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Local Heroes/Heroines | Nature Gurus | Other Visionaries


This picture is of Ed at the Jacob Ruby Mine where we sat like ants in the sun going crazy for a few rubies.

Like a mantra, the evocation of the name 'Ed' causes children to behave, women to wail, and lesser men to struggle with acid reflux. Grand Pubah of the Sacred Order of the Leaping Gnome, Ed is my hiking bud. He enjoys our forays into the wilderness with the same sanctity and acts of sacredness that i do, yet his purpose is so linear and goal-oriented, that he compliments my tendency to wander and squat and be, just perfectly. He admits that i serve an equal purpose for him, namely to be able to point to a plant and get a detailed rundown from me, or better yet, as a reminder to stop and smell the sassafras. He is quiet and honest with a broad smile that infects. He is a person who can do anything, and is all the greater man for his desire to be a great dad to his children and loving husband to Diane, which he accomplishes daily.




Diane is every bit as deep as she is petite. Insightful and charming, she will be your personal devil's advocate with wit and wisdom, and a bit of coyote tricksterism. It is my pleasure to proclaim that i am related to her, and, even though i have not hiked with her very much, she has helped me get to where i am going every bit as much as her husband, Ed. Perhaps more so, because i trust and love her unquestioningly, and thank the fates for the gift of her in my life. Her evidence in these pages are in subtle colorations and moments of reflection, which she and i are capable of hashing and rehashing ad-nauseum.

The picture is of Diane, the hikestress, at the lesser known 'Sutherland Falls' above Courthouse Falls.


My Mom and Dad - Mom for the earliest appreciation of nature and work ethic, and Dad for the right to believe that my uniqueness is a gift. Together, they have made my life loving and bathed in golden light. Mom now lives on a beautiful farm in Virginia - staying much more busy than she intends to, with farming, canning, AARP duties and just a little 'Freecell' - with her husband Tom. Dad passed away in 1995. Both remain great inspirations to me.


Handsome and talented, Jay is my botany guru. He's also many things, not the least of which is an excellent photographer who has helped me learn that the process of learning itself is enlightenment - not the knowing that comes afterwards. Jay remains hyper-vigilant, hyper-aware, alternative to alternative, and we should ALL be thankful he presses his talents for the cause of good and not the dark side. Oh, and girls... Jay is exactly that kind of striving, starving artist you've been looking for - complete with tortured soul and obsession for love - minus the ragged clothing! E-mail him praise of his near godliness and e-commerce transactions of financial gain to this address.


Julie Rosa is a local photographer who has been making a living at capturing local scenes, flora and nostalgia with her camera and selling them to gift shops and at Dreamland Flea Market. She is a non-stop barrage of talk and excitement that's infectious and interesting. She and i go on many drives and some hikes into these beautiful woods and always come away with something learned and more to appreciate. Luckily, her boyfriend Wong isn't the jealous type... and someday we'll get him out into the mountains.


Henry David Thoreau - turned a boy bent on service to himself into a man who studies and questions and grows, sometimes painfully. Similarly, i am indebted to my 9th grade teacher, Mr. Corruthers, wherever you are, for being the lens thru which i discovered Thoreau and the Transcendentalists.

Tom Brown, Jr. - His books of sharing him growing up under the tutelage of Grandfathers is a wonderful story and a fine inspiration. He now runs a Tracker School of Tracking, Nature, and Wilderness Survival.

Edward Abbey

Euell Gibbons

Rachel Carson

Theodore Roosevelt

John Muir



Joseph Campbell - helped me understand that man is defined by myth, and that the two - like consonant and vowel - are gibberish without one another.

John Lennon - not just any Spaniard in the Works.

Richard Brautigan - this cellular coyote howls at the edge of my fingerprints.

James Joyce - Is he also abced-minded?

Carlos Casteneda

Rene Magritte - who taught me the difference between things and the representation of things, and a whole lot more!

Lao Tzu

Steve Wozniak

George Gershwin - Whose single work of genius, Rhapsody in Blue, is my anthem.

Johann Sebastian Bach - While someone else created the musical scales and tempered music into segmented parts, J.S. Bach put the nature, the playfulness, the beauty and the thoughtful energy back into that man-made artifice.

Miriam Makeba - "Mother Africa" has brought to me rhythms of a simpler and atavistic life in the very opposite way J.S. Bach has, and paired music with emotion that i cannot express.