Old Dodderers in the Backcountry

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We Must Have Been a Sight! We old dodderers can’t stop taking to the woods. My nephew Kenn Petsch is my favorite hiking companion. We have hiked dozens of times in the Grand Canyon, doing it just about end to end … Read More

Finding Jesus

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Opening My Eyes At a young age I became an atheist, but wanted desperately to believe. While an undergraduate I attended services at numerous denominational churches – Catholic, Presbyterian, Congregational, Adventist, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, Eastern Orthodox, Unitarian and even that … Read More

Hiking’s Great Gift – Attention

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Being Present as We Hike I have learned more about how my mind works from hiking than was ever mentioned in the bevy of psychology courses I took at university. “Attention” is the most important. I mean, where you give your … Read More

Why I Hike Alone (with my dog)

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  Hiking Spirituality There are fewer out-of-state license plates at the trailhead and it’s too cold for pine nut pickers. Ordinarily we think of November 1 as the first day of winter in the Southwest, and expect snow at any … Read More

Evolution – Fact OR Theory? The Turkey?

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Evolution Questions on our Hike As I view trees, flowers, bushes, insects, deer, elk, rabbits, chippers out on the trail, and especially their tracks, I often wonder how they manage to survive. Just today when Kenn and I were hiking the … Read More

My Big Questions About “Time”

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Adults Thought I Was Nuts! Whenever I brought up my “big questions” as a youngster, people left the conversation for a “more interesting” subject. Some though, were more direct, gave me a weird look and asked, “Why’d you want to know?” When … Read More

Geezer Backpacking

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I’m an Old Guy Backpacker It is really about how much I love the backcountry. I’m 87 years old and still backpacking. I’m making my camp in my favorite Ponderosa pine forest during the full moon. I try to do a backpacking … Read More

Why Is there Something and Not Nothing?

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What’s Out There in the Beyond? I’ve slept out under the stars many times, particularly in deserts.  One time in the Grand Canyon I had begun backpacking late in the afternoon, heading down the Thunder River Trail. After crossing about a mile … Read More

My Living Trail Hero — Jim Kern

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You’re a Good Man, Jim Kern Back when I first started Backpacker magazine I met the man who founded the Florida National Scenic Trail.  Jim Kern came to my magazine office to sell me a story about the trail.  I … Read More

Hiking with My Dog Tessa

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  Tessa’s a Man’s Dream. She loves being with me almost as much as she loves hiking. When I lie in bed a little late, Tessa jumps in and licks my face to tell me it’s time to go hiking. She … Read More

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