Author Archives: Bennett Minton

Going west as an older man

We are moving to Portland, Oregon. For Laurie, it’s been 20 years coming (she may speak for her experience). For me, by one narrative, 11 years. So that’s where I’ll start. As I have noted along my path, life shifted … Continue reading

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Return to St. Helens

The Grand Canyon evoked tears. Yosemite a gasp. Mount St. Helens: Holy shit. I ascended the south side of the 8300-foot peak, reduced by 1,300 on May 18, 1980 – a day after I had driven by, stopping at a … Continue reading

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Standing agape in an undivided current

Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life – John Muir In our time, Ansel Adams gave us images of Yosemite that re-imagined America. In an earlier time, John Muir gave us … Continue reading

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Loving a hole in the ground

The morning I would drive to the Grand Canyon, I dreamt I would get a permit to sleep by the Colorado, though the nature of the permit was vague. I awakened at 4, too excited to drift back to sleep. … Continue reading

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Fiery Furnace is a mind game

In every national park I can recall, hiking trails are well marked. In Arches, one trail is not. Fiery Furnace has 12 directional arrows on a tiny white-on-brown plaque stuck to rocks over a distance that can’t be conventionally measured, … Continue reading

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Glimpses of genius in the Permian Basin

Couple days of wonder at human ingenuity on my journey from the Davis Mountains to Santa Fe. I’ll return later to the extraction industries of the Permian Basin and elsewhere in the west. For now, I focus on our exploration … Continue reading

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Temporary Border in the Big Bend

After 9/11, when the Age of Fear took root, the Border Patrol closed two U.S.-Mexico crossings in Big Bend National Park, at Boquillas and Santa Elena. In response, the park boss canceled what would have been the 22nd annual “International … Continue reading

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