A few summers ago I found myself fly fishing in the Poconos of Pennsylvania as a thunderstorm approached. I was standing on the forested bank of a creek, casting downstream, careful not to snag my fly in the surrounding trees. As the sky grew darker overhead and rain began to fall, I kept fishing, not…

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Within half a minute of beginning my first rock climb in years the best thing happens: I fall. I am just starting up the route called California Carpool (“as in everyone drives their own,” someone says). A bulge near the bottom arguably has what climbers would call this route’s crux, or hardest part, if only…

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