One of the best parts of my job is speaking with fascinating people and learning interesting things as I gather materials for the articles I write, and I love chatting with sources to learn everything I can about whatever topic is at hand. For the December issue of Country’s Best Cabins magazine, which arrived on newsstands today, I wrote about a group of Dartmouth College students who dedicated a summer (and more) to rebuilding a treasured local cabin that was lost to a fire.
Along the way, they kept a blog detailing their progress, and I’ll be completely frank with you: it’s freakin’ hilarious. As I read through the entries in my office, I kept having to remember that other people around me were probably trying to work, because I literally had to stifle myself from laughing out loud! Wanna read it for yourself? Here’s the link.
In the article, I mentioned one instance where a member of the building crew took advantage of the time-lapse camera they had focused on the site to crawl across the logs and look like a worm in slow motion (compared with the frenzied sped-up actions of the rest of the crew). Check out the video and watch the logs on the left side starting at 1:45. I swear, these students remind me so much of my co-workers from college at the University of Maryland’s Outdoor Recreation Center. Good times, good times…
I wish we could have included a few more images and mentions of the crew’s hilarious misadventures in the article, but that’s what the Internet is for :). Here’s an exclusive look at a few more photos (courtesy of Lucas Schulz) that you won’t see in the magazine. Continue reading
Everyone remembers where they were ten years ago today when they learned the news of the terrorist attacks. I was a high school sophomore sweating out biology class when another student ran in, telling us to turn on the news, and it’s fair to say I lost a lot of my innocence that day. All of us did.
Today, while driving back from vacation in Rhode Island, I passed within eyeshot of both Manhattan and Washington, D.C., and with the radio broadcasting the memorial ceremonies and replaying coverage from that awful day, it’s easy to find myself back in the terrified mindset of a previously naïve teenager. A few months after the attacks, I wrote a poem to try and capture my still-fearful feelings and memories of the day. My experience as a high school student in North Carolina who didn’t personally lose anyone and wasn’t physically close to the sites of any of the crashes doesn’t come close to the devastation felt by those who experienced or felt the effects firsthand. However, spending the day (and the weeks and months that followed) glued to the TV and worrying about the unknown is how most of America processed what happened. I doubt any of us have lived a day in the ten years since when we haven’t remembered.
The below poem was written in November 2001 and attempts to capture my thoughts following the attacks. A sculptor who received scrap metal from Ground Zero created a work of art titled “The Gates” and inscribed the last section of the poem in his piece. Although it’s clearly written by the simple hand of an unpolished student, I hope it is seen as a tribute to those who died and those who live on in their memory. Continue reading
Originially published on TimberHomeNation.com on March 16, 2010.
Last night, I went to an Altan concert at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in nearby Vienna, Virginia. The concert was phenomenal — Altan is the world’s preeminent traditional Irish music group, and between Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh’s pure soprano and the entire band’s incredible talents on the fiddle, guitar, accordion and bouzouki, it was one of those rare experiences where the music seems to become much more than the sum of each of the players’ individual contributions.
I was expecting a great show, and I got that in spades, but I was pleasantly surprised with the venue where the concert was held. Wolf Trap has a great outdoor amphitheater for summer shows, but for year-round events, it has The Barns.
Photo courtesy of Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
This was originally published on LogHomeU.com on February, 26, 2010.
It’s cold here in Virginia! With the back-to-back blizzards a few weeks ago and some pretty bone-chilling temperatures and winds sticking around for the past few months, I’m definitely feeling the need to get some quality outdoors time, and I can’t wait for spring to get here. I imagine I’m not the only one who feels this way.
Fortunately, log-home building makes it easy to bring the outdoors in. As I write this, we’re in the middle of putting together the June issue of Country’s Best Log Homes, and it’s all about outdoor spaces. You might be surprised at all the options out there that can bridge the gap between inside and outside. Continue reading
I wrote the below post in my personal blog on October 17, 2007, after one of many evenings I spent in college camping out with friends from the Outdoor Rec Center. Into the Wild is still one of the most profound books I’ve ever read, and I’m currently anxiously waiting for my copy of Back to the Wild to arrive in the mail.
One of my favorite books by one of my favorite writers, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, has recently been made into a movie, and I’ve been trying to go see it for weeks. On Sunday morning, after a night of flashlight tag and campfire conversation, my friend Mike mentioned that he and some of the other people from Outdoor Rec were planning to go see it on Wednesday night and invited me to come along. This sparked off a whole conversation that I’m sure happens to everyone who really thinks about what happened to Chris McCandless, and how to ponder the ethics of what he did. Continue reading