I’m a writer who contributes to magazines, travel guidebooks, and the occasional website. I’m also the associate editor at Down East magazine and the author of The Footloose American: Following the Hunter S. Thompson Trail Across South America.
I like the outdoors, public lands policy, American history, beer, people with interesting jobs, the Grateful Dead, and airport newsstands.
Some of my stories have been recognized in the Best American Essays and Best American Sports Writing anthologies, and I’ve received a Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers. I grew up in Wisconsin and have lived in Minnesota, Montana, and Oregon. Home is currently a fishing village in Maine.
If you’d like to get in touch, please send me an email.
The Footloose American:
Following the Hunter S. Thompson Trail Across South America
Before he became America’s foremost gonzo journalist, the young Hunter S. Thompson was a bohemian foreign correspondent, a self-described “footloose American” filing dispatches on culture and politics from deep in the Amazon and the Andes. With Thompson’s route as a roadmap and ghost as a guide, The Footloose American takes readers on a smart trek across South America, exploring a rapidly changing continent and a forgotten chapter in the life of one our sharpest cultural critics.
Of Canvases and Canvasbacks
A story about ducks, but just barely: On art, representation, money, and passion in the high-stakes world of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest.
In appreciation of Hunter S. Thompson’s early, underexposed work as a “straight” journalist.
In Maine’s Aroostook County, a ragtag troop of recent veterans converges on one of the country’s most respected wilderness schools. Can they find what they’re looking for in the North Maine Woods?
At the northern tip of Maine, members of a six-year-old Amish splinter community work together to survive.
Uruguay is a Land of Contrasts
Some gauchos are rather on the tall side, while others are almost freakishly short. A travel-writing satire.
Presence of Mind
The first American woman to break the 150-mile mark in 24-hour running has a lot on her mind.
A ragtag crew of backcountry activists is fighting a losing battle in the whitebark pine forests around Jackson Hole. So how come they feel like they’re winning?
Burt’s Bees cofounder Roxanne Quimby wants to give the federal government 74,000 acres for a national park. Why do so many locals have a problem with that?
Milking the Tiger
It’s a periodic nuisance to which most Peruvians seem glumly resigned: For three and a half days surrounding any election, the entire country goes dry. Naturally, this leads to a no-holds-barred, rage-till-dawn bacchanal the night before the dry law takes effect.
This awesome image was created independently of the magazine by illustrator Tania Talbot. Check out the uncropped original and the rest of her work here.
How the larger-than-life bushmen of cable TV are creating an audience of armchair anthropologists.
The head of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team is just a scientist trying to do his job (probably). His critics are a cadre of partisan, melodramatic activists (maybe). Welcome (sort of) to the tooth-and-claw world of grizzly bear science.
While Portland and the rest of Oregon’s left-hand side continue their reign over West Coast beer, the state’s other half is quietly catching up.
After the Time of Cholera
When the irony struck me, I was fully immersed in the dark swell of the Magdalena River, breath held and heaving against the fiberglass hull of a half-submerged boat.
Songs Primarily in
the Key of Life
Within every collection of vinyl LPs or compact discs are found two different types of records, those dusty with neglect and those affectionately scratched. Among my scratchiest is a light funk-gospel album recorded in 1973 by the world’s most infamous suicide cult.
Notable Essay of 2010
Best American Essays 2011
Best read on a tablet! Download the Creatavist app and search for “Songs Primarily.”
The Revolución Will Not Be Oxidized
The only time I was ambushed in Colombia was while sitting at a mahogany bar in the Bogota Beer Company.
The Longest Haul
A pair of Montana anglers scout a recovering river, one free-floating mile at a time.
Notable Sports Writing of 2010
Best American Sports Writing 2011
Mickey Mouse Operation
Disney is getting back to its nature-documentary roots — but can the company escape its own legacy?
Why I Ride the Greyhound
The perpetual motion of cross-country bus travel is a powerful equalizer.
Compass American Guide: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks
Now in its 3rd edition!
Fodor’s (Random House)
Winner of a 2010 Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers.
This book both looks great and features valuable information — what a winning guidebook should do.
– Lowell Thomas Award judges’ comments
Lushly illustrated and intelligently written.
– National Geographic Traveler
Contributor to multiple editions of: