What makes for a good rock climbing route? When I first started climbing, I just assumed that all routes were created equal, separated only by difficulty. I ignored star ratings in the guidebooks, and just climbed everything at my level. But as my climbing palette has become refined, I’ve realized that there are stark differences in just how enjoyable a particular route is. Read the rest of this entry


Sendtember at the New

Sendtember has come to a close here at the New River Gorge. And Rocktober has gotten off to a cold, rainy start. We’ve been staying at Roger’s Rocky Top Retreat, or just plain old Roger’s, as most people call it. Roger’s isn’t much of a campground. It’s an open field next to Roger’s house with a port-a-potty, a small token operated shower, a sink to do dishes, and some picnic tables. But that’s not why people stay there. People stay there partly because it’s cheap, but mostly because of Roger. Read the rest of this entry


Faye and I left yesterday to begin our drive to West Virginia. After getting a haircut, visiting a friend, and a couple of other distractions, we were on our way. When we arrived at a toll booth in New Jersey, I paid with a ten-dollar bill and some change, which included some pennies. The toll operator simply looked down at her hand, and said only, “Pennies.” At this point my initial reaction was to say something along the lines of, “Yeah, last time I checked they were still legal tender.” But instead it made me think quickly about two different discussions I’ve had with different people. Read the rest of this entry

My New Home is a Park

Michael and me working on the platformI guess that’s not entirely true. I’ve lived in a park over the past month, and on a mountain, and off an old dirt road. It’s probably more accurate to say that my new home is a truck. It’s a 2003 Ford Ranger to be specific. We’ve only owned it for a little more than a month, but we’ve become very close with it. We put a cap on it, and built a platform for our bed. The platform allows us to sleep in the bed while storing most of our gear underneath. It’s sort of a poor man’s RV. Read the rest of this entry

The Deconstruction of the American Dream

Over the past six weeks I’ve been living on a farm, and learning quite a bit about what it takes to grow and provide food. But besides that, I’ve been learning and thinking about how we live, consume, and aspire to even more. I used to live the “American Dream.” I had a “great career” as a financial planner, I was married, owned two homes, and drove a Lexus. All by the age of 25.

And I was miserable. Read the rest of this entry

My New Home Is a Barn

It’s been three weeks since I’ve moved to D Acres. This weekend I’m back in Harvard, visiting Faye and the dogs. I find some things to be strange. Like packaging on foods. It doesn’t just get pulled, or cut from the ground. And trash. I make a lot more of it. I was trying to figure out what I could do with my yogurt cup instead of throwing it away. I decided to wash it out and save it as a scoop. Read the rest of this entry


Climbing Etiquette and French Canadians

I headed up to Rumney for a couple of days to get some climbing in. Faye and I got there Saturday night and started fairly early on Sunday morning. We figured we’d hike most of the way up, and hit Jimmy Cliff. Our reasoning was that the further we went, the less likely it was that other people would be there. Apparently everyone had the same exact idea. When we got to Jimmy Cliff the left end was pretty busy, so we started at the right end Read the rest of this entry

Road trip to the Red

Faye and I returned this past Sunday from our road trip to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky. It gave us our first taste of what life on the road is going to be like. We made the drive down with our friends Tim and Ashley, and it took us about sixteen hours overnight. When we pulled into Miguel’s at 2:00 on Sunday afternoon we were all zombies. Read the rest of this entry

On the road

In July my girlfriend and I will be quitting our jobs, packing everything we need into a truck, and heading out on the road. My family keeps asking me, “What’s your plan? Where are you going to live? What will you do for work?” The simple answer to all of it is, “I don’t know.”  But I guess that’s not entirely true. Read the rest of this entry