Archive of ‘Knowledge’ category

When the Snow Thaws, The Planning Begins…

Amanda Loft Blue Ridge Mountain VAHere on the east coast, the snows are beginning to melt and we’ve had our first two consecutive 60 degree highs in a row. We used the first day to begin figuring out what seeds we’d like to sprout for the garden and airing out our camping gear after a few months in storage.

The trick is to plan your next trips before the weather changes completely, otherwise (as we’ve learned from experience!), you’ll miss some of the best early weekends for camping when it’s just cool and wet enough to be pleasant hiking and sitting near a fire, but there are not yet crowds of people with the exact same idea!

While we prepared for a coming canoe trip, Christian and I made a list of essential knowledge, questions we hear often and random things I wish I’d known a few years ago starting out. More on that later in the week – including an interview with two Boy Scout leaders who always plan the best trips!

Monsters – Your Fears Personified & ProblemGlyphs.Org

Bride of Frankenstein Problem Glyph org

With Halloween this month, our culture and media is saturated with monsters – vampire soap operas, zombie thrillers, serial killer detectives, Cthulhu environmental parables – the list goes on.

Our fascination with monsters lasts increasingly throughout the year and something like The Walking Dead almost feels like a throwback to monster films of old with its genuinely terrifying unstoppable forces, since the majority of our books and films look to understand and humanize monsters.

A few months back, Refinery29 featured the work of Eliza Gauger, who in her online interactive project Problem Glyphs creates glyphs and sigils of power for individuals who submit a source of fear or shame to her. Her work is beautiful, but the reader-submitted stories are fascinating, sad and lovely as well.


Eliza seeks to create symbols to help overcome, accept and find power both from and over the fear and shame – and she often uses symbols of monsters from legend and myth to do so. I love the idea of personifying our fears and internalizing them through empowerment, but I’m also intrigued by her monsters and the monsters all around me this month.

What are your monsters? Have you made friends with them? Can you? Perhaps Eliza can  help…



problem-glyph-org-diana problem-glyph-org-knight problem-glyph-org-horses problem-glyph-org-echoproblem-glyph-org-sea-creatureproblem-glyph-org-bear

Adventures, Cheap & Local: Canoe Trip on the Shenandoah River

Canoes Red and Blue on the Shenandoah River VA

Do you like the idea of watching otters and herons frolic while you glide through crystal clear waters with a canopy of trees shading you from the sun?

In other words, are you alive and breathing?

For some reason, I imagined a multi-day canoe trip would be much more arduous and complicated than it actually was. Not unlike the point where I realized hiking is nothing more than walking outdoors off the concrete sidewalk, canoeing is mostly just floating down river trails, carefully curated and maintained by the park service. Our 28 mile trek drifted sedately by over the course of three days.

And it is wonderful! And relaxing! And cheap! And you should absolutely plan a canoe trip before the cold weather hits this fall – just grab a map and a canoe (plus your  usual camping kit and supplies) from one of these fine local proprietors (Down River Canoe or  Shenandoah River Outfitters) and start on your way! Free camping sites are noted on the maps, as well as more difficult portions of the river and spots with clean fresh water available.

But for the moment, just take a look at these photos and visualize your own adventure.

Canoe Trees LowCanoe Sam Becca Low     Canoe Paddle Low Canoe Bernie Low Canoe Becca Zombie Low   Canoe Two Canoes Lowcanoe trip canoe paddle low  Canoe river grass low Canoe Christian Low Canoe River Grass Low (2)Canoe Becca Tall Lowcanoe in front lowCanoe Farm LowCanoe Horizontal Low

1812 Overture: Pride of Baltimore II Cruise on the Potomac

The Pride of Baltimore II Mast

1812 1This past weekend, I had the luck to sail with a friend on the Pride of Baltimore II, as part of Accokeek Foundation‘s 1812 Bicentennial celebration. The rain held off for a beautiful evening sail – well worth a trip up to Charm City to visit her again soon!

More information on the Pride and the Chesapeake in the War of 1812.

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