Audience

  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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  Winter hiking is ideal for those who crave the peaceful, restorative qualities of being outdoors. The crowds of tourists that flock to popular trailheads in the summer and fall—along with the occasional swarms of black flies and mosquitos—tend to vanish with the last of the foliage. Add to that a blanket of pristine, white…

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This story was originally published in the Winter/Spring 2021 issue of Appalachia Journal. In a small patch of crumbly dirt and mulch, near the weather-worn trellis where the hydrangea had begun to bloom, my 5-year-old daughter, Uma, plucked a beetle off the wood and held it up to the sun. “Daddy, look Daddy. Isn’t she…

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  Maybe you’re feeling it already, fellow moms and dads: the dread of not knowing how you’re going to keep your kids occupied and active through the long Northeast winter and early spring. These feelings are expected and normal in a typical winter, let alone one where our social calendars are clear and mobility limited….

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  Excerpted and adapted from Essential Guide to Winter Recreation, from AMC Books. Getting lost in the woods can happen to anyone, especially in the winter and even to the most seasoned hiker. You make a wrong turn, you lose your bearings in whiteout conditions, or you accidentally get separated from your group. If you…

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Getting outdoors in cities isn’t always easy; trust me, I live in a major city. Among the many things COVID-19 has taught me, one is that I absolutely took my morning commute for granted. My commute to work used to have me walking an average of 4 miles per day, and when COVID-19 hit I…

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  Cross-country skiing, also known as Nordic skiing, combines downhill skiing’s fluidity, running’s cardio workout, and snowshoeing’s immersion in a winter landscape. It is an activity that engages the entire body—arms, legs, and core—so you generate your own full-body heat. You become one with the snow, your skis, and your breath. And it’s just as…

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According to an old Norwegian proverb, “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” Winter throws its fair share of bad weather at those of us who like to get outside year-round. But, with the right clothing, you can safely and comfortably head outdoors in the cold and snow. Knowing the meaning…

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  Winter can be a challenging season, even in ordinary times. Cold weather forces many people inside, making staying active more difficult. Inactivity and prolonged periods indoors comes with a whole host of issues, including higher levels of depression and more frequent illness. Concerns about COVID-19 spikes and continued separation from friends and family make…

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This story was originally published in the Summer/Fall 2020 issue of Appalachia Journal. Last night’s rain clinging to the trailside underbrush soaked our thighs as we pushed up the lower part of the trail up Doubletop Mountain, in Maine’s Baxter State Park. The day was clear and bright, and a warming midsummer sun promised to…

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