Archive | September, 2009

Cypress Kayaks

After emailing back and forth the last few days trying to coordinate a trip to Bahia Honda with friends from college, I’ve started to get excited about spending some time in a kayak again. I found Cypress Kayaks on All Plaid Out’s Tumblr today and now I just can’t wait. Watch the video of Aaron Wells making his custom boats here and then cruise around his site. Hell of a craft:

Aaron Wells started Cypress Kayaks in 2007 to provide kayak aficionados a technically and aesthetically superior boat. Born and raised in Suwannee County, Aaron was fortunate to grow up with the beautiful Suwannee River right in his own backyard. Spending countless hours in and around the river with his friends and family, Aaron quickly grew to appreciate this natural work of art and the fascinating boats that navigated up and down its stream.

After graduating Florida State University with a degree in Environmental Science, Aaron moved back to Suwannee County to pursue a career in wetland management. In his spare time, he began working on a wooden strip kayak, and soon realized his love for building these types of boats. The joy and challenge of constructing unique, one-of-a-kind vessels gave him the incentive to quit his job, and pursue his passion full-time. Aaron began to study the expertise of building wooden strip kayaks, and soon thereafter opened Cypress Kayaks’ doors to the public.

Aaron’s workshop is located in Suwannee County near the Suwannee River State Park, where he builds custom-made vessels for retail and produces instructional videos on constructing kayak boats.

September 30, 2009 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }


The result of a moody rainstorm when camping at Last Mountain Lake, SK *

MP3: J. Tillman – Though I Have Wronged You (via AD)

September 30, 2009 | Art/Photography | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

The Devil’s Path

Stephen Reingold (The Gear Junkie) hiked the Catskills’ Devil’s Path and wrote about it for the NYT:

The Devil’s Path, an east-to-west voyage along the spine of the Catskills, is often cited as the toughest hiking trail in the East. In 25 miles it ascends six major peaks, plunging into deep valleys between climbs.

“From end to end the Devil’s Path is one of the more challenging trails around,” said Josh Howard, a director at the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, which publishes detailed maps of area trails, including the Devil’s Path.

Backpackers hoping to complete the route face a total climb and descent of more than 14,000 feet. Steep ascents include cliff bands and traverse terrain that is vertical enough at times to be confused with a mountain climb.

September 29, 2009 | Camping | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Urban Camping

by Mark Cahill

A few years ago while in grad school I was working on a design project for an “alternative hotel.” The problem: It’s super cheap to travel, but too expensive to stay the night. At the same time I was planning a trip out to the west coast for a few days of site seeing and backpacking. Looking for that perfect hostel, I began to think about what exactly to bring. I definitely wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to spend some time in San Francisco, but was also not going to miss Yosemite. I pictured myself walking through the streets of the city with my pack on and my tin cup clanking as I hopped the street car tracks; climbing those infamous hills; roaming about the wilderness of Haight Ashbury.

And it dawned on me: I was carrying shelter in the form of my tent anyway so why shouldn’t I be able to just pitch it somewhere in the city? Why couldn’t this be part of how we travel and how we stay in urban areas. So I used this idea on my hotel design. I had already decided to design the roof as a green roof, so it was easy to designate the area as a “campsite.” And so there it was: Urban Camping.

As it turns out, this has been done before, and is being done now to some extent. In San Diego in 1914, a Hotel placed a “Tent City” on top of their roof to make use of that wasted space. That was nearly a century ago, and it seems that again the idea is gaining some more steam. An Architecture firm called import export have created a mobile multi-level tower (pictured above) that allows for tents to be pitched in urban settings. Another young designer named J. Enrique Enriquez entered this idea into a design competition and it fetched him an honorable mention.

Would you camp in a city?

September 29, 2009 | Camping | Continue Reading | Comments { 12 }

White Sands National Monument

White Sands, New Mexico, November 28, 1975 by Snap Man

White Sands National Monument:

Rising from the heart of the Tularosa Basin is one of the world’s great natural wonders – the glistening white sands of New Mexico. Here, great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have engulfed 275 square miles of desert and created the world’s largest gypsum dune field.

White Sands National Monument preserves a major portion of this unique dune field, along with the plants and animals that have successfully adapted to this constantly changing environment.

MP3: Bob Dylan – Pressing On

September 28, 2009 | Camping | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }


Sassafras, found mostly in the eastern United States, is characterized by its’ three distinct leaves on the same tree – unlobed or oval (top left); bilobed or mitten-shaped (top right); and trilobed (bottom). If you’ve living in New York City like I do, you can find it in Prospect Park. Root beer was originally made from sassafras until the FDA banned it in the late 1960s as a potential carcinogen, but no human studies have ever been made and many believe the ban to be unwarranted. (Read more about that here.)

The roots of a sassafras sapling can be uprooted and used to make a damn good tea – it tastes just like root beer – so next time you’re out east and want something other than pine needle tea, look around for some sassafras. It won’t hurt you.

September 28, 2009 | Camping, Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Wood Buttons

Definitely not a bad (or difficult) way to use a fallen branch.

(via peaceofpi studio’s Flickr Page)

September 28, 2009 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

In case you missed it

You can watch Episode One: “The Scripture Of Nature” from Ken Burns’ “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea” here. Good lord is it wonderful. More to come on that, but for now, watch watch watch.

Look: The National Parks: America’s Best Idea

September 28, 2009 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 3 }

How To Save Our National Parks

Ken Burns gone done and got everyone talking about our National Parks. The NYT has an op-ed dedicated to the age old question; How do we get visitation up without ruining the land? Many of the columnists’ “answers” are lacking detail and thought, and while they all might have a different idea of how to fix them, they seem to agree on thing – that the parks are underfunded and in trouble. Shocker.

Read it here.

September 28, 2009 | Politics | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

Gene Clark – White Light

This sounds just right today.

MP3: Gene Clark – White Light

September 24, 2009 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 6 }