16 articles Articles posted in Place

On Swimming, Summer Thunderstorms and a Birthday

On Swimming, Summer Thunderstorms and a Birthday

Summer is the best. Born in summer on this day, this is my time. I’m free and whole in summer. I live for three months without a trace of the bitter pain of the cold. I watch the monsoon clouds wisp into fantastical shapes. I go swimming with friends in creeks flanked by red rock cliffs, bubbling springs and towering cottonwood trees. Swimming: A Child of Water Growing up partly in Redding, California, I knew …

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Fossil Springs

Fossil Springs

I went for a beautiful, brutal, and much-needed overnight hike this weekend. The water was amazing, warm, and the air temperature was just warm enough (80s?) to make me want to swim. However, even after I filtered some of the water for drinking, the minerals made me feel unwell. The calcium carbonate in the water gives it a blue-green hue and leads to the rapid formation of travertine dams, with fallen branches, moss and debris. …

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Film: Southside, Flagstaff Arizona

Southside from Michael French on Vimeo. A look at the Southside neighborhood of Flagstaff, Arizona. I lived here for six years. The color and community are sometimes overwhelmed by decay, addiction and despair. It remains Flagstaff’s most bohemian neighborhood; rough around the edges but full of soul.

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Signs of Spring

Signs of Spring

I saw these blossoms on a tree in Sedona today. Spring starts at least a month sooner there than in Flagstaff. It’s nice to be able to drive down the hill and experience a different season.

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Raven Playground

Raven Playground

Yesterday, while hiking and snowshoeing up Mt. Elden in Flagstaff, I saw ravens playing mid-air. The twirled and dived in groups, soared with thick sticks in their claws, and then seemed to enjoy dropping the sticks and watching them fall hundreds of feet down. Mount Elden’s top is barren and stark with only stone and old, dark dead trees. A forest fire set by campers 30 years ago made it this way, and new growth …

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Thousand Island Lake Sierras Hike

Thousand Island Lake Sierras Hike

On the July 4 weekend in 2008, we ascended the Pacific Crest Trail from Agnew Meadow to Thousand Island Lake, in the Ansel Adams Wilderness in the High Sierras. Swarms of mosquitoes cut our trip short, but we enjoyed the sweeping views, clear water, sculpted granite and serenity for a few days. We’ll be back a different time of year to avoid the mosquitoes next time. Resources: Ansel Adams Wilderness Trail Map Book: Ansel Adams …

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