Chronicles of the Wayward Moot

WELCOME TO THE MOOT, oh world-wanderers and word-whisperers. After two years of Peace Corps. After 2,200 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. What. Comes. Next?


I'd estimate that this icicle grew to be about seven feet long during its reign of the back porch. Just a couple of days of warmer weather with highs in the 30s and 40s shrank it back to nothing.

A few days ago I took a hike up to the top of Pilot Butte, the volcanic cinder cone in the middle of Bend. It was the first time back there since I visited Bend with friends on the Oregon road trip in October. On the way down I noticed a field with a wide swath of untouched powder just begging for more than mere footprints. Armed with an idea, I hiked down and ventured out onto the snow to leave some art for other butte climbers to enjoy. You can see it here, perhaps better if you click to zoom in. (Had to climb back up the butte to get this image obviously.)

I put out some feelers to see what was going on in Bend for Christmas and learned about a community potluck a short way down the hill. In the end I showed up and got to work right away helping shovel snow and readying the place for the festivities, getting to know some of the other helpers as well. Later, I spent a while stringing up decorative lights and sampling the soup, bread, hot chocolate, and cider that was filling the air with such welcoming aromas. Eventually people arrived, music was playing, and the lights were lit as the sun set. My Christmas, while so far from home and family, was still spent in the company of good people, good tunes, and good food. I hope all of yours was as well.

One of the other helpers and a nice guy in general, Buffalo warms his hands over a recycled steel drum fire-pit. That's what he introduced himself as, Buffalo. Cool. Sounds like I could be cross-country skiing again on New Year's Eve so I wish myself good luck with that and I hope everyone's 2009 is a good one. For me, 2008 was a helluva year that brought with it excitement, heartache, challenge, insight, peace, confusion, and innumerable little moments that took my breath away. I'll take some of it with me, leave some of it behind, and continue in this wonderful and inexplicable phenomenon called life.


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