October 29, 2012 Shifting Baselines Musings

Shifting Baselines

I’ve been scanning some of my dad’s old Kodachrome slides of the Grand Canyon, and this shot in particular caught my eye. Here we see the south rim, as seen from Bright Angel Point on the north rim, taken in September 1978. Easily visible are the San Francisco Peaks, Arizona’s highest point, and Kendrik Peak, (more...)...

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August 6, 2012 Nothing Endures But Change (Bodie Edition) Musings

Nothing Endures But Change (Bodie Edition)

From the glass towers of Chicago to the ghost town of Bodie, California, we go. Bodie, now a state historic park, is thirteen miles off Highway 395, just southeast of Bridgeport. Gold was discovered here in 1859, and within twenty years there was a booming town with a population around 10,000. The principle mine closed (more...)...

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July 26, 2012 Chicago Musings

Chicago

Sometime in the 1970’s my family packed all their belongings into a used station wagon and drove from Chicago to Flagstaff. One of my earliest and most iconic memories is the sight of the Sears Tower receding in the distance though our rear windshield, vanishing along with good friends and family as we left the (more...)...

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January 5, 2012 Resolutions Musings

Resolutions

Somewhere in my twenties I realized I would never be able to repay all that my dad had given me. I don’t just mean money; I mean all the ways he was there for my brother and me. I talked about that with my dad one day, and he told me his philosophy on the (more...)...

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December 25, 2011 A (Virtual) White Christmas Musings

A (Virtual) White Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family from ours! (more...)...

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December 19, 2011 Of Lightness and Darkness Musings

Of Lightness and Darkness

This it seems to me is the ultimate tribute to Kim Jong Il, the recently departed Dear Leader of North Korea—a satellite image of North Korea at Night. Ezra Klein writes: “That, right there, is Kim Jong Il’s legacy. In a world that had long ago found light, he managed to keep 24 million human (more...)...

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December 14, 2011 Skyrim Musings

Skyrim

How good is Bethesda Studios’ new role-playing game, Skyrim? It’s so good I’m afraid to open the box. That’s right, instead of opening it up and loading it on my machine, when UPS delivered my copy I instead carefully wrapped the box in Christmas paper and put a label on it saying To Andy from (more...)...

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December 11, 2011 Dressing High vs. Low Musings

Dressing High vs. Low

One of the things I pride myself on is belated insight—meaning, I do have good ideas, but they tend to occur to me a little bit late. That was definitely the case going up the Mount Whitney Trail last weekend. We knew we’d be facing weather somewhere between 0-20°F, and we knew we’d be climbing (more...)...

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November 20, 2011 English Asymmetries Musings

English Asymmetries

I had no idea I’d be going to Austria until about two weeks beforehand. Given more time, I might have tried to learn some rudimentary German, but instead I focused on other preparations. I thus arrived in Graz knowing roughly three German words, none of which I could pronounce correctly (more...)...

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November 14, 2011 Extra Sunset, Served With Ice Musings

Extra Sunset, Served With Ice

Back home in L.A. now, having flown in from Graz via Munich last ‘night’. My plane took off from Munich in daylight and promptly headed north into darkness. Eventually, somewhere up around Greenland, we turned west and soon chased down the sun, so that daylight returned. That plus clear skies made it possible to see (more...)...

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When there is snow, SierraDescents is Andy Lewicky's California backcountry skiing and mountaineering website. Without snow, sierradescents becomes an ill-tempered hiking and climbing blog.

Pray for snow.