Archive | February, 2011


The 1978 film Welcome to Spivey’s Corner just got added to Folkstreams a week or so ago and, like most of the films on Folkstreams, it’s absolutely amazing. The film spotlights Spivey’s Corner (then pop. 49) annual Hollerin’ Contest which still takes place every year in this tiny North Carolina town. What’s hollerin’? From

Hollerin’ is considered by some to be the earliest form of communication between humans. It is a traditional form of communication used in rural areas before the days of telecommunications to convey long-distance messages. Evidence of hollerin’, or derivations thereof such as yodeling or hunting cries, exists worldwide among many early peoples and is still be practiced in certain societies of the modern world. In one form or another, the holler has been found to exist in Europe, Africa and Asia as well as the US. Each culture used or uses hollers differently, although almost all cultures have specific hollers meant to convey warning or distress. Otherwise hollers exist for virtually any communicative purpose imaginable — greetings, general information, pleasure, work, etc. The hollers featured at the National Hollerin’ Contest typically fall into one of four categories: distress, functional, communicative or pleasure.

Spend 17 awestruck minutes here.

February 28, 2011 | History, Music/Movies/Books | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }


Be safe out there.

MP3: Bruce Cockburn – Wondering Where The Lions Are

February 25, 2011 | Have A Good Weekend | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }


On Thursday, February 17th, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society announced a VICTORY IN THE SOUTHERN OCEAN DAY. The Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker has been tailing the Japanese Nisshin Maru factory ship since February 9th, making it impossible for the whalers to continue their illegal whaling operations. The Japanese whaling fleet hadn’t even taken 10% of their quota. Sea Shepherd estimates that over 900 whales have been saved this year.

“I have a crew of 88 very happy people from 23 different nations including Japan and they are absolutely thrilled that the whalers are heading home and the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is now indeed a real sanctuary,” said Captain Paul Watson.

February 23, 2011 | The World Is On Fire! | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

MONKEY WRENCHER: Tim DeChristopher

On February 28, Tim DeChristoper goes to trial in the state of Utah. One month prior to President Bush leaving office, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) intended to auction off thousands of acres of southern Utah wilderness to private oil and gas companies. Twenty seven year old student and environmental activist Tim DeChristoper threw a stick in the spokes, and that stick was a bidders paddle.

In their mad rush to sell the land before President Obama was sworn into office, the BLM failed to properly clear each bonded bidder, something that DeChristopher quickly understood when attending the auction. DeChristoper, intending only to protest and stir things up, realized his chance amidst the haphazard operation to stall the sale by buying as much land as possible. In the end, DeChristoper had bought over 22,000 acres of land surrounding Arches National Park, land that he never intended to pay for. The truth quickly surfaced that he bid falsely to save the land from sale, but his ploy worked. The BLM, now under the Obama administration, is still sorting out the sale.

Abbey’d be proud.

Check out this article for more info on DeChristopher, and his upcoming trial.

February 22, 2011 | Politics, Public Lands, The World Is On Fire! | Continue Reading | Comments { 4 }


The lovely ladies of UPSTATE have just given the world their Spring 2011 lookbook, full of the beautiful indigo-dyed raw silk wraps, scarves, ponchos etc. that Cold Splinters has been wild about for the last year. We don’t talk about stuff like this very often (actually, never) but springtime is coming, so grab a wrap and stay warm by the fire.

February 22, 2011 | Clothing/Gear | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }


Adventurer Andrew Skurka returned last September from a 4,679 mile hike, ski, and packraft around virtually the perimeter of Alaska. The trip took him through 8 national parks, over dozens of mountain ranges, and through some of Alaska’s roughest and most scenic waterways. The guy is no joke, having finished the trip solo in 176 days (less than six months). Along the way Skurka kept tabs with us all over at his National Geographic Adventure Blog and Nat Geo wrapped up his trip with an article in the March 2011 issue. And he’s definitely not new to trips like these, check out his rap sheet.

See some amazing Nat Geo pics from Andrew’s trip here and here.

February 21, 2011 | Long Hairs | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }


Over the last two and three-quarter years, it seems as though I’ve posted a couple of old camping photos. This one, the handsome Nat Geo picture above, is post #1,000. The never ending online camping trip. Meeting all of the inspiring and creative people that come around these parts has been one hell of an experience. Y’all are a special bunch.

Melodramatic? Sure. It’s a blog. I know that. But I hope I’ll be able to write another 1,000 of these things. And if not? Maybe that’s not such a bad thing either.

See you out there, on the trail, down a river, on a ice wall in the White Mountains, or at a cantina in Bed-Stuy. Wherever it is, it’ll be good.

February 21, 2011 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 3 }

The Ridgerunner

As stated before, over the summer of 2009 my girlfriend Sarah and I rode our bicycles from Grand Rapids, MI to Portland, OR via the Transamerica Trail. During this trip, we rode through Northern Idaho, which unbeknownst to me is one of the most beautiful, remote places in America. We rode alongside the Lochsa River coming down off Lolo Pass, and into the Bitterroot Wilderness. We didn’t see a gas station for days, and in the thick of it met a man named Stacey who has been living off his bike for years (by choice), drinking water from these same rivers, fishing for his meals, sleeping on BLM land, and drifting where the fair weather does. We stopped at a small stand of cabins, and camped one night at the adjacent National Forest Campground. The cabins were packed, teaming with excited white water rafters and guides, the Lochsa roaring just across the road. In the morning we grabbed breakfast at the mess hall, and I bought this book in the lobby.

The Ridgerunner: Elusive Loner of the Wilderness by Richard Ripley:

“During the early 1940s in Idaho’s expansive Selway-Bitterroot wilderness, a few items disappeared from a tent camp, a lookout tower, and a ranger station. Eventually, the continuing loss of food and supplies at such isolated sites confirmed the presence of a mysterious solitary. For years no one saw him, even though he entered Forest Service quarters while employees slept. In the winter, when he did leave tracks, they were found on the most inhospitable ridges and earned him the regard of locals who appreciated the cost of survival under such circumstances. Once apprehended, the Ridgerunner proved to be both witty and ornery – a man who said he simply wanted “to live like a coyote,” and who was so woodswise and contentious that he vexed the government and a major timber company for the next 20 years.”

I’m just about to read this book for the fourth time. Grab it.

Photo: Moreland (The Ridgerunner) raising the flag in front of his shelter at Milk Creek.

February 17, 2011 | Long Hairs, Music/Movies/Books | Continue Reading | Comments { 4 }

Wilson Bentley

Wilson “Snowflake Man” Bentley was one of the first known photographers of snowflakes. Bentley was born in Jericho, VT in 1865, and when he turned 15, his mother gave him a microscope. Bentley soon figured out how to capture a snowflake on velvet so it wouldn’t melt before he could take a photograph. He captured over 5,000 images in his lifetime, famously never finding two snowflakes that were alike. Awwww.

Bentley’s 1931 book, Snow Crystals, contains more than 2,400 images and can be purchased right here.

February 16, 2011 | Art/Photography | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

The Complete Europe 72

No secret around these parts that Cold Splinters has a thing for the Good Ol’ Grateful Dead. Especially for Europe 72. So a couple of weeks ago, when a friend sent us this link explaining that the Grateful Dead and Rhino Records will be releasing a huge and lavish box set of more than 60 CDs containing every show of the Europe ’72 tour, mixed and mastered from the original 16-track tapes, we were more than excited. And yes, maybe this is old news to some of you, but after all the sunshine this week, it’s hard not to daydream of driving with the windows down listening to “Ramble On Rose” on the way back from a three day stint in the woods.

The 7,200 pre-order of the box set sold out in four days, but it seems as though the band will make the music available to anyone who wants to hear it. Thanks Bob.

For those of you who weren’t lucky enough to get the box set, I’ll let you know how it is…

MP3: Grateful Dead – Ramble on Rose

February 16, 2011 | Camping, Music/Movies/Books | Continue Reading | Comments { 3 }