These are random, but not. I’ve written about them all, along with hundreds of other subjects in my years as a freelance journalist and editor.
Twice my writing has won a Harold S. Hirsch Award from the North American Snowsports Journalists Association, most recently in 2015 in the feature writing category. One of the stories included in the winning 2015 package is one of my favorite articles ever, about how I’ve evolved as a skier alongside Jackson Hole Mountain Resort evolving into a world-class ski destination, “The Summit of Scary Has One Soft Landing.” The fact this story ran in The Washington Post made it all the more special to me. From ages 12 to 17, I—with serious help from my mom—delivered The Post seven days a week to 100+ houses in my neighborhood. The first time I flew on a plane (age 16) was after winning the paper’s Carrier of the Year contest. The prize? An all-expense paid trip to France. It was on that trip that I fell in love with travel.
Like most people who live in Jackson Hole—FYI, “Jackson Hole” refers to the entire valley; “Jackson” is the biggest town in the valley—I didn’t plan on settling here. Neither did I think I’d be a writer. I graduated from Northwestern University with degrees in Math and Economics. Immediately after graduation I moved to Jackson where the plan was to spend a year learning how to ski before starting law school. If I met Harrison Ford, who lived here at the time, all the better. The law school part of that plan was thrown out the window within two weeks of my arrival in Jackson. The learning how to ski part remains a work in progress, but I’ve definitely gotten good enough I lived through a ski mountaineering camp I wrote about in “Even Experts Can Get Better.”
In 2015 and early 2016, I might have been be the only journalist in the country concurrently writing columns about outdoor adventure and cancer. Both appeared in the Jackson Hole News&Guide, Jackson’s weekly paper that has won the National Newspaper Association’s Award for General Excellence numerous times. I’ve been writing the paper’s Excursion column since 2011. I started writing the C Word after being diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in December 2014.