Archive | April, 2010


Kalen, Nicholas and Astrid have been making shibori scarves and wraps in my apartment for the past few months, and you can finally see, courtesy of Daniel, their mad creations. All you have to do is click here. Holy heck are they beautiful.

April 9, 2010 | Art/Photography | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Ghost Deer

The albino deer, or “ghost deer,” of northern Wisconsin are documented on a Wisconsin Public Television episode that you can watch in full here. The deer are protected from hunting by Wisconsin law and are somewhat of a mythical creature around those parts. Rightfully so.

Thank you Mr. Alvarez of Backpacker’s Daily Dirt.

April 9, 2010 | Flora/Fauna | Continue Reading | Comments { 5 }


When I was a young one at camp in Bemidji (if you read this rag, I talk about camp way too much, so apologies), I spent a lot of activity-time riding bikes around camp property and the open Minnesota highways. The bike instructor was a guy named Moonpie (all the counselors had nicknames) who had long dark hair and, around the campfire, sang “Ramble On Rose” like a little mouse. I was one of the few guys in my cabin who thought Moonpie oozed cool, so I spent a lot of time up at the bike shed with him, playing guitar while he blew up tires and did bike repair. I’m sure he thought I was wildly annoying, but I didn’t think about that at the time, so I continued on with my shiny black Washburn, hoping that if I sang “Run Around” enough times, my voice would drop.

Since then, I can’t help but equate Moonpies with the outdoors and, well, being cool, bikes and Jerry Garcia. I never did ask him where he got his name, but I can only imagine him showing up at the steps of the mess hall with a great big Moonpie in his mouth, asking for a job. And knowing the lame stories and lack of effort behind some other counselor’s names, that probably isn’t too far off.

Anyway, I was cleaning out my backpack the other night to get ready for the upcoming months and found a chocolate Moonpie stuffed in the bottom of my bag. I end up buying them a lot on my way to the trail, but can’t remember ever actually liking them very much, so it was no surprise to find it. It was months old, from the last trip I took to God knows where, but still looked edible, so what’s a boy to do but eat a chocolate Moonpie.

Great name. Not so great dessert.

April 8, 2010 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

Theodore Roosevelt Letter Up For Auction

An illustrated letter that President Theodore Roosevelt wrote from Yellowstone National Park to his 6-year-old son, Quentin, is being sold in Philadelphia for $25K. In the 1903 letter, Roosevelt tells his youngest son what life was like in Yellowstone. The note includes a sketch the president made of a mule carrying his gear. (via)

MP3: Sonny and Cher – The Letter

April 7, 2010 | History | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }


A tumpline is a strap attached at both ends to a backpack used to carry an object by placing the strap over the top of the head. The strap utilizes the spine rather than the shoulders as standard backpack straps do. In North America, you’re most likely to see a tumpline being used on a Duluth Pack and/or to portage a canoe. (Canoe link opens as a PDF)

I’ve actually never used one of these while backpacking. Have you?

April 6, 2010 | Clothing/Gear | Continue Reading | Comments { 5 }

Sassafras Tea

Sassafras is found mostly in the eastern United States and is characterized by the three distinct leaves on the same tree, making it pretty darn easy to spot while you’re on the trail. Pull up the roots of the small ones and use them to make tea. It’ll taste just like root beer.

April 6, 2010 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 3 }

Have a Good Weekend

“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.” – William Shakespeare

MP3: Old and In The Way – Hard Hearted

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