Mad Marshmallow Disease & Other Fireside Stories

“What do you really do at the hotel?” is one of the questions I was asked most often this summer at the Overleaf Lodge.

“This is it,” I’d say. “Giving a nature walk and then watching the sunset and whales while tending a camp fire and passing out the fixings for s’mores. Those are my only jobs at the hotel.” Continue reading

You’re a Forest Ranger, So Go Out and Range

A friend of mine working on the Malheur National Forest in eastern Oregon said they have a wild horse problem. I jokingly suggested one solution was for all the Forest Service employees to give up their pickup trucks and ride horses.

Here’s a piece about rangers and horses I wrote 20 years ago when I was working for the Siuslaw National Forest.

You’re a Forest Ranger, So Go Out and Range … Preferably On a Horse

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Is It Art or Is It Gross Anatomy?

It’s squished frog season here on the Oregon coast.

The Skin Man

The Skin Man

I passed at least 20 on my morning dog walk. I feel sorry for them, but I am also have a morbid fascination with them and often examine what’s left of them. That’s not surprising since when I lived in Washington D.C. in the 1980s and 90s one of my favorite haunts was the Walter Reed Medical Museum. Among other things it had very graphic displays of reconstructed faces after they’d been mutilated in various wars, the leg of a Civil War general who ordered a medic to preserve what was left of it after it had been severed by a cannon ball, the bloated leg of someone who had died of elephantiasis, lots other diseased, abnormal and normal body parts in jars, the bullet that killed Lincoln, and what I believe was the worlds largest collection of human embryos. Obviously it was not a museum suitable for everyone. Then again, I’m not suitable for everyone since the only thing I found gross in gross anatomy was the smell of formaldehyde. Continue reading

Hiking in Siuslaw National Forest

Last week I led hikes for a Road Scholar (formerly known as Elderhostel) on trails in the Sisulaw National Forest in Oregon. Here are a few photos I took.

Sweet Creek T Sammy

T- and  Sammy at Sweet Creek

They don’t do justice to the magnificent scenery. Going through them now I realize I didn’t even take a single photo of the 500-year-old trees we walked under on the Gwynn Creek trail. That’s because I don’t want to see the world through a teeny lens. Consequently, I rarely take photos. Continue reading