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Christopher Pagels

Christopher Pagels is an alumnus of UW-River Falls.

May 4, 2012

Halibut, the universal name for a life changing hike

Our captain was a young woman, fair in beauty and seemed groomed into the family business. A Dutch couple Hank and Marianne, and a German woman Olena were being dropped off at Halibut Cove with me, but they were only going for a half-day hike to the Grewingk glacier. My destination was 40 miles to […]

April 20, 2012

A rough hike to Palmerton presents fallible excitement on the trail

“Dear Pennsylvania, How I loathe thee. If Virginia is for lovers, Pennsylvania is for haters. If Satan’s feces were rocks, then he must have taken a laxative and taken a big deuce all over your entire state. You will not be missed post-global warming.”—Wazi, an Appalachian Trail hiker Upon walking across the bridge for the […]

April 13, 2012

‘Twilight’ confrontation in Forks, Washington

The last two times I’ve been pulled over were in 2009 and 2010, in Forks, Washington. Neither of the officers were named Charlie. I did not receive a ticket, nor have I gotten one in all of my 25 years. This happened on the same road within the same mile. The first time I heard […]

March 30, 2012

Capturing lasting images at the Pacific Ocean

I passed a green highway sign that pointed west to Shelter Cove as I curled down in my Acura down this heavily forested part of northern California called the Big Sur.

March 2, 2012

Traveling mountain trails initiates nickname

Most know me by my given name. Others, namely hikers, know me only as Bard, or, in its formal manifestations, Bard the Changeling.

February 24, 2012

Hiking adventure turns from sunny to stormy

Two miles outside of Rangeley on the Appalachian Trail I was to end another successful 18-mile day. The sun was shining through that Maine forest and the elevation gains were at a minimum, less than 1,000 feet.

February 10, 2012

Rumbling and bumbling in the national parks of the west

In the Grand Tetons, my family was refused from a “jackets only” restaurant. When we approached the maître d’ in our moist swimming trunks, a rack of black dress coats to our left and a deep mahogany stained bar to our right, it looked like we brought a Tupperware of homemade sin as a side […]

February 3, 2012

Observing the Packer game with distinct spectators

There are a bunch of ugly antennas on my friend Nick’s Chevy SUV. He is a ham. No, really, he loves HAM radio. He also loves the Packers. So Nick, his brother Bry-Bry, and I drove down to Green Bay with his ugly antennas waving at 70 mph on Christmas. Disclaimer, not that you care […]

December 17, 2011

Early morning pranking in a forgotten cemetery

It’s 3 a.m. and I’m hanging from a rope. The rope is attached to the swinging bridge in Glen Park swaying over the Kinnickinnick River. Ultimate trust fall, Mike holds my life in his hands and the blood alcohol level is not in my favor. I tuck the inch-thick purple rope tight around my hip […]

November 18, 2011

Exploration of ‘haunted’ cemetery offers ironic feeling

Mike and I stopped our walk on Meridean Island, paused with baited breath, and listened for any howls from the “Hell Hounds.” Curious about ghost towns in the Spring of 2009, Caryville, an abandoned town in Eau Claire County, Wis., skipped across my desk.

November 11, 2011

Solid handshake globetrots the world

I opened my mailbox to find, on top of the stack, a woman with golden skin, scarcely covered by a multi-colored blanket; dark brunette hair cascaded down her shoulders, white cowboy boots, and a sombrero atop her head.

November 4, 2011

Message in bottle thrown to the Atlantic

I was Clutter’s guest, an old hiking pal from the Appalachian Trail, but she still asked me if I wanted to join her for a little concert at the College of Charleston. She is a short woman with a frog-like smile and red-dyed hair. I think she felt blue because she missed her New York […]