Archive | April, 2010

Gerald Primeaux, Sr.

I posted this song a long, long time ago, so if you missed it the first time, do yourself a favor and listen. If you’ve already heard it, listen again and then buy the rest of the album here. I could try to explain who Gerald Primeaux, Sr. is or what his harmonized Native American Church music sounds like, but I’m sure I’d get it all wrong. Instead, read the wonderful information on his page at Turtle Island Storytellers Network, an American Indian online speakers bureau that promotes 80 tribal storytellers, historians and song carriers. The network, funded by the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, National Park Service and the National Endowment for the Arts, was developed to provide speaking and consulting opportunities for tribal elders, oral historians, storytellers and song carriers from 13 states in the Northwest and Northern Plains states:

Gerald Primeaux Senior, I am a Huntawa Lakota from the Yankton Sioux Reservation. My name is Chactawa which means Twin Eagle Boy. I was born in 1963 on the Yankton, South Dakota, my dad was Asa Primeaux Senior. His dad, my grampa, was Harry Primeaux Senior. My great grandfather was Mitchell Primeaux and his dad was Ed Primeaux, that was on my dad’s side. My mom’s side, we come from the Rainbow Tiyospaye, Rainbow side. My mom was Loretta Charity Rainbow and her dad Harry Rainbow and then his dad was a medicine man just went by the name of Rainbow in our, among our people, that’s where we come from. They call us the Yankton Sioux, the land of the friendly people, you know, that’s where I’m from, that’s where I come from.

We grew up watching our Elders, like my father and my grandfather, and the way they expressed themselves through songs, through this Native American Church style, through going into the sweat lodge, through the dance arbors, to pow wow and then sun dance. I feel like a very fortunate person to be able to carry on something that they did before me and when I had no understanding of it but I think throughout the years, understanding comes with the knowledge and the know how. And then now feeling that, being strong in that, through song, through words, through our language, putting it through music, trying to learn like that the way they taught us.

My grandfather always told me, Harry Primeaux, “When you do something, you’re going to sing, grandson,” he said, “listen.” He said, “Sing it right. Know what you’re singing about.”

So through there now, I’m at the position to where, through the language and through my prayers, I put them through song. You know, to try to remember the prayers like when we’re singing, that’s what it’s about. It’s about keeping the Mother Earth turning

The old people said it made the blind see, it healed the broken bones. You know, the story goes, it came to the Indian people through they say the trail of tears, you know, the trail of the tears the white man was putting us on reservations and they were saying we couldn’t pray this way, we couldn’t talk this way or we couldn’t, they were saying that to us and a woman fell behind when she was trying to keep up with her people and she fell over, ready to just give herself up and die, you know.

So maybe through that life she was carrying, a plant was saying, talking to her, telling her, “Why don’t you eat me? Eat me and you will be well. So this lady ate this medicine. She was able to get a little bit of strength so she could sit up again and she gathered all what she can around her and she stayed there for about a week eating medicine. She was able to get her strength back. She was nourished. So she walked forward and she caught up with her people.

She kind of shared with the medicine man what she, what she found on the ground and how it talked to her, how it had some kind of life into it. So they ate it.

But that’s how it came to us, as a medicine and now its spread out all over the place and, it has similar ways, it all has similar ways. You go into pray, you go into eat medicine, you go in there to get healed, maybe encourage to where they stay all night and they pray all night to where by the time that sun comes up there is a way of greeting that sun. Greeting the new day to go forward, you know, that was how the understanding that was taught into me.

MP3: Gerald Primeaux, Sr. – Two Harmonized Peyote Songs

April 30, 2010 | Native American | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Mount Mazama + Crater Lake

Before Crater Lake came into existence, a cluster of volcanoes dominated the landscape. This cluster, called Mount Mazama (for the Portland, Oregon climbing club the Mazamas), was destroyed during an enormous explosive eruption 7,700 years ago. The eruption, estimated to have been 420 times more powerful than Mount St. Helens’ 1980 blast, reduced Mazama’s approximate 14,000-foot height by around a mile. So much molten rock was expelled that the summit area collapsed during the eruption to form a large volcanic depression, or caldera. Subsequent smaller eruptions occured as water began to filled the caldera to eventually form Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States.

April 30, 2010 | History | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Good Ol’ Cold Splinters Stickers

When I made a sheet of eight “Good Ol’ Cold Splinters” stickers a few weeks ago, I certainly didn’t think that anyone would want one. But when I mentioned that I had put one on the back of my car, I got a lot of emails asking for one. After debating whether or not I should actually offer them up (making a sticker that says the name of your blog is a little, well, ya know….) I’ve decided to make a few 3″ round stickers if you really want one. Which I’m sure you do…

Send $3.00 on PayPal to and I’ll get one out to you. Enjoy it. Send me a picture if you actually stick it somewhere.

MP3: The Black Crowes – Sometimes Salvation

April 29, 2010 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

Righty and Lefty

After spending most of my yesteryear in the Chicago suburbs, I was always under the impression that Euchre was a midwest thing. But after living in New England New York for the last five years (good lord), I’ve found more and more people from all over the country who know how to play. (They were taught by a midwesterner?) If you find someone who knows what Righty and Lefty are, it’s an instant bond, an instant club. Whenever my college roommate’s family came to visit, we would go to dinner, stock up at Liquormart and then rush home to start a Euchre tournament that would usually last most of the night. What a way to spend a Friday.

It also happens to be the #1 card game for sitting around a campfire in a Crazy Creek, so if you don’t know how to play, ask a friend to teach you. And if you don’t have any friends that know how to play, bummer.

April 28, 2010 | Camping | Continue Reading | Comments { 4 }

The Conquest Of Everest

On May 29, 1953, at the age of 33, Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers known to have reached the 29,029 foot summit of Mount Everest. Hulu has the full stream of The Conquest Of Everest, a documentary about the expedition, so if you’d like, you can click here and watch the film in its entirety.

April 26, 2010 | Camping, Music/Movies/Books | Continue Reading | Comments { 3 }

right back in the same mountains they had left behind.

From A Novelist Looks at the Land” by Sharyn McCrumb:

In Traces on the Appalachians: A History of Serpentine in America, geologist Kevin Dann writes that the first Appalachian journey was the one made by the mountains themselves.

The proof of this can be found in a vein of a green mineral called serpentine which forms its own subterranean “Appalachian Trail” along America’s eastern mountains, stretching from north Georgia to the hills of Nova Scotia, where it seems to stop. This same vein of serpentine can be found in the mountains of western Ireland, where it again stretches north into Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, and the Orkneys, finally ending in the Arctic Circle. More than two hundred and fifty million years ago the mountains of Appalachia and the mountains of Great Britain fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Continental drift pulled them apart at the same time it formed the Atlantic Ocean.

The mountains’ family connection to Britain reinforced what I had felt about the migration patterns of the early settlers.  People forced to leave a land they loved come to America. Hating the flat, crowded eastern seaboard, they head westward on the Wilderness Road until they reach the wall of mountains. They follow the valleys south-southwest down through Pennsylvania, and finally find a place where the ridges rise, where you can see vistas of mountains across the valley. The Scots, the Irish, the Welsh, the Cornishmen – all those who had lives along the other end of the serpentine chain – to them this place must have looked right. Must have felt right. Like home.  And they were right back in the same mountains they had left behind.

Continue Reading →

April 23, 2010 | Camping, History | Continue Reading | Comments { 4 }

Every day is Earth Day

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day.

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. *

Above: My Earth Day pin from 1990.

April 22, 2010 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 4 }

Dr. Bronner’s

Yeah, it’s good for shampooing your hair, washing your body, brushing your teeth and shaving your face while you’re out on the trail (who shaves on the trail?), but if you’ve got nothing to do but waste time around the fire before you get tired, there’s not much better reading material than Dr. Bronner’s labels. Click the image to read it now, but I’d wait until you’re out under the stars. Or you can leave the soap at home and read a far more interesting book. Guess that works too…

April 22, 2010 | Clothing/Gear | Continue Reading | Comments { 6 }

Cold Splinters + Aquarium Drunkard

After months of emailing, I finally met Justin Gage in Austin, Texas, while sneaking him and his wife, Melissa, into a show at the FADER Fort. I was/am a huge fan of Aquarium Drunkard because, let’s be honest, it’s the best music website that the Internet has. The Internets was made so sites like Aquarium Drunkard could exist. At the time, I was still working in music, and while I can’t remember the exact moment that Justin and I decided that we liked each other, I’m sure it started around one of the many times I would apologize for emailing him about whatever crap band I was being paid to email him about. That was almost four years ago.

Since then, Justin and I have stayed friends, seeing each other when we’re down in Austin and getting together whenever he visits the East Coast. A few years ago, Justin stayed with my girlfriend and I for a night in the Chinatown closet we called home, where he so willingly woke us up by finding my Europe ’72 vinyl and blasting “Ramble On Rose.” If that’s not the best damn alarm clock in the world, then I don’t know what is.

Several weeks ago, Mr. Gage and I were talking about his wife’s cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains, a place her father built with his own two hands. After the conversation, he emailed and asked if I would contribute to his mixtape series on that wonderful SIRIUS show that he does. I calmly said “YES,” put together a few songs that I’ve posted on Cold Splinters and a few songs that I haven’t, went on over to the SIRIUS offices in midtown Manhattan and sat in a booth making fun of myself and this website while recording the transitions for the show. “This is Jeff from Cold Splinters, a camping website you’ve never read and probably never will, and you just heard Paul McCartney’s ‘Big Barn Bed.’”

It’ll be on this Friday, but the tracks can be downloaded on AD this very instant.

Thanks Justin. You’re the goddamn best.

MP3: The Monkees – As We Go Along

April 21, 2010 | Long Hairs | Continue Reading | Comments { 7 }

Simple Twist Of Fate


Sorry for the lack of posts. These park guides don’t write themselves, I suppose.

Youtube: Jerry Garcia Band – Simple Twist Of Fate

April 20, 2010 | The World Is On Fire! | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }