Stories & Life
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Increasing one’s chill factor

I’m back in California for the winter. I seem to have fallen into a fairly satisfying nomadic lifestyle of working the summers in Alaska and then spending the winters in California.

California is a good place to write in the winter, especially where I’m at, here in the Santa Cruz Mountains, only a half hour bus ride to the beach. Generally speaking, it’s not too hard to find places to chill in Cali, and since I live in the middle of a Redwood forest, I can walk daily among the wise, tall old trees. You would think that such walks would exponentially help one’s odds of increasing one’s chill factor, but the other day while I was on a hike, I was attacked by acorns.

The word “attack” is really no exaggeration. They were dropping all around me with such ferocity that I spent most of the hike with my hands over my head. The acorns hurdled down and pounded the ground with enough force to leave divots in the dirt.

Here’s a pic of “Big Ben,” a Redwood at about the middle point in my hike.

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Writer. In the summers, I live and work in the incredible state of Alaska, in the bush community of McCarthy; I pass the winters in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. I'm working on a memoir-based nonfiction book on the American Dream. I blog, quite frequently, and I also have a novel in process, set in Alaska.

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