From SierraClub.org: [On a Sierra Club Outing, author Albert Palmer tells of a conversation he had with John Muir on the trail. He asked Muir, “someone told me you did not approve of the word, ‘hike.’ Is that so?” His blue eyes flashed, and with his Scotch accent he replied]:
” I don’t like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains – not hike! Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’ It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, ‘A la sainte terre,’ ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not ‘hike’ through them.”
– John Muir, as quoted by Albert W. Palmer, The Mountain Trail and its Message (1911) pages 27-28 – excerpted in A Parable of Sauntering.

I am an adaptive person with unconventional hobbies and skill sets.

My van among the red rocks in Wyoming

OUTDOORS. I love hiking to saunter through the woods. I’m a rock hound who is thrilled by geology. I do a lot of freshwater and saltwater paddling with my stand-up paddleboard (SUP) and my kayak. I take my dog with me on these adventures whenever I can.

I once spent a month moving from Florida to Washington and back again, living in a cargo van that I converted into a camper myself. I didn’t spend a single night in a hotel, and only camped in campgrounds for two nights. Every other night was spent in sprawling National Forests and the occasional rest stop or Wal-Mart parking lot.


Media console I built

CRAFTS. I gain a deep sense of satisfaction from building furniture. Aside from the construction of my van’s cabinets and bed, I’ve built my own kitchen table, a media center for my TV, and many smaller projects and gifts for family and friends. My repertoire grows with each new toy tool I buy. In addition to woodworking, I enjoy crafts involving crochet, refurbishing and repurposing old furniture, and a recently-rekindled romance with drawing, thanks to my new Wacom tablet.

Sweet twin-headed caribou bowl

VINTAGE SCORES. I love everything about the thrift store market. Every piece has a hidden history, a past life. There’s something deeply gratifying about digging through the junk at a musty thrift store and uncovering an item that makes your heart skip a beat, because you know that it’s the real deal, and not just another Pier 1 cast-off. Looking around at all the other people there is part of the whole experience; the ones thumbing through the old vinyl records, the ones searching for Depression Glass amidst the Target knockoffs, the ones who buy trash bags full of clothing for the homeless…. It’s a way of life. Just writing about it makes my heart swell with joy. I hope to share some of my finds with you via my upcoming Etsy shop — that is, if I can stand to part with them!


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