Archive | January, 2010


Y’all, I’m leaving early Friday morning for a quick jaunt to Salt Lake City for OR. If you’re going to be there, drop me a line so we can try to find a way to get a beer. See you in Utah.

January 20, 2010 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 4 }


Sweetgrass follows some of our country’s last cowboys on their annual trip to Montana’s Absaroka‐Beartooth mountains for summer pasture. The footage is, for lack of a better word, breathtaking, and I often found myself shaking my head in disbelief, taken aback by the magnitude of some of the shots. The film is void of any sentimental music or narration, and is instead voiced by the unintended humor of the cowboys, the dumb/LOUD sheep and the sounds and realities of spending three months in Big Sky country.

Lucien Castaing-Taylor, the film’s director, spent a summer filming the journey, coming back in the fall with twenty less pounds on his bones, 300 hours of footage and trauma induced degenerative arthritis, caused by carrying the equipment day and night. Lucien and his wife, fellow director Ilisa Barbash, returned to the farm for two more summers, but ended up using most of the footage from the first summer to make Sweetgrass.

Check here to see when Sweetgrass is coming to a theater near you. For those of you in New York, last night was it’s final night at Film Forum, but rumor is it’s going to be playing at Cinema Village, so keep your eyes open. Trailer is after the jump.

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January 20, 2010 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Cinema Gully

I’m not sure how many of you have gone ice climbing before, but if you haven’t, the best way to describe it, at least the version done in the White Mountains, is cold and difficult. I’m sure those adjectives change as you get better, but it was my first time, so there you go. Cinema Gully (pictured above) is a somewhat easy four pitch climb on Mount Willard in Crawford Notch State Park. I say “somewhat easy” because I didn’t lead a single pitch, and my animal of a college friend/guide, Mark – who will spend the months of June and July on Denali doing Search and Rescue – made sure to keep the rope tight.

After we finished Cinema Gully, we traversed in knee high snow over to Hitchcock (pictured here), where we climbed for several hours until the sun started to show signs it was going down. The only sensible route back to the car was a rappel off of a vertical cliff, where my backpack got stuck on a tree (go figure), and a long, steep glacade down the mountain, through trees and ice the size of a small car. My self arresting skills are sub-par at best, so I ended up at the bottom face first, out of breath from failing to control my slide.

When we finally reached the car, we went straight to the Tuckerman Pale Ales, drove to Wolfeboro to meet my folks for nachos and veggie burgers, then drove back to North Conway and went to bed. I woke up the next morning tired and stiff, ready to do it all again.

January 19, 2010 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 3 }

Lake Winnipesaukee

The unusually warm weather conditions in New Hampshire this weekend made for a damn scary walk out to a friend’s lakehouse on an island in the middle of Lake Winnipesaukee . More to come on all of this, but for now, a bunch of out of focus pictures seem to make more sense than anything I could possibly write.

Youtube: The Hollies – Look Through Any Window

January 19, 2010 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

Off To The Whites

I’m off to White Mountain National Forest later today to freeze my ass off for the weekend. Before I go, a little info about one of, if not the, most beautiful places in New England:

White Mountain National Forest was established in 1918 and has a total of 784,505 acres. Most of WMNF is in New Hampshire, but a small portion (5.6%) lies in Maine. Most of the peaks above 4,000 feet call New Hampshire their home, and as you can see from my photo above, those mountains make for some nasty weather.

There are five wilderness areas within the forest: the Presidential Range/Dry River Wilderness (27,380 acres), the Great Gulf Wilderness (5,552 acres), the Sandwich Range Wilderness (25,000 acres), the Caribou/Speckled Mountain Wilderness (12,000 acres), and the Pemigewasset Wilderness (45,000 acres). Wilderness means no logging and no commercial industries. Only recreation and scientific research.

Have a great one.

MP3: Vic Chesnutt – Flirted With You All My Life

January 14, 2010 | Have A Good Weekend | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

Juniper Ridge

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing a Piñon Pine growing off the side of a desert cliff, then lucky you. If you’ve ever had the even more pleasurable experience of smelling a piece of the that twisted wood roasting in a fire, then you know one of life’s great pleasures. The other night, a friend of mine walked into my cold apartment with Juniper Ridge Piñon Pine incense, and much to my disbelief, the stuff smells just like the real thing. That’s because it is the real thing, made only from sustainably wild-harvested leaves, wood and resins from the mountains and deserts of the West, vegetable-based gum and bamboo stick. And if burning incense near your bed before you fall asleep isn’t enough, then bathe yourself in Piñon Pine soap in the morning.

Piñon Pine not your thing? Juniper Ridge makes incense, rubs, teas and soaps in Coastal Sage, Bay Laurel, Sierra Cedar and Siskiyou Cedar. And to top it off, the company donates 10% of their profits to donate western wilderness.

January 13, 2010 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 4 }

The Mountains Are

“The secret of the mountains is that they simply exist, as I do myself: the mountains exist simply, which I do not. The mountains have no “meaning,” they are meaning; the mountains are. The sun is round. I ring with life, and the mountains ring, and when I can hear it, there is a ringing that we share. I understand all this, not in my mind but in my heart, knowing how meaningless it is to try to capture what cannot be expressed, knowing that mere words will remain when I read it all again, another day.”

- Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard

January 13, 2010 | Quotes/Poetry | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Arizona State Parks in Trouble

A sad week for Arizona. Fewer than one third of Arizona’s state parks and recreation areas will remain open after June 3 under staff recommendations released Monday. The recommendations call for the closure of 13 parks between February and June. If approved by the parks board, the state would close Fort Verde, Homolovi Ruins, Lyman Lake and Riordan Mansion state parks on Feb. 22. Roper Lake, Tombstone Courthouse, Tubac Presidio and Yuma Territorial Prison would follow on March 29. On June 3, Alamo Lake, Lost Dutchman, Picacho Peak, Red Rock and Tonto Natural Bridge state parks. The proposed cuts to State Parks would provide just 4 percent of Arizona’s goal, while shutting down the Park’s annual contribution to the Arizona economy of more than $266 million.

The state parks selected to remain open are the ones that generate revenue: Buckskin Mountain, Catalina, Cattail Cove, Dead Horse Ranch, Fool Hollow Lake, Kartchner Caverns, Lake Havasu, Patagonia Lake, and Slide Rock. But even those will close unless the parks system gets a $3 million infusion of cash before the end of the fiscal year, said Renee Bahl, the parks director. (via)

Arizona’s state buildings including the Capitol, the governor’s office, the state hospital and state prisons go on sale today as the financially pressed state tries to raise money to plug a $4.5 billion deficit. (via)

To find out what you can do to help, visit the Arizona State Park Foundation.

MP3: Jayhawks: Take Me With You (When You Go)

January 12, 2010 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Cold Splinters Interview: Ken Sanders

Ken Sanders has been in the rare book business in Utah since the 1970s, founding Dream Garden Press in 1980 and Ken Sanders Rare Books in 1990. Dream Garden is responsible for the 10th Anniversary R. Crumb-illustrated version of Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang, which can be purchased in book form and/or t-shirt form here. (Hayduke’s my favorite.) If you’re around these parts often enough, you’ll know I’m a huge Abbey fan, and with the MWG movie coming out soonish, Sanders was kind enough to answer a few questions about the making of the book and the 1987 Monkey Wrench Gang calendar.

Where did the idea to have R. Crumb illustrate The Monkey Wrench Gang come from?

I had been familiar with Crumb’s work since Zap Comix and the 60s. In my mind’s eye, I could just see the Crumb caricatures of Abbey’s characters. His artwork was perfect for the exaggerated comedic style of the novel. Crumb originally turned me down. He had never heard of Ed Abbey or The Monkey Wrench Gang. I went through two years worth of other artists that didn’t work out until I returned to Crumb. This time around I was smart enough to send him a paperback of the book and offer him pretty good money to do the project. Once he had actually read the novel, he was eager to proceed.

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January 12, 2010 | Interviews | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

REI Hiker Laces

I’ve had a few people email me about the red laces on my boots a few posts back, so in case you’re lookin for ‘em, I recommend heading on over to your local REI or go to and buying yourself a pair of their Waterproof Round Hiker Laces. I’m sure there are others, but REI’s are thick as can be and I dig the two tone.

January 11, 2010 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }