Journal

In the late 1970s and early ’80s AMC’s Cardigan Lodge was my wife Joyce’s and my favorite place to spend a couple weeks every summer. We were drawn to its rustic and intimate atmosphere, the camaraderie of a shared interest in the outdoors, and of course the hiking. We had developed a proprietary feeling about…

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  Pockets of thick fog ebb and flow across the steep slope of false summits on the way up Saddleback, along the Appalachian Trail in Maine. I’ve been trying to keep my son in my sights, but the mountain seems to know my mission, and its futility. I look up again, and he’s gone. I…

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It was too risky to organize in communities, our boss said in a briefing she gave from her home in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was March 13. We were at the office. “I’m laying you all off,” she continued. From the sound of her voice, it wasn’t a message she wanted…

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In 1987, I received a phone call from a books editor at the Appalachian Mountain Club. Would I be interested in writing a backcountry skiing guidebook for New England? I was a 27-year-old budding journalist, ski bum, political activist, and climber; I’d never written a book. The invitation seemed incredible: Somebody wanted to pay me…

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The New Normal Pre-departure: June 1, 2020 Are the AMC huts distant? The first thing that comes to mind is their location. Situated miles into the wilderness of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, the huts are cut off from the outside world with the exception of a radio and, if the clouds clear, occasional glimmers of…

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All three nights he stayed as my guest at Lonesome Lake hut, Adam set his dinner in motion by spreading a small, red-checkered tablecloth on the wooden table. More akin to a plastic place setting, the tablecloth popped against the blonde wood, adding a touch of class to the hut’s rustic character. In the kitchen,…

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I’ve loved embarking on outdoor treks ever since I was 14 years old. What started with me sneaking onto El Toro Marine Base near Irvine, Calif., to run through its adjoining wildlands has evolved into hikes on Pikes Peak, the James Irvine Trail, and my favorite site: Katahdin. The first time I attempted the ascent…

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  The outdoors is for all.  I have heard this mantra for decades, but truth be told I never related to it. In theory and in an ideal world, the outdoors should be for all. But in many places in the United States, this could not be farther from the truth. I’m a first-generation Filipina…

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  AMC’S 101 years of trail-building is a story of adaptability. Every year, our trail crews head out to blaze routes from trailhead to summit, knowing their destination, but not always what they will encounter along the way. Technology helps determine elevation in each section, but the challenges that pop up—large rocks, safe water crossings,…

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I remember how I used to look at the woods at night. You see them in every horror movie, right before you lose cell signal, and there’s nowhere to go in the sudden snowstorm except for the creepy cabin at the dead end of the gravel road. I lived in that cabin—briefly. On Camel’s Hump…

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