I breathe in. I breathe out. In. Out. In. These breaths come so quickly and forcefully that I sound as if I’m in the throes of an asthma attack. Or maybe I’m a pig that’s found the perfect wallowing mud. … Continue reading
Forge east from the civilizations of Salt Lake City or Park City, Utah and you’ll see the Uinta Mountains long before you arrive to them. The range stretches west-to-east, beginning as conifer-covered ridges that reach leisurely toward a tree-less core … Continue reading
Red Lodge, Montana and its 2,000-ish friendly residents inhabit the place where a glacier-carved valley’s curvy bottom opens into high, sagebrush plains, and where Rock Creek tumbles off the northeast side of the Beartooth Mountains and into eastern Montana. With … Continue reading
It’s March, and I’m roughly four snowshoeing miles from Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful area. Five feet of snow separate me from firm Earth. I wear my thickest down jacket and a balaclava, even though I’m on the move. A … Continue reading
A black ribbon curlicues into the distance, cutting a meandering but distinct line through the greenscape. Immediately in front of me, the blacktop wends left, then left again before hightailing it steeply downhill to the right. I lower into the drops of the bike's handlebars, tuck my knees to my chest, lean into the downturn of California's Highway 49, and go.
Jennifer Pharr Davis possesses an appropriate name for the task she just completed. Perhaps she's got the right name for her life as well.
Imagine waking up and realizing that you had to run 50 miles today. Then, picture awaking to this thought each day, every day for about a year. If you're 49-year-old Australian athlete Pat Farmer – who's traveling by foot from the North Pole to the South Pole, a 13,000-mile journey that involves snowshoeing, running, jungle trekking, and some hands-on-knees crawling – then this is your reality.
A down slope breeze whispers from the west, off the Teton Range and through the Lupine Meadows Trailhead in Grand Teton National Park. It is 4 a.m. and otherwise silent here at 6,700 feet above sea level as our pack of four begins its uphill journey in sleepy, stuttered steps.
The Earth yawns in front of me, opening to one of its grandest chasms. I can't see this hole or the rest of the world, for that matter. All of it is gobbled up by the velvety black curtain of very early morning. I turn on my headlamp so it illuminates a circle of light on the path in front of me and begin to run. I'm descending into the Grand Canyon from its South Rim but, because of the darkness, I only know it from the map.