Have You Ever Licked a Birch Tree?

Birch bark smell wintergreen

“Smelled!” I meant “Have you ever smelled a birch tree?” Lick it? Who would do sucha thing…?

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Hatcher Hill Paw Paws, Sunrise Falls and the Graves of Anger and Hunger

There are so many places left unhiked. Once I develop an affinity for a place it’s difficult to make myself try something new. If you’ve been reading you already know my outdoor writing spots: the river; the lower Heritage Trail; the stairs to the state hospital; and the ledge overlooking the boulders of the abandoned […]

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Clifty Falls Weight Loss Guide: Hike; Fall; Cry like a baby; Hike some More

I have learned that it takes me 5.5 hours to hike 10 miles, including two short writing stops, a wipe-out, and a few heavy-breathing rest stops on the climb back out. I have learned I don’t know how to estimate how much water to carry for 10 miles, and that it is possible to drop […]

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The Art of Canyon Solitaire: Reflections on Theroux, Abbey, and Kurt’s Cap’n Crunch

It all started with an innocent bowl of Cap’n Crunch and an even more innocent Kurt, excited for our morning of adventure. And it was really cramping my routine. Travel writer Paul Theroux is a major proponent of traveling alone to avoid the distractions of another person. He also believes in not using cameras because […]

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Kurt’s a hippie and I’m a Buddhist flunkie. Climbing stairs in Madison, IN.

It’s bizarro-world in the Druzgal house lately. Kurt seems to have one toe dipped in hippie, and I am more skeptical. In recent bouts I’ve been sad or lonely, frustrated or inflamed. Taken individually, they’re easy to explain as homesickness, loneliness and lack of good friendship here in Madison, frustration over being limited by this […]

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Falling for a 98-year-old. Heritage Trail Part 1. Madison, Indiana

I swear, the guy was 98-years-old if he was a day. And he lapped me on the Heritage Trail like he was a little boy, endless energy fueling his slight, pale frame. And he sparked some lingering little girl competitiveness I didn’t know I still had…

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