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Precious Stones

You might think that a story about a graveyard would be sleepy. Not God's Little Acre. This burying ground in Newport, Rhode Island is packed with incredible stories of some of the first Africans to live on this continent. Many of the historic African-descent burying grounds in the U.S. were destroyed, relocated or lost in various ways. God's Little Acre is a significant and very notable anomaly. It holds the remains of thousands of people, many of whom lived tremendous lives and made great contributions…

Final Words

Nearly a year ago, I had the great good fortune to be assigned a story on Mike Yochim. Yochim was a park ranger in Yellowstone National Park for many years before he was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. When I met him last fall, he was in a wheelchair and had lost the use of his entire body except for his eyes. He could still blink and look up and down and from side to side. But otherwise, he was entombed…

A Surprise Gift

One of the best surprise gifts of my writing career has been the opportunity to write children’s books. When a commissioning editor reached out to me about writing National Parks of the U.S.A., I thought…why not? Little did I know that books live in the world in a different way than magazine articles, and I am still blessed with the rewards even a couple years after it was released. Readers tag the book in Instagram posts, send me photos of their kids enjoying it, and…

New Book! 100 Hikes of a Lifetime

From the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, a trail snakes down cliffs deep into a labyrinth of stone. The Havasupai people have lived in a flat verdant valley here for countless generations, growing beans, corn, and squash and reaping the blessings of a limestone aquifer filled with blue-green water. Today, the area is still only reachable on foot, and hikers arrive in numbers, drawn by the legendary turquoise waterfalls that pour off cliffs and collect in idyllic pools below the village of Supai. On…

The Hidden Power of Silence

Not long after I moved to Durango, Colorado, my future husband and I ventured into the mountains to backcountry ski on a February weekday. The sky was a muddled grey as a storm silently raged. Broad flakes wafted down while we climbed through the empty forests, our jackets sodden and heavy. We didn’t see a single other person all day. Andrew and I chose to ski a safe, mellow slope blanketed in aspens, and the monochrome of the trees’ bark against the bare white snow…