This weekend someone asked me to compare Mojave Desert backpacking and Sierra Nevada Mountain backpacking. I said that the desert is tough yet has everything you need if you meet it on its terms, but the mountains are “cushy” because everything you need to survive is always on offer: water, shelter, food…
I’ve been spending a lot of time in the desert of late, but talking about the mountains made me long for summer in the Sierras. Alpine lakes, tundra grasses, wiley marmots, and rocky glacier passes make a wonderland so grand that it brings me tears of gratitude that something so beautiful can exist.

This Thanksgiving I am grateful for wise people who had the forthought to preserve our natural spaces, for those who continue to reclaim nature, for a body that can transport me miles into the backcountry, and for the good sense to appreciate all types of natural environments on their own terms.

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