Category Archives: Hillwalking

The Virtues of Simplicity

Batteries Not Included

The Virtues of Simplicity

It might be April. The ground under the cedars is almost bare, the town roads are turbid rivers running between low dikes of salty slush, and a foraging blackbird is flashing scarlet epaulettes at anyone bold enough to approach him. It might be April. But it’s not. The snow will return. The New Model Climate may be making Canoe Country winters shorter than they used to be, but it hasn’t stopped the wheel of the year from spinning round. Winter will stay with us for a little while yet. And winter has lessons to teach us about our dependence on technology, as this tale from another time and place makes clear. So imagine there’s a winter storm headed your way. Because sooner or later, there will be.

by Farwell Forrest | February 23, 2018
Originally published in much different form on March 6, 2001

As I write this, a major winter storm is threatening the mid-Atlantic coast. Some parts of the country, places where a couple of inches of snow usually bring traffic to a standstill, will probably get a couple of feet. New York’s northern mountains will be spared the worst, … Read more »

Kicking the Bucket List: In Praise of Serendipity

Kicking the Bucket List

In Praise of Serendipity

Many blogs and websites now showcase bucket lists. They’re as important to the modern traveler as his smartphone. But is this a good thing? Last week, Farwell weighed up the bucket list’s destructive potential. And this week? With a little help from the princes of Serendip, he’s digging deeper.

by Farwell Forrest | February 2, 2018
Originally published in somewhat different form on July 18, 2017

Bucket lists are all the rage these days, touted by legions of bloggers and countless chambers of commerce. The former are probably in the game for the notoriety: “Hey, guys, I just got back from checking out the seals on Elephant Island. That was Number 125 on my list. Awesome!” The chambers of commerce aren’t into bragging rights, however. As you’d expect, they have their eyes fixed firmly on the bottom line, and any list of must‑see attractions is tailor‑made to lure ever larger flocks of sheep to the shearing pen.

What’s not to like? Bucket lists bring clicks to bloggers who’d otherwise have nothing to say and tourist dollars to rural communities with little left to sell but scenery. So why am I not a fan? Well, there’s more to … Read more »