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The Bill of "Rights": A Plan to Do Right by Each Other and the Earth

Recently a friend accused me of being politically biased. I was making a case for responsible behavior at the congressional level, suggesting that all elected officials keep and live by their word. I pointed out that mine was a partisan-free request. I offered up this ideal in the face of the current Supreme Court nomination […]

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The Secret Destinations of a Chia Pet

We first noticed them in a dust cloud that swirled along a monstrous alluvial fan. Like Las Vegas illusionists coming through dry-ice mist, they came from within the whirlwind, materializing out of nowhere. Rather than sporting circus suits and magician faces, these two Andean campesinos wore dirty, torn pants, wiped sand from their eyes, and […]

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The Greatest July Fourth Story Ever

Just out of first grade, enjoying summer riding his bike, building forts with friends, catching lizards with his sisters, and playing Army, Dawson stood on the curb in the heart of downtown Redmond, Oregon, on July 4. “Dad,” Dawson said during the small town Independence Day parade, “In next year’s parade I want to drive […]

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Ten Ways You and I Can Help End Racism

In the past week, I have been involved in many conversations about protests and riots in America. Each conversation was different. But they revealed a common dislike of institutional and individual racism. These discussions about minorities, murder, rioting, and looting went here and there, from the rights of the oppressed to the rights of the […]

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Rubbing Us Right: The Common Ground Platform

I was on Facebook yesterday and got into a discussion with someone I had just met online. We formed one of those quick friend-of-a-friend, point-counter-point relationships. She asked me a question and told me that I was a fool if I didn’t answer it a certain way. I responded by asking her who benefits from […]

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The Hot Chili Pepper Pants Award

Chili pepper chef pants have a certain flavor and status. They are bright and loose. They imply that the wearer is hot. And they may become a symbol of achievement among river guides and adventure travel outfitters the world over. The first annual Hot Chili Pepper Pants Achievement Award went to longtime global white water […]

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China is Screwing Us

“It’s a story about us — people — being persuaded to spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need to make impressions that won’t last on people we don’t care about.” — Tim Jackson, Economist We have discovered, by hook or by crook, that China has been screwing us for quite some time. They have been screwing us, hammering […]

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Islands of Awe

As the days blend together in a stay-at-home haze, I find myself missing places and people that positively drop my jaw. Before the shutdown, I hadn’t taken those things for granted, but I know I could have appreciated them more. One of the things that got us into trouble with this virus and our wobbling […]

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When Mother Earth Hands You Your Ass

There are many life metaphors and sayings that reference rivers and water. “Go with the flow.” “It felt like I was swimming upstream.” “Don’t drift away.” “Still waters run deep.” The list goes on. Professional river guides drift a lot. Most of our time on a raft is spent between rapids, literally going with the […]

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