It’s been the type of day I came to Japan for. Early in the morning, a small white van slides into the driveway of the house in the small, snowy canyon. Skis in… Continue reading

On Tokyo

The man behind the counter glances at me through a haze of vapor rising off hot dishes. His gaze says, “well go ahead then” while his mouth remains motionless. I look down at… Continue reading

The Ten Steps to a Dirtbag Dinner Date

So that one girl finally asked you out. Don’t give me that look, you know who I’m talking about. She’s the one that cuts you in line at the surf wave, sends the… Continue reading


There’s a very serious nine year old boy perched on the front of my yellow boat. In one hand he grips a spinning rod, his other hand clenched onto a blue cam strap.… Continue reading

10 Bolts on a 5.10

“I climb just as hard as anyone, just on easier routes” – Anonymous My middle finger and index finger push into a sharp limestone pocket. My cramped feet are planted firmly on the… Continue reading

A Water Education

“Emerald, that was a really moving essay about your dad,” a friend commented after my reading of a piece published in a department literary magazine a few years ago. “But now you have… Continue reading

Red Squares

When I was twelve years old, I went on a Middle Fork of the Salmon river trip with my family and a group of their boating buddies. I built sand castles, splayed out… Continue reading

The Lookout

The lookout is on the almost highest point of a craggy peak, as lookouts tend to be. Below its windows are a skirt of snow swept mountains hemmed by a gray band that… Continue reading


“It’s a bunch of Hallmark bullshit” grumbles a friend. “So, I’m guessing you haven’t decided on a Valentines Day present yet?” I ask. “I still have time!” she exclaims, voice high. “Valentines Day… Continue reading

Ladies Boat

A half yell/half tune erupts from the bow of the eighteen foot raft. “Ohhhh it’s ladies boat! And we hope it floats!” I roll my eyes at the ruckus but it’s hard not… Continue reading