First Timers

Whether you’re taking a walk in your local park or you’re hiking in the mountains, nature can offer solace when things feel overwhelming. For those on the autism spectrum—almost 2 percent of American children, who struggle to communicate and are extra-sensitive to bright lights, loud noises, and new places and people—a nature path provides especially…

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A man stands at the edge of the campfire, illuminated by the orange glow of an ever-growing flame as it licks the rock ring surrounding it. I’m nervous for his safety. He has been drinking for some time now, and one wrong step could result in injury. But he maintains his balance, cupping his hands…

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If you’ve mastered the basics of rock climbing and are eager to take your passion outdoors, you might be ready to graduate from indoor walls to real rock faces. First, research what type of climbing you’d like to pursue: traditional, top roping, or bouldering. Then, check with your local AMC chapter or climbing gym to…

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When Kamala Harris announced in January that she’s seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination for president, the news coverage I saw homed right in on the campaign message that will soon appear on roadsides all across America. kamala harris for the people, it read, recalling the way the former San Francisco district attorney would announce herself…

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The second morning of our weeklong hike in the White Mountains was blue-sky beautiful. Standing with my group outside AMC’s Greenleaf Hut, I bent over to tighten the laces of my boots while our leaders outlined the hike ahead. It would be the most challenging day of the trip, and we were lucky not to…

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If you happen to leave an outside light on overnight at this time of year, you may be greeted by one of our silk moth species in the morning. This male Polyphemus moth (Antheraea polyphemus) was photographed at the AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center one early July morning. With a wing span of 4-6 sizes…

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Early in the book The Gutsy Girl, the author, San Francisco firefighter Caroline Paul, recounts how as a teenager she decided to set a world record. The only problem was, she wasn’t very good at anything in particular. She wasn’t the strongest, the fastest, or the most skilled. But she realized she did have a plentiful…

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While staying at Joe Dodge Lodge, I explored the woods beside the beaver pond across the road. Deep snow earlier that week revealed recent animal activity— red squirrel middens, snowshoe hare scat, and wind-blown otter tracks along shore. I set up 2 wildlife cameras to see what might venture by overnight.   In the morning I set…

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Imagine a tiny ski lodge nestled against a small hill, the lodge no bigger than a typical single family home, packed with kids and families sipping cocoa around a crackling fireplace. At the helm of a small desk at the center of the lodge, the lodge “mom” sells $5 lift tickets, $3 hamburgers, and keeps…

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Cross-country skiing can be the perfect winter activity for a family outing: If snow has just fallen, you can ski right from your front door; it’s less expensive than downhill skiing; and it’s a sport people of all ages can enjoy. Rather than racing down mountains, a cross-country, or Nordic, glide along trails is an…

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