John Steinbeck’s “Western Flyer” to Sail Once Again

John Steinbeck’s “Western Flyer” to Sail Once Again

We peered through the Port Townshend Shipwrights Co-op doorway, the smell of machinery and wood filling the cavernous building along with a chorus of power tools. “Come on in. You can see what’s going on from overhead.” One of the workers pointed to stairs leading to...
The Last Free Place in America

The Last Free Place in America

There were no signs leading to our destination. We only knew that it was located about twenty miles from the Salton Sea, and cell service was spotty at best as we kept an eye on our GPS. We rolled into Slab City well after sunset, and driving unfamiliar dirt roads...
Apocalypse Now: The Demise of California’s Largest Lake

Apocalypse Now: The Demise of California’s Largest Lake

The dying lake faded into an eerie haze as we stood atop a layer of sun-bleached fish carcasses. The lack of wind and numbing silence only added to the surreal feeling of standing at the edge of the world, teetering toward an apocalyptic end of days. The springtime...
California Dreaming: Keeping the Coast Oil-Free

California Dreaming: Keeping the Coast Oil-Free

It’s easy to daydream about California beaches in the middle of winter, especially when eight feet of snow is piled outside one’s window. I enjoy life at the 6200-foot level, but this is the time of year I’d also enjoy some warm sand under my feet. And additional...
Zen and the Art of Snow Shoveling

Zen and the Art of Snow Shoveling

I first mastered the finer points of living in snow country after moving from the San Francisco Bay Area to a small community college in the Sierra foothills. Sharing a cabin near Sonora pass with a ski patrol and fellow classmate, “Snow Shoveling 101” was added to...
Navigating the Sagebrush Ocean: Part 2

Navigating the Sagebrush Ocean: Part 2

The road markers drift past in rhythmic sequence, keeping the highway beat as asphalt stretches to the horizon and meets the sky. This time of year is a race with the sun, a battle to take advantage of every minute of daylight. Short winter days often result in more...
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