Hemmed-in-Hollow Falls and Goat Bluff Loop Hike

Almost all information about hiking to Hemmed-in-Hollow Falls (in the Ozarks, Ponca Wilderness Area) that I could find prior to going on the hike referred to it as an out-and-back. I found one resource that combined it with the Goat Bluff destination to make it into a shuttle hike. For anyone wondering, though, there’s a really good loop hike that includes both these destinations, plus the river and a scenic creek, and just…
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Spring Break in the UT

It seems like a long time ago. I was there longer than usual due to airfare insanity. Skiing primarily. A lot of family things. Thanks to Caitlin and Mark for letting me stay with them and RKD for driving up, I think, mostly just so I could spend a day or two with Ammon. Here are a bunch of photos. They’re in chronological order. Eh, good enough. Also went to an RSL…
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Ozark Weekend

So when you live in Oklahoma, the prospect of traveling to Arkansas is seen as a positive thing. Arkansas has mountains, trees, and rivers. I mean, “mountains”. It has Ozarks. Don’t mean to denigrate. They are what they are and that’s good for them and way better than, you know, what’s in Oklahoma. On a pleasant-enough Friday a few weeks back, I got into the Jeep and headed east out of Indian…
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Ski Weekend on the Front Range

Went to Colorado for a quick (three-day) weekend back in February as sort of a proof of concept. The concept being the reasonableness of going to Colorado to ski for a weekend. I flew in on Thursday night after class, rented a mid-size SUV (Ford Escape as it turned out) “at” the airport, then headed west on I-70, stopping at a pretty awful Super 8 ($89/night!) in a windy, very cold town whose…
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Painting My Ridiculous Living Room Ceiling

So this is done now and thanks to Mark in Norman 2 for shaming me into DIYing it. I have this weird inverted layer cake of a ceiling in my living room. It’s definitely memorable, but also definitely too high to reach entirely with a ladder. Here’s what I was able to do it using just my 8′ ladder. Anyway, getting the job actually done required me to rent scaffolding. I went…
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Christmas in the Northwest

In, apparently, 1987 there was this song that came out that, apparently, I heard more than once. The song was called “Christmas in the Northwest”. It was, well, you can check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9Ze0FEuG4s. I was going to use the word cloying, but be your own judge. An upside of the song was the implication that somehow Christmas is superior when celebrated in the Pacific Northwest (or, as they call it in…
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That One Time I Graduated for the Last Time (Probably)

This was back in April. Flew — man, I almost typed “home” — back to Pittsburgh for to graduate finally. I technically graduated in August 2014, but that meant that the next real convocation would be in April 2015. Ergo: this was back in April. Graduation was, I dunno, I guess getting hooded is more exciting than changing which side your tassel is on. I didn’t shake the dean’s hand on the way…
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Scenes from a Conference in Philly

They’re actually just scenes from Philly, not from the conference. I barely went to the conference. Well: I went to two sessions, which technically is the same number I attended at ICIS. But anyway: Philly is a large city with good restaurants and an urban rail/subway situation that functions reasonably well, aside from the one insane person per car rule, which — I mean, it seems like there might be some upside…
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Oklahoma City Memorial Is (Indeed) Nice, Heavy

Every time I’ve asked locals what there is to see and/or do around here, I have been told I need to go to the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial (I don’t think it’s called a bombing memorial, but calling it a city memorial makes it sound like OKC no longer exists). This advice has always seemed strange, since, if it truly is nice, then it should truly also be a total downer. And I’m not…
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Eight Really Good Days in Dresden

Last May I went on this trip. My good friend Thomas was getting married to Christine in the vicinity of Stuttgart. I was invited. Then I decided that since I was going to Germany anyway, I might as well spend some time back in the ol’ mission field. I sometimes struggle with vacation. The one previous to Dresden, in which we drove around the South Island of New Zealand hiking to glaciers…
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