On my 29th birthday, I wrote down in a notebook that I would learn to be a competent backpacker before my 30th birthday. For years I'd been gathering people to explore state parks on day hikes. Yet I was not confident enough to lead a pack of friends into the woods overnight. After about 2 12 years of talking to experienced backpackers, . . .
I consider myself a mediocre storyteller. I'm not the kind of person who regularly takes the stage at a family gathering or a party to unravel a story. Yet on a family vacation recently, I had the chance to tell the entire story of the one time in my life where I truly thought I was going to die. I sat in a beautiful mountain house in . . .