bbb_v16is7_coverandbacksmallThis is the cover of my July 2021 issue of Blah blah Blah.  It is the front and the back laid out flat so you can see the whole drawing.  In mid July we went on a three day backpacking trip to Baker Lake.  It was a little smokey and I said to the boys (Aaron, Jorge, My dad) if we don’t go now we aren’t going backpacking this year.

In the zine I write nothing about this trip because instead I published a piece I worked very hard on about my yoga practice.  Ha.  Such is life.

You can buy this issue here.

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Rock Creek

rockcreeklandscapeThis maybe isn’t my best drawing of a creek bank.  But when I sat next to Rock Creek with my son Jorge and we drew what was around us it felt really good.  This was supposed to be on the last page of my zine this month, but when I went to photocopy the zine, I was supposed to bring my journal and photocopy this page and stick it in the layout.  But I forgot.  Such is life.  I was just excited to get my zine out.  Things have been awesome but busy.  Just work and summer adventures and then more work and more summer adventures.

I kinda miss my hiking project I did last year.  I need to find more reasons to post on this lovely little website I have.

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Hike 13 – Blue Mountain Again!

I hadn’t talked to Courtney Blazon since March.  Wow.  March.  We finally connected and decided we should do a social distanced hike together.  She suggested Blue Mountain, and even though I had just gone there on my last hike I agreed because it is so vast.  There are so many trails.

Here is a little map of the area.  The blue is where Jorge and I hiked last time and the pink is where I think Courtney and I hiked.  I am not entirely sure because I was too busy talking to pay attention.


Courtney brought both her dogs.  Blue Mountain in general reminds me of a kids book that we read to Jorge a bunch when he was small.  In it all these things happen with these dogs, but at the end they see a huge tree in the distance.  What is up in that tree? It asks, and when the guys climb up there on the top there is a party.  “A big dog party.”   Blue Mountain reminds me of a big dog party.

It was so good to see Courtney.  We talked like we had just seen each other.  I love that about good friends.  There is no awkward reacquainting.

We found two empty chairs.

emptychairsinthewoodsAnd then filled them.

courtneyanddogsIt was so good to see a friend.  I really should be planning more hikes like this.  But dang it feels hard.  Why does everything feel so hard lately.  I am truly worried about winter.  Worried it is going to swallow me.  Worried it is going to suck the marrow out of my bones and I will be hollow and fragile.  I don’t know how to prepare myself.  How do I reinforce an already weak me?

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Hike 12 — Blue Mountain


It is the end of October and the weather has fully embraced the Fall.  It has been rainy and cold.  It has become depressing and hard.  The promise of a long winter trapped in our house feeling dark and depressed seems inevitable.  Today the sun came out and Aaron needed the living room to do a live stream thing for high schoolers, so Jorge and I headed out.  I avoid Blue Mountain during the Summer because of its lack of shade.  But today sun was our friend.

We studied the map when we arrived and I realized that most of Blue Mountain I have not explored.  We decided to take the immediate left.  Blue Mountain Recreation Area is a big ol’ maze of trails.  None of them seem to go to anything particular.  I got a little map from the info board.  We were going to do a big circle but instead did a little circle.  We probably walked 1.5 miles.  Jorge is eight years old and not really into hiking that much, so he kept trying to get me to turn on any turn that would take us back to the trail head.

jorgeatbluemountainIt was a nice little escape.

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Hike 11 – Waterworks Hill


I lost my hiking book, so I can’t even look at the map for it and the approximated distance and all that.  But it is a short hike as most Missoulians can tell you.  But it is steep.

Last night was date night for Aaron and I.  We have not been able to have a date night in quite awhile, so it was a very nice thing.  We decided that we would make dinner and then go on an evening hike.  We didn’t end up leaving the house till after seven.  It was all the way dark by the time we got back to our car.  I don’t think we have fully adjusted to the fall yet.  In summer land there would have been plenty of light.


It was a beautiful night though.  It is fun to look down on Missoula and see all the places.  Waterworks Hill is where the peace sign used to be.  There is a stone one up there now, but it really isn’t the same.

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Hike 10 – Blodgett Canyon


Oh Blodgett Canyon!  I grew up in Hamilton, and Blodgett Canyon is one of the closest hikes and campground to Hamilton.  It was a huge part of my childhood.  I have camped there so many times.  We had picnics there.  We climbed on the big rock slide.  We partied with friends.  There were memorials for people I loved.  We went backpacking up the trail.

I really wanted it to be in this hiking project.  And many times during the hike I thought in my little brain, “Why would you hike anywhere else?”

blodgettcanyonAnd obviously for me it is the hour plus drive.  That is why I haven’t been there in like five years.

Yesterday I drove down to Hamilton and met up with Josh Wagner.  Josh is one of my best friends in all the world.  He actually transcends friendship and is really family.  He has been abroad for the last few years.  He is just spending this month in Montana.  When I had some days off I immediately thought of him and how my number one priority was to get some one on one time with him.  We have travelled all over the American West together.  We have spent weeks on the road together.  So much time just the two of us.  And jeez I don’t remember the last time we hung out one on one.   It has been way too long of a time.

So we hiked Blodgett together.  He told me about hiking mountains in China.  And we talked about what happens when we die.  We talked the whole hike.  It was good.  So good to be in one of the most beautiful places in the world with one of the most beautiful people in the world.

joshinblodgettWe hiked probably 3 miles round trip.  We took it really easy.  At one point we passed someone and they said something like, “You still quite a ways to go.”  I am guessing she was assuming we were going up to the water falls.  But I knew we weren’t and just thought at her, “That is what you think lady!!  I do what I want!”  The best part about Blodgett is that the whole thing is beautiful so it isn’t about hiking to a thing.  Just a nice wander up the canyon and then back.

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Hike 9 — Lake Como

When I was reading through the hiking book months ago.  I stopped on this hike and thought about how I would really like to do this one.  I am pretty sure that I had never done this hike before.  I had been to the the other end of the lake and seen the waterfalls, but I am pretty sure we took a boat there.

This time we did not see the waterfalls.  We did not make it that far.  I think we got pretty close though.  I am guessing here, but I think we got 2 or 3 miles before we turned around.  Which would make the entire hike four to six miles, which is a bunch for me.  I am pretty sure the falls are about 4 miles in.

I have been kinda down on myself for not doing more epic hikes for this project.  I have been reluctant to give an entire day to it, which means I have been staying close by and choosing short hikes.  The one thing that could let me do a whole day was if I made it a Jorge and I experience.  What made it even more ok was to make it a social call as well.  So I didn’t do this one solo.  I brought my eight year old son, and we met my good friend Joel.  Joel is doing the best job at social distancing of any one I know.  Hiking was a good thing for us to do together.


Lake Como is 59 miles south of Missoula.  I had to give my god daughter, Sydney, a ride to Corvallis anyway, so it wasn’t much farther from there.  Jorge has gotten super good at these fairly long drives and for that I am grateful.

We got to the parking lot the same time as Joel which was nice.  We had to pay.  It is $5 for a day pass at Lake Como.  It is totally worth it.  Funny though, when I was a kid I remember coming to Lake Como all the time.  I grew up in Hamilton, which is only 14 miles from there.  But once the day fee was put into effect, I only remember going there once or twice with other people that weren’t in my family.

The trail starts out as a paved interpretive trail.  For a 1/3 of a mile it is pavement, which I hate.  And signs about the area, which I love.  We learned that if you smell the crack on a Ponderosa Pine that it smells like vanilla.  I can’t believe I didn’t know this previously.  We kept stopping to smell trees.  It was lovely.  The hike is great because it doesn’t have much change in elevation.  The only bad thing was that it was usually steep below the trail and above the trail and when we met other hikers it was hard to get off the trail for them.

Jorge asked why we got off the trail for them and no one gets off the trail for us.   And I told him that it is because we are trying to win at the courtesy game.

We hiked until I felt my body go out of whack and then start to hurt.  And then we climbed down to the lake and played in it a bit.  Jorge and I took our shoes off and waded into it.  But the lake is very low and the floor of the lake it very muddy.  Our feet would sink into it.  But it was still refreshing.  We got our hats wet to cool off.  It was beautiful.


Then we climbed back up the side of the mountain and walked back.  It was a great day trip.  We left at 11a.m. and got back at 7p.m.

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Hike 8 – Maclay Flats

I was hungover and tired and generally unenthused about everything.  For this reason I picked the easiest thing I could find that was close and had water.  What I hadn’t thought about is that it is a river access on one of the last weekends of the summer on a fairly hot day.  I almost couldn’t find a place to park, but I did.  I am not entirely sure it was legal, but there was no sign saying No Parking, so I think I was good.  This hike is a big loop that has surprise surprise a big flat space.   It is 1.8 miles and has is again flat, so no climb or descent which is particularly nice if you are not in good condition.  Fairly quickly in the hike it brings you to the river (Bitterroot). It is a bit upstream from where the river access is, so it was not totally overrun with people, but there were still a bunch of people.  Mostly folks walking their dogs.  I sat on a lovely bench and wrote some.

thebenchThe first line of what I wrote was, “I feel like I am dying.”  It did not lead to deep thoughts or eloquent wordage.  It mostly dissolved into self doubt and then wound back up into me figuring it all out with a solution and everything.  It felt very good to sit there and let the wind blow through me.  I had a nice long day dream about teaching a poetry class.  I really want to do this.  But because of covid it really is only realistic over zoom and I am not tech savvy enough to do that.  But maybe.  We shall see.  Most likely I will just keep dreaming.

The walk after that was mostly dry and hot.

But then there was this grove of trees.  It was an area that I think is usually under water, but since it is the end of summer it has dried up.  The trees are epic.  And it felt important.  It felt holy.  It felt like I was in a place that was made for the gods.  It felt like I was in a sanctuary that was old and made in reverence.   But it was just a bunch of trees, so I don’t know why it felt so special.  But it was.

holyplaceThe rest of the hike follows along the Big Flat irrigation ditch.  I enjoy a good ditch.  The fact that most of them were made really quite some time ago and that they are really complicated things to plan out and execute.  Man as god.  Tale as old as time.

And that is it for this one.


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Hi!  I am an artist and writer in Missoula, MT.

I write and publish a zine every month.  Find out more about it on My Zine link above.

I also make mostly fine art, but occasionally weird art books or sticker sets.  During the xmas season I make funny xmas cards.

Lately I have been doing a hiking project where I go on a hike every week and then blog about it.  So my usual art website is a little full of hiking pictures.


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Hike 7 – Boulder Creek

Boulder Creek isn’t actually in my hiking book.  But it is a hike, and this week is too busy for me to do another one out of the book.  We were camping up the West Fork of the Bitterroot, and this hike was right by our campground.  All the rest of the days of the week I am working or have things going on.

I love this hike.  We camp here often.  So I am pretty familiar with the beginning of the hike.  There are giant boulders here and there along the trail.


We often only get as far as a little waterfall, and for various reasons have to turn back.  Usually because Jorge is a child and is tired or bored or whatever.  This time I went alone and wanted to make it farther.  But again much like my last hike my bowels had an entirely different idea and this time I had no hope of holding it.  You know how you can just tell.  So I got as far as the little water fall and turned around.

waterfallselfieAll and all it was pretty anti-climatic, which I guess is the best kind of hike.

And there was this tree:


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