M. John Fayhee

Writer, Editor, Bullshitter, Mountain Gazette Resurrector

"When in Rome, Do as the Romanians"

The Dark Shadow descends, or: Downhill skiing Kentucky’s Bluegrass Country »

The Dark Shadow descends, or: Downhill skiing Kentucky’s Bluegrass Country

Author’s note: Since March 2016, I have been working on a long-and-winding memoir titled, “Back East: A Topophobic Road Trip Down Memory Lane,” which deals with a two-month journey I took to reconnect with the places of my youth, mainly Frankfort, Kentucky; Plattsburgh, New York; and Gloucester, Virginia. This is the first time in a long […]

Proper names

Proper names »

  This is the safety-catch, which is always released With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see Any of them using […]
Finally finishing the Arizona Trail

Finally finishing the Arizona Trail »

  In 1997, I became one of the first people to hike the entire Arizona Trail. I started at the Utah/Arizona border and, over the course of the next two months, made my way toward the trail’s southern terminus on the Mexican border. It was one of the toughest of my long-distance hikes, because, back […]
Rough going

Rough going »

The trail herein pictured was improved all to hell last summer. The bulk of its rocks were removed. Its grade made more benign. Erosion-control structures were installed at appropriate intervals. I was disappointed in the extreme. I have always been attracted to trails that are rocky, bumpy, unkempt and otherwise “bad.” On a purely selfish […]
Taking notes

Taking notes »

What my notes look like.   At the behest of my agent, who apparently believes there are a few tricks of the nonfiction trade I could apply to my own wayward transcriptive musings (stuff like not needing to include every single adjective in the English language in every single sentence (as well as avoiding excessive […]
Lay Me Down

Lay Me Down »

The Georgia Street house, 35 years after the fact “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. Angels watch me through the night, And wake me with the morning light.” — “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep,” a much-revised prayer, the earliest form of which was penned […]
Guest appearance on The Trail Show podcast

Guest appearance on The Trail Show podcast »

Two weeks ago, I was a guest on The Trail Show podcast, recorded in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. I was just informed that the show is now live and, should you find yourself with gobs of free time, I would humbly advise a listen. The discussion of Mexico’s Copper Canyon — overwhelmed as usual with my […]
Sinking Fast: Or: The one time I almost came to believe there just might actually be an almighty celestial entity

Sinking Fast: Or: The one time I almost came to believe there just might actually be an almighty celestial entity »

Part One   “Oh god forgive my mind when I come home.” — Brandi Carlile, “Wherever Is Your Heart I Call Home”   It was dead smack in the temporal epicenter of yet another of my many not-exactly-making-any-positive-headway periods. I was once again simultaneously treading water and spinning wheels — a resident in good stead […]

Misdirection »

Note: This first appeared on the Mountain Gazette website a couple years ago. I have resurrected it because the subject of cairn-building has recently been discussed in the venerable pages of the High Country News. Off to the north of a trail I have hiked, biked, skied and snowshoed more times than I can remember […]
Cover Letters

Cover Letters »

  Maybe a decade ago, when my tenure at the magazine I had long edited was clearly headed down the shitter, I started, out of quiet desperation, regularly eyeballing a help-wanted website called journalismjobs.com. I am a creature of habit; once I start doing something, I usually continue until there is an overt reason to […]
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