Archive | February, 2010

Have a Good Weekend

MP3: Phosphorescent – It’s Hard To Be Humble (When You’re From Alabama)

February 26, 2010 | Have A Good Weekend | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Wall Drug

If you’ve been to the Badlands/Mt. Rushmore, you know Wall Drug. If you’ve ever taken a road trip anywhere from Minnesota to Montana on Interstate 90, you know Wall Drug. (Wall Drug spends an estimated $400,000 on 500 miles of billboards a year.) And if you live in the Midwest and pay any attention to the backs of cars, you’ve probably seen one of the stickers above. Worth the stop, I promise. If only for the free cold water.

February 25, 2010 | Long Hairs | Continue Reading | Comments { 5 }


How do y’all make your coffee in the morning when you get out of the tent? The NYT reviewed several products a few months back and decided this GSI espresso maker made the best cup. A few weeks ago, I tried Starbucks VIA for the first time up after waking up in a cold, wood-burning stove heated cabin on an island in Lake Winnipesaukee, and dare I say this, but it was pretty darn good. Way better than the instant Folgers I’m used to.

MP3: Bruce Cockburn – Going To The Country

February 25, 2010 | Camping | Continue Reading | Comments { 21 }

Cold Splinters + FADER

The second installment of my weekly blog on FADER went up today, so make sure y’all head on over and pretend to read it.

Youtube: Bob Marley – No Woman, No Cry

February 24, 2010 | FADER Blog | Continue Reading | Comments { 3 }

Dan Gibson + Solitudes

Throughout the 1940s, Dan Gibson (above, left) made nature films, including Audobon Wildlife Theatre, where he learned how to record wildlife sound. He helped design pioneering audio equipment, including the “Dan Gibson Parabolic Microphone,” which he used to record LPs in the 1950s and 60s. In 1981, Gibson started the Solitudes series, which is now run by his sons (Gibson passed away in 2006). Solitudes is more like New Age music with whale calls now, BUT, f you ever find one of the old LPs at the thrift store, buy it. The covers, descriptions of the environments they’re recording in, and the actual recordings are just wonderful. From the first volume of Solitudes, By Canoe To Loon Lake:

“Our starting point is a waterfall at the end of a portage. We dip the paddle into the gently flowing river. We drift awhile. We are watched. The ruby-crowned kinglet notes our presence in its territory. The Kinglet is the first wildlife voice we hear. As we drift downwards a spruce lined shore one of nature’s friendliest sounds keeps us company, the spruce forest rings with the song of the white-throated sparrow. … Up ahead we can see the white waters of the rapids thrashing up above the surface level of the lake. The canoe is drawn forward. Our microphones are mounted on the on the gunwales, soon you are plunging into ever quickening rapids until they are thundering all around you as you surge through the channels … then come at last to the placid reaches of Loon Lake. A slight evening breeze drifts us out into the secluded lake where the gray tree frogs and the spring peeper frogs provide their evening background chorus to the haunting calls of the loon.”

In 1994, Dan was awarded The Order of Canada for his environmental works, and in 1997, Dan was awarded the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award at the Juno Awards.

Download By Canoe To Loon Lake and Storm On A Wilderness Lake at Closet Of Curiosities.

February 24, 2010 | Camping, Music/Movies/Books | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Heimo’s Arctic Refuge On VBS

In 1980, when Jimmy Carter created the 19 million acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, only six families of white settlers were allowed to keep cabins there. Heimo Korth and his wife, Edna, are the only ones left. If you’ve ever read The Final Frontiersman, a book that chronicles author James Campbell’s visits with Heimo in 2002, 130 miles above the Arctic Circle, 250 miles from the nearest road and another 300 miles to the nearest hospital, then you should be very excited right now. And if you haven’t read the book, you should still be very excited.

A few months ago, when the guys at VBS returned from their 10 day visit with Heimo and quickly told me some of the details, I couldn’t wait to see the footage. Today, VBS is finally debuting the first of a five part series about Heimo, titled Heimo’s Arctic Refuge. The first episode shows is about where and how Heimo lives, and after looking through the pictures that VBS was kind enough to just send me, one of them pictured above, there is some amazing/brutal stuff to come. Watch it here and make sure you go back everyday this week. I’ll remind you, don’t worry.

February 22, 2010 | Long Hairs | Continue Reading | Comments { 4 }

Wagoneer XJ

Does anyone have a Wagoneer XJ (I prefer white or beige/champagne, but I’ll do anything with a wood panel) that you would like to sell me? Or if you have anything similar…

Cold Splinters

February 22, 2010 | Camping | Continue Reading | Comments { 5 }

14 New National Monuments?

Obama’s administration is considering 14 potential national monuments in 9 states, according to a leaked Department Of The Interior document. And whenever there’s talk of turning a place into a federally protected national monument, there’s going to be debate. Some are happy with the idea of federal protection, thus helping to save these beautiful places for our kids, but with national monument status comes more regulation as to what types of activities are allowed in the area.

In addition, government officials in Utah are angry because they claim that no state or local officials were contacted about the proposal. Utah Governor Gary Herbert claims, “I will challenge federal officials to explain to me how they could possibly be in a better position to know what’s best for our rural lands than those of us here on the ground in this state.” Below are the areas being considered for national monument status.

San Rafael Swell, UT
Montana’s Northern Prairie, MT
Lesser Prairie Chicken Preserve, NM
Berryessa Snow Mountains, CA
Heart of the Great Basin, NV
Otero Mesa, NM
Northwest Sonoran Desert, AZ
Owyhee Desert, OR/NV
Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, CA (expansion)
Vermillion Basin, CO (pictured above)
Bodie Hills, CA
The Modoc Plateau, CA
Cedar Mesa region, UT
San Juan Islands, WA

More info at The Adventure Life.

February 22, 2010 | Politics, Public Lands | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Duct Tape

If it’s always a good to have duct tape around while hiking (put it on blisters), you might as well make it tie dye, right? Right. (thx)

February 19, 2010 | Clothing/Gear | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Bull Hill

We took a train up to Cold Spring on Saturday morning to meet some friends (thanks for the pictures) at their Main Street mansion of an apartment and hike up Bull Hill, also known as Mount Taurus. Part of the handsome Hudson Highlands, Bull Hill (1,620 ft) is taller than its more famous neighbor, Breakneck Ridge (1,260 feet).

Before the hike, we stopped at the farmer’s market for some jalapeño-cheddar bread and dijon, then carried onto Bull Hill’s south base, home to the remnants of an old quarry. It’s an easy hike to the top, and although I wished I hadn’t dragged the snowshoes on the train only to leave them in the car, there was enough snow, quiet, and views of the Hudson to remind us not to wish winter away just yet.

February 18, 2010 | Public Lands | Continue Reading | Comments { 3 }