Who are you?
I’m Miguel Vieira. I first started hiking in the late 1990s when I was in college in western Pennsylvania. Within a few years, my experience grew to include backpacking, trail running, and multi-pitch rock and ice climbing.
Although I got my start in Pennsylvania and went on to hike all over the Appalachian Mountains, I’ve also hiked in the Colorado Rockies, Chilean Patagonia, and Hawaii, backpacked through the desert in Death Valley and through the rainforest in Costa Rica, and climbed mountains in the Canadian Rockies, the Sierra Nevada, and Japan.
Since moving to California in 2006, I’ve been outdoors somewhere in the state nearly every weekend. Today I mostly hike and trail run but I also occasionally backpack and climb mountains with non-technical routes.
I learn as much as I can about the natural history of the places I visit: What is the geological history? What is the climate? What are the plants and animals? How have these things changed over time? How are they changing now? Knowing the parts that make up a landscape is essential to understanding it. Identifying the plants and animals I see makes me feel as if I’m walking among old friends rather than strangers.
What’s the ‘Remembered Earth’?
It’s from a quotation from Kiowa writer N. Scott Momaday that I originally read in Barry Lopez’s book Arctic Dreams:
Once in his life a man ought to concentrate his mind upon the remembered earth. He ought to give himself up to a particular landscape in his experience; to look at it from as many angles as he can, to wonder upon it, to dwell upon it.
He ought to imagine that he touches it with his hands at every season and listens to the sounds that are made upon it.
He ought to imagine the creatures there and all the faintest motions of the wind. He ought to recollect the glare of the moon and the colors of the dawn and dusk.