Archive | January, 2012

Salt, Bacon, jellybeans etc.

In 1937, Edward Weston was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a first for a photographer. He was given a two thousand dollar stipend and, with his companion Charis Wilson (whom he would later marry), he would photograph the American West from April 1937 to April 1938. Ansel Adams (pictured above) invited the couple to visit Yosemite, where he would take them to the High Sierra, a place that Weston had never visited. Upon arriving in Ansel Adams country, Weston wrote the following:

We speculated on what gastric adventures lay before us. Back at the start of our travels we had written Ansel to ask if he knew where we could get dehydrated vegetables. He had answered no, but anyway they were an insult to the taste buds; years of camping had taught him the needs of the outdoor diet were few and simple: salt, sugar, bacon, flour, jelly beans, and whiskey.*

Salt, sugar, bacon, flour, jelly beans, and whiskey. Well, that is one of the best things I have heard in a long while. And I hate jellybeans. But that list is just wonderful. Love it.
January 10, 2012 | Quotes/Poetry | Continue Reading | Comments { 4 }

Obama And The Grand Canyon

Yesterday, the Obama administration enacted a 20-year ban on new uranium mining claims in northern Arizona. Opposition groups claim that it will cost jobs, but according to this article in The Guardian, the measure does not affect some 3,000 existing mining claims around the canyon.

In the final years of the George Bush presidency, when uranium prices were rising worldwide, mining companies filed thousands of new claims in northern Arizona, on lands near the Grand Canyon. Sadly, one creek in the park is known to be contaminated by uranium, and the government’s environmental impact review found high levels of arsenic from old uranium operations.

But of course, like anything in the realm of politics, the ban is undoubtedly dubious. If you want more information, head on over to Adventure Journal and read a great article by Michael Frank on the issue. And for further insight, read the speech that Teddy Roosevelt made at the Grand Canyon on May 6th, 1903.

January 10, 2012 | Politics | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }


Great for the trail. Cook your lentils and rice, heat up some onions, toss with a little cumin and allspice (cinnamon is good too) and have at it. Mujadara.

More complete recipe can be found here.

MP3: Charles Mingus – Solo Dancer

January 9, 2012 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Toyota Trekker

I could try and rearrange all this info to make it look like I knew a lot about the Toyota Trekker, but since I was first introduced to these beauties from this post on Jalopnik, I’ll just repost it here. One day, I will be a subscriber to this magazine, but for now, the Subaru is doing just fine. Unreal:

Several years before the 4runner was introduced to the world an odd collaboration between Toyota and Winnebago produced a little known compact SUV conversion called the Trekker.

Production numbers vary depending on who you ask, but its generally agreed upon that somewhere between 1000 and 1500 Trekkers were produced between 1981 and 1983. 30 years later Trekkers are even rarer than when they were new which is why we were so intrigued to find a pristine example listed for sale on Ebay.

Trekkers were originally sold and marketed as Winnebagos. The motor home company received partially built Toyota trucks and sub-contracted out construction of the fiberglass body before completing final assembly. After final assembly they were available for order to Toyota dealers.

Exact Trekker history is sketchy at best and there are several different versions of the exact story of these trucks. Some point to Toyota dealers talking Winnebago into producing the trucks, while others suggest the company won the right to build the trucks directly from Toyota’s Japanese HQ.

Regardless of how it came about it’s clear from examining this very original 1981 example that conceptually the Trekker was an early version of what would become the wildly popular first generation 4runner. Because they were specialty vehicles when new Trekkers came equipped with pretty much any option you can imagine on a 1981 Toyota truck, but underneath the hood of the notoriously bullet proof 4 cylinder 22R engine remained.

It’s nearly impossible to find any Trekker considering how few were made when new, especially an example as original as this one. It’s understandable then that the price of obscure old Toyota SUV ownership isn’t exactly cheap. This well kept example has a listed buy it now price of $16,500.

MP3: Black Flag – Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie

January 9, 2012 | Clothing/Gear | Continue Reading | Comments { 3 }


As a young person at summer camp in northern Minnesota, Original Corn Nuts were just about the greatest thing you could find in a package sent to you by your parents. And while these days I’d take the bargain bin variety (corn, olive oil, salt if you can find it) over the ubiquitous Planters-owned bags, it’s a sure bet that you’ll find Corn Nuts at one of the gas stations en route to whatever trail it is you’re driving to. (And of course, making your own is always the best option.) Most of the cooks on television will tell you to finish off a meal with some freshly chopped herbs, but when most of your food consists of sandwiches for lunch and noodles for dinner, there is no better garnish than the Corn Nut. Just a few sprinkled on whatever it is you’re eating (Almond Butter, bananas, and Corn Nuts on a pita? Yes, please.) and you’re golden.

Only thing better? If you’ve got a Latin Food market near you, try to find Peruvian Cancha. Heat it up in a little oil with whatever seasonings you’re hip to and put a big ol’ bag of them in your pack before you leave. And speaking of corny…

MP3: Fleetwood Mac – You and I, Part II

January 5, 2012 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }


Past winners of American mapmaking’s most prestigious honor, the “Best of Show” award at the annual competition of the Cartography and Geographic Information Society, include National Geographic, the CIA Cartography Center, and the U.S. Census Bureau. But earlier this year, the 38th annual Best of Show award went to a map created by Imus Geographics—which, according to, is “basically one dude named David Imus working in a farmhouse outside Eugene, Ore.” The map took Imus 6,000 hours (seven days a week for two years straight) to complete.

Read more about Imus’ map here, which includes relief shading instead of the standard hypsometric tinting (darker colors for lower elevations, lighter colors for higher altitudes). This gives the map a more accurate portrait of America’s terrain.

January 4, 2012 | Art/Photography | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }


MP3: Aphex Twin – 4

January 4, 2012 | Camping | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Peeling Back The Bark

Over the past couple of weeks, I have spent an unhealthy amount of time on Peeling Back The Barkthe wonderful blog of the Forest History Society (whose website and archives are just as good). The Forest History Society is a “nonprofit educational institution that links the past to the future by identifying, collecting, preserving, interpreting, and disseminating information on the history of interactions between people, forests, and their related resources — timber, water, soil, forage, fish and wildlife, recreation, and scenic or spiritual values.”

Yep. Sounds good to me.

From Forgotten Characters of Forest History (do you know Ev’rett The Forest Evergreen?) to the American Tree Farm archival documents, the whole site is the toppermost. Best way to experience it is to experience it, so click here.

January 3, 2012 | Public Lands | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }


Sad way to start off 2012. If you’ve been watching the television, you might have heard about Margaret Anderson, the Mount Rainier Park Ranger that was shot down and killed on New Year’s Day. Rangers had set up a checkpoint between the Longmire and Paradise areas in the park to ensure that drivers had the proper tires and tire chains for their vehicles.The gunman, now identified as Benjamin Colton Barnes, blew through the checkpoint and then sped toward an area called Paradise where Anderson and another ranger had parked their vehicle to serve as another roadblock. Barnes jumped out of his car and opened fire, killing Anderson and missing the other ranger.

Authorities found Benjamin Colton Barnes’ body yesterday, face down in a river in the park. Read more here.

January 3, 2012 | The World Is On Fire! | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Call of the Wild

Chapter 2: The Law of Club and Fang:

“…His development (or retrogression) was rapid. His muscles became hard as iron and he grew callous to all ordinary pain. He achieved an internal as well as external economy. He could eat anything, no matter how loathsome of indigestible; and, once eaten, the juices of his stomach extracted the last least particle of nutriment; and his blood carried it to the farthest reaches of his body, building it into the toughest and stoutest of tissues. Sight and scent became remarkably keen, while his hearing developed such acuteness that in his sleep he heard the faintest sound and knew whether it heralded peace or peril…The domesticated generations fell from him.”

Tis the season to dust this one back off, always worth the re-read. For a change, you can catch the free domain audiobook here, or watch Charlton Heston’s take here.

January 2, 2012 | Music/Movies/Books | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }