Craig Wisner


<24: Front Country Canyons. (5/30~6/1)

A quick overnight ramble of about 20 miles door-to-door.  I savor the fact I can do this without using a car, simply walking out the front door shouldering a pack.  These Friday forays make the weekends longer and sweeter, purging my typical restlessness with a little sweat and stillness.

Sunshine, mist, poetry, sake, miles, and stream crossings…


Joshua Tree. 3/28~3/30/2019.

A two night/three day ramble with out-of-town friends Mike M. (Montana) and Doug I. (Washington).  In pursuit of sunshine.

1A mix of trail and cross country, revealing two new canyons and some good backcountry routes.234567Wreckage after the first night (Mike apparently praying a Hail Mary for warmth in the background?).  Poor site selection and lows far below what we were anticipating led to soaked bivies, bags that glazed with ice, and a very long, cold night.  We ended up reducing the next day’s mileage a bit to allow gear to dry.8Victim of my own words, the wet bag was a gift from the day before, likely linked to my lunchtime Sermon on the Mount extolling the virtues of suffering so one may enjoy comfort.  I suspect after the ensuing debacle my sermons will not be so welcome on future trips.9A lush time of year by desert standards, it was good to stretch the legs with friends to just walk and scramble all day…Daytime weather was perfection and night two passed far better.

101112For land so heavily shaped by water, it’s fascinating to find so little.  Nothing but a few hidden gems deep in canyons…though the animal residents of this world can likely account for every drop.1314

UL Desert Backpacking (Gearlist and Photos)

The following will be carried for a 3 day/2night fastpack in the Joshua Tree National Park backcountry.  ~60 miles total, two water caches along the route, a mix of trail and XC.  Base weight: 8.05 lbs.

UL Desert Gearlist - Sheet1

UL Desert Gearlist Sheet 2

Stream Voices.

I sat beside the stream in selfsorrow

and it spoke:

“Did you expect the world to slow down?

Surely you understand that the seasons wait for nobody.”

Walking out I pondered this,

hand trailing in wet grasses beside the path,

savoring the odor of damp leaves on the wind;

Resolving to expand a few moments

of perfect awareness

into the feeling of a life well-lived.

Surfperchin’ II.


Sun and wind on a Saturday morning; that this spot is exactly one hour from my home is not bad at all…It’s become Lusi’s favorite new beach.

The baby Barred Surfperch were out in full effect again but I managed to score two decent ones for the pan.



I’ve been fishing.

Typical surf rig:

St. Croix Wild River rod, 8’6″ Fast Action, 8-12#. (Favorite rod ever).

Shimano Sedona 4000FB reel w/10# mono. (As about a nice of a reel as I’ll take in the surf and sand).

Carolina rig, 3/4 oz. egg sinker/bead/swivel.  4′, 6# flourocarbon leader.  #4 Owner Mosquito Hook.  Gulp! Sandworms.


Damp and Dark.

It was supposed to be an overnight but camp was so damp, dark, and cold there was no chance of a warming fire.

So I kept walking long into the night.

It was all quite alive and full of energy, as was I.