Archive | March, 2010

Freedom and Wilderness

I suppose doing a post about Edward Abbey is becoming a weekly thing now, but this one is the toppermost of the poppermost. Moab, Utah’s Back of Beyond Books sells a 4 CD collection of Abbey reading his own work that you can (and should) buy here. Each disc contains around 45 minutes of talking, which usually amounts to a chapter or two from one of his books. If you’re an Abbey fan, which it seems as though some of you are, you need this. Immediately. And if you’re not, listen below to an excerpt of “Freedom and Wilderness, Wilderness and Freedom” from The Journey Home. Who wouldn’t want to hear the guy who wrote this repeat it into a microphone?

We need wilderness because we are wild animals. Every man needs a place where he can go to go crazy in peace. Every Boy Scout troop deserves a forest to get lost, miserable, and starving in. Even the maddest murderer of the sweetest wife should get a chance for a run to the sanctuary of the hills. If only for the sport of it. For the terror, freedom, and delirium. Because we need brutality and raw adventure, because men and women first learned to love in, under, and all around trees, because we need for every pair of feet and legs about ten leagues of naked nature, crags to leap from, mountains to measure by, deserts to finally die in when the heart fails.

MP3: Ed Abbey – Excerpt from “Freedom and Wilderness, Wilderness and Freedom”

March 23, 2010 | Desert Solitaire | Continue Reading | Comments { 6 }

Harry Yount

In 1880, Harry Yount was chosen by the second superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, Philetus Norris, to act as “gamekeeper.” He spent one winter alone in a cabin in the Lamar Valley controlling poaching and vandalism in the park. Horace Albright, a founding father and the second Director of the National Park Service, wrote of Yount, “After that first winter alone, with only the geysers, the elk and the other animals for company, Harry Yount pointed out in a report that it was impossible for one man to patrol the park. He urged the formation of a ranger force. So Harry Yount is credited with being the father of the ranger service, as well as the first national park ranger.”

Tons more interesting information at NPS.

March 22, 2010 | History | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }


I found this hat in the “free pile” at work several years ago, and although I’ve brought it on several spring/summer trips, I’ve yet to actually wear it. Pure novelty. It’s a Kangol that I highly doubt is made anymore. The bill of the hat goes on forever and it’s just about the ugliest thing I ever saw. That’s my friend Jay (notice the overalls) wearing the beauty at Joshua Tree two Christmases ago.

What I do end up wearing is a 99 cent NEW HAMPSHIRE hat that I bought, along with a sling shot, at a general store in the White Mountains. Along with several rips, that thing is now stained many times over with sweat, dirt, food, and lord knows what else. It might be time to retire it. What a shame.

What do y’all wear when you go out? Send me a picture. Would love to post it.

March 22, 2010 | Camping | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

180º South

180ºSouth trailer:

In 1968 Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins set out to surf, ski and climb their way to Patagonia. The wild places they found later motivated them to protect the environment. Inspired by this journey, Jeff Johnson and Woodshed Films set sail on a voyage to South America to climb a mythical peak called Corcovado with Chouinard and Tompkins.

(thx BTBN)

March 19, 2010 | Music/Movies/Books | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }


I know times might be a little tough in the print world, but come on, BACKPACKER, who wouldn’t want one of these?

Too much time rummaging through Google Books this week.

March 19, 2010 | Clothing/Gear | Continue Reading | Comments { 4 }

1972 Munich Olympic 5000 meter

What a heartbreaker of a race.

MP3: The Replacements – Alex Chilton (RIP)

March 18, 2010 | History, Long Hairs | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Cold Splinters Button/Sticker/Whatever

I imagine that I’m one of five people in the world that thinks this is cool, so not much more to do now but stare and make five stickers. But that’s fine by me.

Thank you JTK for making this for me. Would have taken me 100 years.

March 17, 2010 | Long Hairs | Continue Reading | Comments { 8 }

Mountain Bike Hall Of Fame

The sun is-a-shining out east, which means getting your bike out of the closet and cutting up an old pair of pants to make shorts for the spring and/or summer. A co-worker came in this morning talking about the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame after seeing it on an episode of Globetrekker last night. The museum, located in Crested Butte (good lord, what a town) has a fabulous website full of history, pictures (there are a few more after the jump that are way better than the one above), old Mountain Bike magazines and bike race posters.

Have at it.

Continue Reading →

March 17, 2010 | Long Hairs | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Erwin and Peggy Bauer

MP3: Loudon Wainwright III – Kick In The Head

March 16, 2010 | Art/Photography | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

Fort Union Trading Post

Fort Union Trading Post was the most important fur trading post on the upper Missouri. Built in 1828 by the American Fur Company, the post was set up not as a government or military post, but as a business, established for the specific purpose of doing business with the northern plains tribes. This trade business continued until 1867 making it the longest lasting American fur trading post.

At this post, the Assiniboine, Crow, Cree, Ojibway, Blackfeet, Hidatsa, and other tribes traded buffalo robes and furs for trade goods including items such as beads, clay pipes, guns, blankets, knives, cookware, cloth, and alcohol. Lots of alcohol. Historic visitors to the fort included John James Audubon, George Catlin, Pierre DeSmet, Sitting Bull, Karl Bodmer, and Jim Bridger.

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961.

March 15, 2010 | Public Lands | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }