There are some perks that come with freelance journalism. Pay isn’t one of them. Powder is. I live in Colorado, less than two hours from Vail, where I buy my annual ski pass. Working from home, for myself, mostly on my own schedule, means I can be extraordinarily picky about the days I choose to ski. And picky I am. For me, it’s weekdays only, with a minimum of six inches of new snow overnight—and that’s after lifts close. I don’t like wind, crowds, or tracks. Freelance writing means skiing only epic days, and then making all your friends hate you by posting photos of the spoils to Facebook. Obnoxious? Perhaps. My profile of Joel Gratz in Outside introduces you to the man that has made this pickiness possible. Continue reading
My recent feature in Mother Jones magazine adds to the anti-fracking arsenal. Activists rejoice. Before reporting this assignment, I was neutral on fracking, mostly because I didn’t know much about it. What I discovered is that fracking is an ingenious way of getting fossil fuels out of the ground. It’s also woefully under-regulated to the point where outright bans might make sense. Even those within the industry confessed to me that the fracking boom is the “lawless Wild West” all over again. Continue reading →
Welcome to my new website, which went live at 3:10 PM MST on January 2, 2013. I’m a month-plus late in getting up this post. Sorry. My old site had been virtually unchanged (except for article updates) since it launched sometime in 2001, which speaks to the mad skills of its designer, a former colleague from Wired magazine, who managed to create a simple, fresh look that endured for more than a decade. With my new site, brilliantly envisioned and created by Heather Mann, I tried to embrace a more visual format that works across platforms big and small—including all those schmancy mobile devices. Social-networking doohickeys appear across the site as well. That’s something, right? So click away and please email me if you find bugs, typos, or really hideous things that should never be done on online. Compliments are okay, too.
At some point during the production cycle of my article in Skiing magazine about building my own skis, there was a temporary headline slapped on the layout: “DIY Skis? Try WTF Skis?” Though the headline didn’t stick, it sums up the insanity of trying to build skis from scratch in my garage. But having done so, I have to admit that my home-built boards were close, very close to being a rideable pair. It turned out that I had made the wood cores too thick, and this left me with skis that were a bit herky-jerky on the hill. If I had to do it over, I’d go much thinner, less fiberglass, less wood, less epoxy … less of everything. Continue reading →
Allure of the Seas is a Brobdingnagian spectacle. It’s a ship in name only. No, it’s not a ship. It’s Vegas on floats. While reporting my story on cruise-ship sustainability for OnEarth magazine, I drove from Miami to Fort Lauderdale to visit Allure. But I spotted her when I was still miles west of Port Everglades, her homeport. I was inland, driving on I-95. Allure rose above Florida’s verdant flatlands like a snowy mesa. I boarded her (I realize that sounds kinky) through a terminal building coupled to her
I have only one regret—having not stayed longer in Kiritimati. Why? Because kayak fishing is crazy addictive, something I quickly learned while on assignment for Hemispheres magazine. It was my first time trying it—well, really, my first time doing any serious fishing at all. But fishing from a kayak for massive tuna, or whatever happens to bite, was an unexpected thrill. I’ve never really understood fishing. It’s too static for my blood. That all changed once I slid into my tiny kayak, with a 50-pound rod, offshore a speck of an island in the
It’s great to get out-of-the-blue assignments. When I got a call from, Runner’s World asking me to profile Danny Abshire, the founder of Newton, who lives in Boulder, my first thought was, huh Out of the blue. I’d never heard of Newton and was a recreational runner at best (once or twice a week, six miles tops). But I love geeking out on new technology, particular disruptive technologies. Newton was just that—a shoe its inventor believed would change the world, or at least the world of runners. I don’t want to insert myself in the Newton Continue reading →