Showing posts from November, 2013

What We Carry: Tools of the Trade, OR Jennifer Egan, please meet Trail Dog Christine Byl

Photo by Gabe Travis Christine Byl lives on a few acres of tundra north of Denali National Park.   By the time she wrote Dirt Work: An Education in the Woods (referred to in Publisher’s Weekly as a “beautiful memoir of muscle and metal”) she’d been a trail dog for sixteen years – building, maintaining, repairing and designing backwoods trail.  Her MFA in fiction is from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Christine didn't grow up using her muscles though, unless you count brain work.  She was more of a Thoreau groupie.  "I didn't think much about what the body could do."   Photo by Terry Boyd Now, sinewy Byl states flat-out, “Tools make the woman. Once you learn the tools and develop the eye, once you discern your limits and strengths, trail work can be brute simple.   Dig trench.   Move log.   Roll rock.   Swing axe.   Yet, like any craft, it’s as complex as you ask it to be…”   Byl loves to kick ass, and she loves “binging” on Jennifer E