Serious Sledding

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We had a little of the white stuff here–it didn’t stick–but we didn’t have to drive far to find the real deal. We met the Sweeneys up in the mountains to check out an incredible early-season snowpack. It was strange passing the places where we fished for trout in shirtsleeves last summer, now buried under feet of snow and ice.

Then we found this giant slag heap. That’s Skyla taking a break on the climb, and Weston (in green jacket with orange sled) busting it for the summit. Super steep, no rocks or trees, and a long, soft runout. Perfect.

Weston went first and near the bottom, he hit a little rise which resulted in the sled going airborne for at least 15 feet, with Weston, now fully separated from the sled, flying about 20. Upon landing, he disappeared into a huge plume of powder and emerged with a giant smile. Happy New Year, everyone. Here’s to a fantastic 2016!


Merry Fishmas Everyone

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Here’s to a 2016 filled with love, happiness, good health, good luck…and many big fish. Hope you are all well.


Photography Lesson

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The porpoises charged all the way across Whale Channel to meet us and play with the kids. It was an amazing moment. Two guys had cameras, both scrambling to capture the action, snapping away. Above is the beautiful image taken by my good friend–and pro photographer–Steve Perih. It graced the cover of this year’s Patagonia kid’s catalog, hangs on my wall, and I’ve posted it here before.

Below is my shot, taken at the exact same time and place, under the same circumstances. Explains a lot, don’t you think? Like why I better stick to words.

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Taste Of Spring(er)

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In the midst of what’s been a long stretch of rain, wind and more rain–seems like we’ve had a power outage about once a week since September–I was dreaming of spring. I know, it’s early. Not even winter yet, for heaven’s sake. But the rivers were blown, the Sound a sea of whitecaps, and my office an icebox. In other words…yuck.

So I dug around in the freezer and came up with a big chunk of Columbia River spring Chinook, the greatest eating fish in the world, and at least to us, the true symbol of spring in the Northwest. And thanks to the miracle of modern vac-sealing technology, it looked pretty good. Almost eight months in the freezer, but my mouth started watering just thinking about the possibilities.

Thawed it, salted it, scraped the skin to remove moisture (Skyla scaled it before freezing back in April) and threw it on the grill. The fish had lost a bit of its usual deep-red coloring, but otherwise, it was all the there: dripping fat, crispy-on-the-outside-melting-on-the-inside texture and savory, crunchy skin. Exactly what we needed!


Killing And Dying: Great Book

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After being completely blown away by this book, I was going to post a glowing review. But I figured people would notice the name of the author, connect the dots, and discount what I had to say on the basis of nepotism.

Then I was simply going to write about how proud I am of my brother, or for that matter, how proud I am to even be related to an artist of this genius. But I thought that being “proud of” someone might be read as patronizing, as if I had something to do with the achievement.

So I will just say this: Killing And Dying is a masterpiece of storytelling. I am not usually a fan of “graphic novels,” but this clearly supersedes the genre. These are stories of incredible depth and layered meanings, where the spare dialog rings true and the gorgeous, deceptively simple drawings capture emotions and thoughts unattainable through words alone. The result is a kind of storytelling that I have not experienced in any other medium, whether it be comics, prose literature, or film.

But don’t just take my word for it. The great AO Scott, Chief Film Critic at The New York Times, said it all better than I ever could. And as far as I know, he is not related to my brother. Click HERE for the review.

So, yes as a reader, I found this book to be a deep and affecting experience. As Adrian’s brother, I am incredibly proud of what he’s created. And as a writer, it’s both daunting and inspiring. Check it out. I think you’ll find it more than worthy of your time.