Archive | July, 2010


The Chihuahuan Desert straddles the U.S.-Mexico border in the central and northern portions of the Mexican Plateau, bordered on the west by the extensive Sierra Madre Occidental range, and overlaying northern portions of the east range, the Sierra Madre Oriental. On the U.S. side it occupies the valleys and basins of central and southern New Mexico, Texas west of the Pecos River and southeastern Arizona. The Chihuahuan has an area of 139,769 sq miles, making it the third largest desert in the Western Hemisphere and the second largest in North America, after the Great Basin Desert.

Above are drawings from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s BIG BEND REGION COLORING BOOK, which includes Big Bend Ranch State Park, the largest state park in Texas, with over 300,000 acres of Chihuahuan Desert wilderness and 66 miles of trail. Have at it.

July 19, 2010 | Art/Photography, Camping, Desert Solitaire | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Have One Hell Of A Weekend

See y’all when the weekend comes to its premature end. Enjoy the sunshine and Happy Trails.

MP3: Bill Fay – Maudy la Lune

MP3: Bill Fay – We Want You to Stay

MP3: Bill Fay – Tiny

July 16, 2010 | Have A Good Weekend | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program

This year’s winner of the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program was Rui Huang, 18, from Ohio, whose Hooded Merganser is on top. (Illinois is in the middle, North Carolina on bottom.) View all the past winners here.

From the FWS:

In 1989, with a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), Dr. Joan Allemand developed the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program, a dynamic arts curriculum that teaches wetlands and waterfowl conservation to students from kindergarten through high school. The program incorporates scientific and wildlife management principles into a visual arts curriculum. Participants complete a JDS design as their visual “term papers,” thus using visual arts, rather than verbal communication, to articulate what they have learned. Through this program, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service introduces the Federal Duck Stamp program and the National Wildlife Refuge System to participants and educates new generations of citizens about the importance of waterfowl and wetlands conservation.

July 15, 2010 | Art/Photography | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

My Favorite Dirt Roads

My Favorite Dirt Roads

(via An Ambitious Project Collapsing)

MP3: John Mayall – Country Road

July 14, 2010 | Art/Photography | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

Venice, California, Easter Sunday, 1972

MP3: Joni Mitchell – You Turn Me On I’m A Radio

MP3: Jackson Browne – Ready Or Not

MP3: Cass Elliot – (If You’re Gonna) Break Another Heart

July 14, 2010 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 3 }

The Tracker

Read: The Tracker by Tom Brown Jr.

Go: Tom Brown Jr.’s Tracker School

July 14, 2010 | Music/Movies/Books | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

“This 1980′s Camper Thinks It’s an S.U.V.”

In case you haven’t read it yet, The Adventure Life reprinted a wonderful New York Times article by Chris Dixon from 2003 about the Volkswagen Sycnro. Why? Because Steve Casimiro, the man behind TAL, just bought one himself:

I have been searching for the perfect adventure vehicle for years. Pickup trucks with camper shells, SUVs, Sportsmobiles, pop-up trailers…none of them have been right for me. Then I discovered the Volkswagen Westfalia Syncro van. Forget everything you know about VW vans—this extremely rare model has a military-inspired chassis and full-time four-wheel-drive with locking differential. It sleeps four, has a fridge, sink, and stove, fits in the driveway, and will go anywhere.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t been made since 1991. And it was only available for six years, with just 1,500 sold. However, after 18 months of searching, I finally found the right one and last week I pulled the trigger and dropped a big pile of cash on a beautiful 1990 model. With a new Subaru engine, it cruises the freeway at 75 and, though I’ve only used one tank of gas, gets 24 mpg. I couldn’t be happier.

Read the rest of the article and see a ton of great pictures, including the sea-foam Syncro that Chris Dixon just fixed up for Jimmy Buffett, at The Adventure Life.

Youtube: Jimmy Buffett – God Don’t Own A Car

July 13, 2010 | Long Hairs | Continue Reading | Comments { 5 }


Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is named after 1700s Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza (also the namesake for the Juan Bautista de Anza National Scenic Trail) and from the Spanish word Borrego meaning Bighorn sheep. With 600,000 acres that include one fifth of San Diego County within its borders, Anza-Borrego is the largest State Park in California, and after New York’s Adirondack Park, it’s the second largest one in all the continental United States.

MP3: Sugar Minott – Good Thing Going*

MP3: Sugar Minott – Just Don’t Wanna Be Lonely

July 13, 2010 | Camping | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

National Park Service Rangers

The term “Ranger” was first applied to a reorganization of the Fire Warden force in the Adirondack Park, after 1899 when fires burned 80,000 acres in the park. The name was taken from Rogers’ Rangers, a small force famous for their woodcraft that fought in the area during the French and Indian War in 1755. The term was then adopted by the National Park Service.

The first Director of the National Park Service, Stephen T. Mather, summed up the early park rangers as follows:

They are a fine, earnest, intelligent, and public-spirited body of men, these rangers. Though small in number, their influence is large. Many and long are the duties heaped upon their shoulders. If a trail is to be blazed, it is “send a ranger.” If an animal is floundering in the snow, a ranger is sent to pull him out; if a bear is in the hotel, if a fire threatens a forest, if someone is to be saved, it is “send a ranger.” If a Dude wants to know the why, if a Sagebrusher is puzzled about a road, it is “ask the ranger.” Everything the ranger knows, he will tell you, except about himself.****

****Lots more photos after the jump.

Continue Reading →

July 12, 2010 | Long Hairs, Public Lands | Continue Reading | Comments { 7 }

Powdered Eggs

Yes, it’s always nice to have fresh eggs while camping, but for the excursions that last more than a night or two, that just ain’t going to happen. Try bringing along little bags of the yellow powder that lives atop your fridge in a huge Honeyville tin can. For one reason or another, I had never really considered the powdered egg, but I’m a sucker for a hot meal in the morning, and while oatmeal is one of life’s great pleasures, it’s been good to change up the morning routine. (Bring the Pocket Rocket.)

Scared of them? No, of course not. Because they’re not bad. At all. In fact, they’re damn good. (Eggs whites are all hunky dory for breakfast before work, but before a long hike, I opt for the whole egg.) Does a body good-ish.  And if you want to know how they’re made, here’s what Honeyville has to say:

Egg products are processed in sanitary facilities under rigorous inspection by the United States Department of Agriculture.  The first step in making egg products is breaking the eggs and separating the yolks and whites from the unwanted shells.  Eggs are processed by automated equipment that move the eggs from flats, wash and sanitize the shells, break the eggs and separate the whites and the yolks or keeps them together for whole egg products.  The liquid egg products is filtered, mixed, and then chilled prior to additional processing.  This liquid egg product (in a pasteurized format) is what you get when you re-hydrate your powdered egg product.  From here the egg product is pasteurized.  The law requires that all egg products distributed for consumption be pasteurized.  This means they must be rapidly heated and held at a minimum required temperature for a specified time.  This process destroys Salmonella and any other bacteria, but does not cook the egg or affect the color, flavor, or nutritional value.  Dried egg products are powdered by spraying the liquid egg into a heated drying room.  The powder is left in the drying room for a specified time to get the desired consistency.

July 8, 2010 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }