Monday, June 24, 2013

Now in bookstores nationwide (and in Canada)! Latest issue of Catamaran is hot off the presses

I'm hoping you're all getting your hands on the latest issue of Catamaran (which is analog-only, by the way, and you'll see why when you get your hands on the magazine. Reading it is a very tactile experience.**) And thank you to all the great feedback and messages about the new issue. Catherine Segurson did a beautiful job with the design and layout; you will not find a more beautiful-looking lit magazine anywhere. Here is a brief excerpt of my interview with Lawrence Weschler, “Convergences, Chance Discoveries, and Going Back to Kindergarten,” featured in our summer issue. Weschler has been a staff writer for the New Yorker, and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. Of late he has directed the New York Institute for Humanities at NYU. Here he is describing an ongoing artistic disagreement between the artists Robert Irwin and David Hockney:

“Sometime later I happened to be writing a catalog essay for an upcoming Irwin show, which in turn was very consciously on Irwin’s part a refutation of Hockney. And the two of them have been going at it like that for thirty-five years. I write about one and the other calls me and tells me, “Not true.” I write about the other one, same thing. This goes on and on, and, yes, as you say, they have never met. The thing that’s fun about it is that it’s not a stupid argument they’re having. They’re having a very deep and interesting argument.”

Hope you are having a great summer. Chances are I'll see you out on some campground somewhere, as 'the camping project' continues in earnest.

*** however, an e-reader version is in the works. Not sure when that's coming out. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Images from the Pacific Crest Trail

in light of my recent return to the PCT, I thought I'd post some shots (new and vintage) and some illustrations and cartoons from various locations on and around the trail. Here goes. And by the way, I am so impressed by this new generation of clean, well-scrubbed trail hikers. As you can see, when I hiked the PCT, I did not place much of a premium on cleanliness at all. I've scrambled the sequence to test the memories of all you trail obsessives. (Do you think you can identify the various forests and mountains where these pictures were taken?)  If you're a true PCT old timer, you surely remember the kind-hearted, porkpie-hat-wearing fellow who appears in two of these pictures ...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My return to the Pacific Crest Trail (and I just saw a big fat bear!!!)

Happy to report that I returned to the PCT for the first time in a very long time, and I had the chance to meet five through hikers and talk to them for a little while. Four were polite but slightly grumpy and tired looking -- probably because they are lugging 50 pounds of pack weight across the mountains! Oh man. My back ached just looking at all that pack weight.

I met another through-hiker near the San Joaquin River. He was carrying very little, his pack looked really light -- and he was smiling like he was having the time of his life!

Anyways, it sure was great to meet all those hikers. I told them all that I was a PCT walker, class of '93 and '94.

By the way, I found it really strange that none of the hikers had seen a bear at all when I met them. Not one bear between Mexico and Reds Meadow, CA? The weird thing is, I saw a bear that very same day! After finishing my miniature PCT hike, I took a drive at dusk on Old Mammoth Road in the Eastern Sierra (a good 15 miles or so from the actual PCT). I stopped at a beautiful overlook, next to a truly wild looking, burly patch of land with yellow wildflowers growing on it, and at that very moment a big fat brown bear (fully grown male, by the look of him) came tumbling out of the woods, shaking his ears and staring right at me!

We looked at each other for a good long time, and then, without making any noise at all, he waddled through the meadow and into a copse of trees.