Archive | May, 2010

Cold Splinters + The Curiosity Shoppe

A few weeks ago, the kind folks at San Francisco’s Curiosity Shoppe asked if I would contribute to their Ideal Bookshelf series. I put the task in the hands of my personal prop stylist, Kalen Kaminski, and this is what she came up with. Looks great. Nothing goes with the vision quests of Black Elk Speaks better than Woody Allen.

If you’re in San Francisco, go to the store and check it out. And if anyone wants to buy this thing for me, be my guest…

May 17, 2010 | Art/Photography | Continue Reading | Comments { 4 }

Dolly Sods Wilderness

The 17,371-acre Dolly Sods Wilderness in Monongahela National Forest, WV is named after the Dalhe family, who in the mid-1800s, used open grassy fields called “sods” for grazing sheep in the area. Located high on the Allegheny Plateau, Dolly Sods is known for its rocky plains and upland bogs. It is the highest plateau of its type east of the Mississippi River with altitude ranging from around 4,000 feet to about 2,700 feet. The lower elevations consist of a forest of northern hardwoods and laurel thickets. Higher up, groves of wind-stunted red spruce stand near heath barrens where azaleas, mountain laurels, rhododendron, and blueberries grow.

David Hunter Strother (“Porte Crayon”) wrote an early description of the area, published in Harper’s Monthly magazine in 1852:

“In Randolph County, Virginia, is a tract of country containing from seven to nine hundred square miles, entirely uninhabited, and so savage and inaccessible that it has rarely been penetrated even by the most adventurous. The settlers on its borders speak of it with a sort of dread, and regard it as an ill-omened region, filled with bears, panthers, impassable laurel-brakes, and dangerous precipices. Stories are told of hunters having ventured too far, becoming entangled, and perishing in its intricate labyrinths. The desire of daring the unknown dangers of this mysterious region, stimulated a party of gentlemen . . . to undertake it in June, 1851. They did actually penetrate the country as far as the Falls of the Blackwater, and returned with marvelous accounts of its savage grandeur, and the quantities of game and fish to be found there.”

May 17, 2010 | Camping, Public Lands | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Have a Good Weekend

I’ll see you when I see you.

MP3: Del Shannon – Sea Of Love

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

Mojave Cross Stolen

Over the past few years, the cross on Sunrise Rock in Mojave National Preserve has been at the center of a rather ridiculous lawsuit. The ACLU has been trying to get the cross taken down citing the ol’ separation of church and state. On April 28, the Supreme Court ruled the cross did not violate the constitutional separation of church and state.

Unfortunately, the 7-foot-tall metal structure was stolen Sunday night from Sunrise Rock. The Liberty Institute is now offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction in the case, and the National Park Service has established a tip hotline seeking information leading to the recovery of the cross. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Park Service at (760) 252-6120.

The Latin cross was first erected in 1934 by a local Veterans of Foreign War unit. It has been rebuilt several times over the years, and Easter services are held annually at the remote desert site.

More info at FOX News.

MP3: Carl Perkins – Gone Gone Gone

May 13, 2010 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 8 }


It’s spring y’all, and that means lots of edible things along the trail. One of the more common (aka easy to identify) is the cattail. Peal back a few layers of the shoot, cut em up and you’ll have yourself a damn fine addition to your pasta/instant mashed potatoes/rice/etc etc. Watch an “expert” show you how here.

May 13, 2010 | Flora/Fauna, Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Only God Can Make A Tree

It’s New Deal Tuesday. The famous “Only God Can Make A Tree” poster was created by Federal Art Project artist Stanley Thomas Clough – he did this one and this one too. Clough was a printer, lithographer, illustrator, and etcher. The title of the poster is taken from Joyce Kilmer’s poem “Trees,” which you can read below.

I THINK that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

May 11, 2010 | Quotes/Poetry | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }


Five days after his 1933 inauguration, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called an emergency session of Congress to install one of his most popular New Deal programs, the Conservation Civilian Corps.

The program targeted unemployed young men, veterans and American Indians hard hit by the Great Depression. The CCC boys received free education, healthcare and job training and were required to send a portion of their wages home to their parents. The boys also

Throughout its nine-year existence, the program put millions to work on federal and state land for the ‘prevention of forest fires, floods, and soil erosion, plant, pest, and disease control.’ Nationwide, enrollees planted three billion trees and came to be known as the Tree Army.

The photos above are from the Oregon Public Broadcast’s Oregon Experience: CCC. Oregon hosted dozens of CCC camps all over the state, where enrollees fought fires on the Tillamook Burns, helped build ski areas on Mt Hood, built telephone and electrical wires, and improved farm lands.

If you don’t know too much about the CCC, start here. If you find it as interesting, which you will, and want to read more, then go here.

MP3: Reverend Gary Davis – Down By The River

May 11, 2010 | History | Continue Reading | Comments { 3 }

Lamprey River, New Hampshire

I had the joy of running beside the beautiful Lamprey River this last weekend while visiting my folks in New Hampshire. The Lamprey originates in the Saddleback Mountains, Northwood, New Hampshires and flows 47.3 miles to the Great Bay. It has the largest quantity of anadromous fish (fish born in fresh water, spending most of their lives in the sea and returning to fresh water to spawn. Salmon, smelt, shad, striped bass, and sturgeon are common examples.) in the Great Bay watershed and hosts substantial numbers of freshwater mussels. The segment of the Lamprey from the Bunker Pond Dam in the town of Epping to the confluence with the Piscassic River in the vicinity of the Durham-Newmarket town line is part of the Wild and Scenic River system. 11.5 miles were designated on November 12, 1996 and another 12 miles were designated May 2, 2000. The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 states: 

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States that certain selected rivers of the Nation which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural or other similar values, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Congress declares that the established national policy of dams and other construction at appropriate sections of the rivers of the United States needs to be complemented by a policy that would preserve other selected rivers or sections thereof in their free-flowing condition to protect the water quality of such rivers and to fulfill other vital national conservation purposes.

May 10, 2010 | Public Lands | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Massive Beaver Dam

Biologists have recently stumbled upon an enormous beaver dam, over a half mile long, in a remote region of Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta, Canada. The biologists believe it may have taken 20 years to complete, with several beaver families all helping to pile its wood, mud, and stone. It dwarfs a 1,956 foot dam in Montana previously thought to be the largest. The dam was able to reach such a massive size because multiple beaver families contributed to its construction, which required thousands of trees to produce. More info at Treehugger.

MP3: Hot Tuna – How Long Blues

May 6, 2010 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Ed Abbey at the Telluride Ideas Festival, 1986


May 6, 2010 | Interviews | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }