If you haven’t heard, wildfires have been taking over eastern Washington, with some half dozen different fires including the incredibly massive Carlton Complex which has torched over 215,000 acres to date. Coupled with a couple weeks of 100+ degree heat, and as my friend Scott put it best, it’s felt like a smoky oven. Needless to say, we’ve been laying low and doing our best to adapt to the situation at hand, things seem to be improving but I’m still skeptical for the future. For now, we’re enjoying a reprieve and I’m reflecting as well as looking forward to how and best balance this reality as it unfolds. Below you’ll find a few pictures from our weekend of clarity, and a few words regarding what it’s like living in a pressure cooker. If you’re into pictures or like your dose of crazy diluted as possible, remember to check us out on the Facebook and Instagram, where angry rhetoric is in short supply.
Winters, for me, have always been a practice in hibernation. Not in the most literal sense, and I haven’t always seen things this way, but as my time here continues to unfold and my views and values continue to evolve, it’s easy to see how the seasons affect many changes in my life. My food, sleep, work, my mobility, my drive, and so much more, all are grounded and shaped by the colder months, where and how I spend them. This year marks the ninth winter season I’ve come to Alta, Utah. Each of these seasons has seen progression, regression, evolution and expansion. I’ve loved, learned, limped, and continued to move forward. While I’ve never had a vehicle with me for any of my winters here, it’s only been since 2008 that I haven’t owned a car year round, and only in the last two years that I’ve truly embraced the bike. This season makes the second winter of Nature of Motion, and it’s interesting to see the hint of a pattern here. Winter is truly a time for introversion, a time for reflection and renewal. As I look back, look forward, and look inward, I continue to notice new things, re-connect with the familiar, and find my creative spark to progress. It’s easy to look to the side of the screen and see the pattern, the abundance of posts and activity in the summer months, and the scarcity in the winter. Granted, there’s been a lot more than just my change in transportation in these last few years, but I think that reflects a lot of what goes on behind the scenes. Recently, I’ve been thinking and journaling a lot about this topic, this sort of seasonality and localism that plays on my life each winter. March is usually when I start to wake up and dig myself out from the haze of the winter, it’s also the month of my birth, so it’s a pretty appropriate time to be reflecting inward on my progress and position. A little over a year ago I wrote a piece on this subject entitled A Case for Place. Here now with a year gone by and I find myself in the same place, thinking along the same lines. But what do I have to add? What have I learned or how have a grown? I find it helpful to look back first, to gain some of this perspective of time and place, so before I spewed out all the nonsense below I took a minute to read the original piece, if you’ve got a minute, and think it’d help you too, check it out here. Enjoy.
I haven’t been cycling in months. Although this might come as some sort of sad irony in light of this blog being born from bicycle-powered adventure, I’m not really that broken up about it. Sure, I miss the bike, and those long warm rides in the mountains, but I miss it like I miss asparagus or basil, those ephemeral staples of spring and summer that might be short lived, but they have a time, and will be back next season. For now I’m loving the winter, the numbing cold, the short days parenthesized by extended darkness, the styrofoam crunch of snow under my skis, and the unparalleled beauty of the play of light on mountains dressed in white. I’m embracing the winter for what it is: now. Continue reading