Writings by Alex Pullen

The College Entrepreneur – Book Review
Jun20

The College Entrepreneur – Book Review

“FLC alumni praises ‘do it yourself’ approach to making your school, build your business” For those of you currently attending college, this book may interest you… As a Fort Lewis College Alumni,  I can say that I do not use my degree… I started my own business. I was always a bit of a black sheep, I guess… Or maybe I was just passionate about doing different things. As an example in college,...

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Walking the Oceanfront Restaurants of Cassis
May06

Walking the Oceanfront Restaurants of Cassis

Cassis is a charming Mediterranean fishing port in southern France, known for pebbly beaches, narrow “calanques” or  limestone canyons, and its seafood restaurants. This little town has a magnificent feeling… One must approach the city center through narrow cobblestone alleys with patio dining tables, and walk onto a hustling stone street that opens into the harbor. Along the bay is a stone paved street lined with...

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Chamonix’s Finest – Banff Mountain Film Signature Image of 2015
Apr21

Chamonix’s Finest – Banff Mountain Film Signature Image of 2015

Earlier this month I attended the 40th annual Banff Mountain film festival at an intimate theater on the coast of Southern France. While listening to the excited young college students banter among the rows of soft seats, in a language I can understand bits and pieces of, I beheld a spectacular photograph. Soren Rickard’s “Les Drus” stretched before me on a movie theater screen… I was captivated and overwhelmed...

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Trail Magic – The Fallacy of Living Cheap
Feb21

Trail Magic – The Fallacy of Living Cheap

fal·la·cy /ˈfaləsē/ – “a mistaken belief, especially one based on unsound argument.” Four months ago, I embarked on a journey to Asia. The main goal of this endeavor was to spend time with my amazing French girlfriend, so that we could get to know each-other better. We chose Chiang Mai, Thailand because we could stay longer here than we could in either the U.S. or in France, due to visa reasons.   Along with the...

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Commodity Village at Wolf Creek
Dec16

Commodity Village at Wolf Creek

Com·mod·i·ty – /kəˈmädədē/  noun –  a raw material or primary product that can be bought and sold, such as copper or coffee. Although relishing the opportunity to be outside in such a pristine place, I reminded myself I was in this meadow for a reason… The sight of these two posts in the marshy ground, brought me back to my mission here on this lonely pass in Southern Colorado. “This all could be gone”, I...

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Trail Magic – Crossing the Bridge
Dec02

Trail Magic – Crossing the Bridge

Seven years ago, I crossed the same bridge I stand upon now, both figuratively and literally. Looking back upon completing this circle 9000 miles from home, I realize this decision has been one of the most influential of my life. That being, to humbly submit myself to the unknown, and dance with it… Again, emphasizing the title of this series, “Trail Magic”… I’ve traveled through time, lost myself to the...

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Trail Magic – The “Digital Nomad”
Nov09

Trail Magic – The “Digital Nomad”

I’m not sure what “gallivanting around the globe” involves… But it sounds like something worth doing. Talking on the phone with my sister before I left the country last week, those were her words… “Gallivanting” is defined as, “to wander about, seek pleasure”. Which is partially true. For whatever reason, the uncertain lifestyle and persona of a global adventurer has become...

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Local Music Producer Tributes the Animas – “Orange River”
Oct17

Local Music Producer Tributes the Animas – “Orange River”

“Orange River” – The Chava People “I recorded this song because of the lack of oversight that was going on…”, states songwriter and producer, James Mirabal. “When all that mine waste rushed into the Animas I was really shocked and confused. Then I felt mislead and then finally angry… because this could have been prevented…” Soulful and lamenting notes pierce this hard and...

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Fall in Full Swing
Oct05

Fall in Full Swing

Across southwest Colorado, fall is settling in. The ever shortening days, paired with fresh winter storm systems created prime conditions for the fall color change this last weekend. The color change is a spectacular event only offered for a 2-3 week window in late September and early October in which the deciduous trees in the area (mostly Gamble Oak and Aspens) put on a massive display of color.  An all time favorite route is to...

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Lunar Eclipse Visits Durango
Oct01

Lunar Eclipse Visits Durango

A gathering of astronomic proportions took place this last Sunday throughout Colorado. Starting at about 8 pm a lunar eclipse was visible in the early evening sky. Folk of all kinds gathered to witness the stellar event from backyards, porches and trail-heads. In Durango, The Lion’s Den picnic shelter near Fort Lewis College, was a favored viewing location and parking in the area was scarce. Viewers excitedly talked as the...

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Due Northwest – Part 3
Sep01

Due Northwest – Part 3

Life is a swinging pendulum. The more you push, the more it pushes back. The last branch of our trip consisted of very contrasting experiences. Late in the game, we were tired, sore and pushed to our limits in many ways. Covering 5,000 miles in five weeks while working has taxed us both… spending all of your time with one person (no matter who it is) comes with its own challenges. In the end we persevered and absolutely...

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Modern Herbalism in the Southwest
Aug27

Modern Herbalism in the Southwest

  It’s been five years since I interned with Deb Buck. At the time I was an ambitious college student looking for some practical knowledge about the ecosystems of the Southwest. I bought a few guide books about native edible and medicinal plants and very quickly realized how hard it was to learn about plant identification from books.  After explaining my challenges to a good friend, who recommended I talk with Deb, I got...

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The Legacy and Future of Mining in the San Juan Mountains
Aug26

The Legacy and Future of Mining in the San Juan Mountains

The residents of La Plata County mourned the tangerine-colored river two weeks ago, and are now digesting the water quality data that the EPA and third party research institutions, like Mountain Studies Institute (MSI), have put forth to try and understand what this means for us and the future of the Animas River. Unfortunately, the events of early August were not a singular incident. They were a harsh reminder of a truth that exists...

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Due Northwest – Part 2
Aug16

Due Northwest – Part 2

The sea is a mysterious force to me. In the evenings, I sat and listened to her murmured secrets, hushed whispers, and thundering crashes along the shoreline. I was content with the salty breeze and the sunsets to wash me clean. This was not water I felt inclined to swim in. The rocky shores of the Washington coast, the frigid water and the unpredictable nature of the grey swells left me satisfied to watch her from the polished stone...

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Due Northwest – Part 1
Aug02

Due Northwest – Part 1

I’ve been sleeping out of the truck now for 12 days. The hours consisting of lonely sunrises on the beach and sunsets in the rainforest.   After many miles of driving on mostly two-lane highways, I have come at last to where the tall trees meet the tireless sea. “Why am I here?… For a job”, I keep telling myself. “A job… and grand adventure…” My plans to visit the coastal Northwest began...

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A Spark in the Distance – Part 3
May14

A Spark in the Distance – Part 3

Just as I started to feel familiar amidst the narrow streets and terracotta roofs of Marseille, my departure  approached… Just as “comfortable” began to set in, it was time to leave the South of France and this alluring woman I so quickly grew fond of… Although I was acclimating to the aesthetics of French lifestyle, the whirling traffic and busy markets of Marseille failed to let my heart rate slow down. Every corner revealed a...

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A Spark in the Distance – Part 2
Apr28

A Spark in the Distance – Part 2

A week in France has already gone by, and as I walk down the wooden stairs into the kitchen, I catch her smile. It smells like breakfast and can see in her face, that she’s still enthralled by the idea that she landed this American guy… got him to fly across the globe to meet her. Each morning I’ve woken up, the first thought that goes through my own head is, “I’m in France… I’m actually here after dreaming about this for...

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A Spark in the Distance – Part 1
Apr19

A Spark in the Distance – Part 1

  Adventure is a brilliant word. Growing up believing in fairytales, I have always been mystified by the twists and turns of life.  I’ve heard stories of treasure, and I think I may have found some. Or more precisely, it may have found me. The journey in its entirety, has yet to be told… What I do have, is a pile of letters, drawings, and poems from a woman in France… and a plane ticket. A digital romance was not something I had...

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The Canyons of Cedar Mesa
Apr12

The Canyons of Cedar Mesa

Sunday afternoon I drove out La Posta Road to my good buddies house. I’d been marinating in both passion and frustration for days. I knew I needed to get out of town. Like others here in Durango, the desert was screaming my name. I needed to feel the sun on my skin, breath in a deep blue sky and get lost in the red rock. The day prior, I called a half dozen friends asking around to find someone to go camping with. No success,...

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The Great Sand Hill Cranes
Mar18

The Great Sand Hill Cranes

This was the first time I’ve seen the cranes moving through the San Luis Valley. Since the last ice age, the Great Sand Hill Cranes have been making an epic mass migration between summer and winter nesting grounds. The wetlands, large grain fields and wildlife refuges in the San Luis Valley offer them a safe haven. Their trajectory…  northward to the marshlands of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. I’m in the midst of...

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