Woods & Woodworking
A Saturday afternoon on the back porch with a stack of wood, a sander, handsaw, drill, and a project in mind is my idea of a good time. That, or a long day spent hiking in the woods. Either way, I love wood and wooded lands.
Hiking allows you to appreciate nature while also being challenged by it. I like starting out on a long trek, knowing that for several hours I'll be dependent on the supplies I'm carrying. It's very liberating. You get out an hour or so from camp, and suddenly your senses are sharper. You're more aware of the land and of yourself. You notice broad vistas but also tree bark and tiny frogs.
My favorite ascent was the hike to Mt. LeConte in Tennessee. My partner Taylor and I set off on a roundtrip 11-mile trail thinking we'd be able to walk four miles an hour. (We are amateurs!) Fortunately, we had good rations--and were able to purchase a brown bag lunch at a little kitchen on top of the mountain. Food never tastes as good as it does when you're hiking.
I'm not a great carpenter, nor even a very good one. But I love working with wood and seeing what it has to teach. I made these two tables all from recycled material, most of which I gathered from the curbside in my neighborhood. My friend Mark gave me some cypress flooring planks from an old house his buddy was tearing down, and I used the tongue-and-groove planks for the table tops. I left the rusty nails in--what was left of the nails--and used Tung oil to finish the tops.