Archive | June, 2011

Our State Parks

The NYT takes a look at the state park dilemma and what some parks will be doing to stay open this season:

Here in Washington, one of only a handful of states that has not charged entrance fees to state parks, the revenue stream is about to change. Beginning July 1, the parks will no longer receive state money for their operating budgets. Instead, they will rely directly on new entrance fees — $30 for an annual pass, $10 for one day. It is far from clear that the new plan will compensate for the $70 million in state money that parks are losing each year.

“We’re totally free of the tax system,” said Jack Hartt, the manager here at Deception Pass State Park. “If you support the park system, you’ll buy a pass. If not, you won’t.”

“Customers,” Mr. Hartt said, “is the new buzzword.”

June 7, 2011 | Public Lands | Continue Reading | Comments { 3 }

Dunbar’s Number

What is Dunbar’s number? Well, in short, it’s the idea that human beings can only hold about 150 meaningful relationships in their heads. Read much more about it here. The number came about while British anthropologist, Robin Dunbar, was doing research about the business model of Bill Gore, one of the creators of Gore-Tex.

While Gore-Tex was growing in the 1980s, Gore would visit his factory and realize he didn’t know everyone working there. He came to the conclusion that once a company had more than 150 people, things no longer ran smoothly. So he made a decision to cap the factory at 150 employees, and when the company needed to expand, he would build another factory.

Read more about Gore’s business model and listen to the All Thing Considered episode about Dunbar’s number here.

MP3: George Harrison – Devil’s Radio

June 6, 2011 | Clothing/Gear | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

8 Lookouts in 10 Days

Thank you to Casey Greene from Adventure Cycling for sending over these photos of a biking trip he did in July of 2010. From the Selkirks in Northern Idaho to the North Fork Flathead Valley in Montana, Casey stayed at eight Forest Service lookouts in ten days. Good stuff.

June 6, 2011 | Camping, Public Lands | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

New Balance Rainier

I found this pair of B+ condition New Balance Rainiers over Memorial Day Weekend. The Rainier and the Allagash were NB’s lightweight hiking boots made in the 80s that touted themselves as the lightweight hiker that you can “actually hike in” because of their generous support on the ankles. Perhaps that’s true, and with the Vibrams on mine in such good shape, I suppose I’ll find out, won’t I? Mmmhmmmm.

Excuse the poor phone pictures.

June 1, 2011 | Clothing/Gear | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

The Ranger, the Cook and a Hole in the Sky

Surfing the “westerns” section on Netflix yesterday, I stumbled across the 1995 film The Ranger, the Cook & a Hole in the Sky. Starring Sam Elliot and a young Jerry O’Connell as cocky, over-confident Forest Service Ranger in 1919 in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in Idaho, this film is pretty corny and screams made-for-tv (even though it wasn’t). But watch it anyways. In researching the film a little more, I saw that the film was adapted from a semi-autobiographical collection of stories by Norman Maclean titled A River Runs Through It. From what I hear, the book is leagues better, as is often the case, telling the tale of Maclean’s own stint as a seventeen-year-old Forest Service Ranger in Idaho. Aside from “The Ranger, the Cook & a Hole in the Sky”, the book includes two other stories, “Logging and Pimping and Your Old Pal Jim” and the title story “A River Runs Through It”. A River Runs Through It was, as I’m sure most of you know, also made into a film in 1992 (by Robert Redford), starring a young Brad Pitt. Who’s seen these films? And more importantly, read this book? Just grabbed the book on ebay this morning.

Watch the trailer for A River Runs Through It here.

June 1, 2011 | Music/Movies/Books | Continue Reading | Comments { 9 }