shack Spin
Thursday, March 17, 2016
The Art of the Active Life
Most people think of self-expression as artsy stuff. You know: painting, writing, playing an instrument. At various times, I’ve been a visual artist, a writer, a musician. These days, I’m also a cyclist. And that’s another important way that I express what lives inside my heart and mind.
Friday, March 4, 2016
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