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John D'Onofrio

Grandmother embarks on a 17-day fast to bring attention to the extinction of the Southern Resident Orca of the Salish Sea

Lanni Johnson, grandmother of six, has become increasingly concerned about the fate of the Southern Resident killer whale. Over the last few years she has watched more than a dozen killer whales perish from a combination of factors, all exacerbated by unconscionable declines in Chinook salmon runs. “Witnessing an extinction event in my own backyard has caused me deep concern. …

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An Ocean Hymn: The Seductive Pleasures of Shi-Shi Beach

Some sophisticated folks that I know visit Paris every year. Some enjoy a yearly trek in Nepal. I find myself returning to a much-loved locale over and over too.  The lingua franca of my favored destination is the rhythmic unspooling of the ceaseless surf. I return to Shi-Shi Beach. How many times? I’ve lost count. Will I go again? Absolutely. …

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Field Trip: Badwater

We ride into Death Valley in late afternoon, careening down the winding road through the Panamint Range. Down again past the graceful sand dunes of Mesquite Flat, and then down even more towards Badwater, elevation: 282.2 feet below sea level, the bottom of North America. The last golden light bathes the undulating desert hills before slowly giving way to the …

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A Fiery Hike to the Valley of Fire

Just on the outskirts of Cascadia is another hiker’s haven. It is aptly named Valley of Fire because the site literally looks on fire on a hot, sunny day. It is located in Overton, Nevada, just 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, and boasts of a range of rock formations including crimson red sandstone spires, stunning arches, and oddly-shaped boulders. …

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The Topography of Paradise: Autumn at Lake O’Hara

  I first set eyes on Lake O’Hara way back in 1991. It was the last day of July. It snowed. I was there on a whim, having heard about this beautiful place in the Canadian Rockies, travelling with some friends on an extended backpacking trip. We were looking for magic. We found it at Lake O’Hara. Since that first …

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Field Trip: Mendenhall Ice Caves

  As a boy, I was introduced to the joy of paddling canoes on a small lake in Ontario, a generally placid body of water with little cause for concern about wind and currents. I was taught that the cardinal rule of paddling is to avoid overloading the canoe. And so it was that I found myself, forty-some odd years …

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A Walk in the Park: Hidden Lake Peaks

North Cascades National Park is home to some of North America’s most awe-inspiring hiking trails. It’s truly a hiker’s park, sharing it’s most transcendent charms only with those willing to meet it on its own terms. The trail to Hidden Lake Peaks epitomizes this pay-to-play scenario, although in this case, the payment in sweat equity is moderate. In truth, you …

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Exploring hiking heaven in Macau

Macau is fast becoming a city on the radar of people in all four corners of the world. It is full of history, culture and magical scenery, which can be explored properly on one of the city’s many hiking trails that are available to adventurous types. Although Macau is one of the most densely populated cities on the planet, with …

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Dreaming in Glacier Bay

I had been thinking about Glacier Bay for a long time. I’d done my fair share of poking around on— and in— glaciers in the North Cascades, Canadian Rockies and Alaska. The sensuous forms and sculptural grace of icescapes had always captured my imagination. For me, glacial landscapes offered up a visceral sense of nature’s drama laid bare, the shifting …

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Above & Beyond: The End is Just the Beginning

The North Cascades are a hiker’s paradise. The trail system that we enjoy in these northern mountains provides access to spectacular places and ranks among the world’s supreme networks of footpaths. Two of the finest routes in the Mt. Baker area are the Ptarmigan Ridge and Yellow Aster Butte trails. Both transport boot-clad acolytes across landscapes of unforgettable grandeur. Both …

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