La Jolla Half, 200 Proof Local

Local means a lot to me. So every year when the La Jolla Half Marathon comes around, I run it or at least cheer my friends on. And in all cases I celebrate with friends afterward. The race goes right down my street, La Jolla Shores, and finishes right at the Cove in downtown La Jolla. On top of the local flavor, there’s its beauty which astounds me daily, even having lived here for five years. Continue reading

Posted in Great Nature, Physical Exertion, Running, San Diego | 1 Comment

Hello Dalai

“Big home, big car, big salary: this is the meaning of life? No! Certainly not!” Thus spake the Dalai Lama when he came to  UC-San Diego last week. Material stuff fails to bring inner peace and happiness– but you knew that already. The main topic of the talk was the environment, and he infused all kinds of philosophy into the discussion and tied it all together.

Continue reading

Posted in Great Nature, Pondering, San Diego | 1 Comment

Micah True to the Cause of DIY in Ultrarunning

Micah True, the legendary trail runner, has just left us at the age of 58. Better known as Caballo Blanco, his birth name is unknown. It might as well have been Ian MacKaye. Or Kim Gordon, or Kurt Cobain, or Greg Ginn. Caballo was punk rock to the core, and resisted commercialization nobly, even when he was in the limelight. Continue reading

Posted in Running | 3 Comments

What Our Ascent of the Evolution Traverse Means to Me


Last week Konstantin Stoletov, Shay Har-Noy, a rubber duck (“Ducky”), and myself completed a Winter Ascent of the Evolution Traverse, the biggest and most daunting High Sierra technical climb yet to be completed in Winter, and thus far the only Winter Ascent of one of the “Big Four” Sierra technical traverses. Nine 13,000′ peaks in the Evolution Range linked for a total of more than eight miles of climbing on the ridge. Almost 15 years after it was first attempted in Winter by Jerry Dodrill’s team, this was the first time it was completed. That’s big for the High Sierra in general, and for Pullharder, our climbing collective. In the Alps (and more generally, in alpine climbing), the recognized “big three” types of ascents are First Ascent, First Winter Ascent, and First Winter Solo. For getting on such a big route in hard conditions, Pullharder is helping to push the sport forward.

That’s the official version. How do I really feel? Continue reading

Posted in Climbing, Great Nature, Physical Exertion, Pondering | Tagged , | 2 Comments

There’s a feeling I get when I look to the West 2011

Jan 1, 2011, La Jolla Shores.

December 30, 2011, Washington DC.

Day and night. A sunset draws on both and is in essence neither, or maybe it is both. Many of the most interesting ideas lie at the intersection of opposites, of chaos and order, faith and doubt, stability and excitement. Light and dark.

I love sunsets more than maybe anything else in nature. Here are some of my favorite sunset shots I took this year. Many more are up here. As usual, a lot in La Jolla, but compared to past years, more other US states and not so many international ones. Continue reading

Posted in Great Nature, International, San Diego | 2 Comments

Chitown, My Town, and the rest of America’s top cities

Sun Rises on Lake Michigan and Chicago

After the week’s trips to DC and Chicago, and reasonable exposure (3+ trips) to all of America’s most populous and famous metro areas, here’s how I’d rank America’s big cities in terms of visiting: Continue reading

Posted in Lists, San Diego | 1 Comment

Subzero on a northern hill on the Winter Solstice

Visiting Lithuania on the solstice was a powerful experience. I posted once here, but rational thoughts are not sufficient, so I must add this post.

All day sun is commonplace at home in Southern California. A perfect sunset is just the punctuation mark on every perfect day. But landscapes with this power are not found in California. Here beauty arrives in a rarer form, unrefined and brutal, wisping across the empty sky. In the Vilnius forest, a small crack in the clouds reveals a tortured ribbon of light, escaping as the Almighty, to empower a world of gloom and gray. Continue reading

Posted in Great Nature, International, Pondering | 1 Comment