Archive | August, 2013

Have A Good Weekend

I'm In Charge Of Celebrations

The weekend is coming a little early in these parts. It’s a CS Birthday on Saturday, so we’re off. Out there. To all of it.

August 22, 2013 | Have A Good Weekend | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Coyote and Thunder




As long as we’re on the Juniper Ridge kick this week, let’s talk about one of my favorite parts of the JR experience, Mr. Obi Kaufmann. When Obi’s not picking plants and boiling up sweet scents on the trail, you’ll find him sitting on a rock, sketchbook out, face to the Sierra sky. He runs one of my favorite blogs around, Coyote and Thunder, and is responsible for the best thing I’ve got in my apartment. Obi is just about the sweetest human you’ll ever meet and his art/poetry, which looks like something John Muir would have done if he had owned a few Kyuss records, is, well, downright bee-yoo-ti-ful. He’s now selling a book of those trail meditations, so if you’ve got 10 bucks – and I know you do – spend it on a copy of “Coyote and Thunder.” Trust me, just do it. Go. Now.


August 15, 2013 | Art/Photography | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Juniper Ridge x Men’s Journal

Juniper 1 Juniper 2 Juniper 3 Juniper 4

If you’ve flipped through the pages of the Men’s Journal on stands now, you’ll see a wonderful article written about my cousins and heart condors, Juniper Ridge. I’ve spent a lot of time with those folks in the last year hiking/camping/driving around California, drinking wine on Oakland porches, singing about stray cats in cabins near Mammoth and eating Korean tacos in Brooklyn, so you can imagine how happy I was to see Hall, JR’s founder, swearing in print:

Four hours and several beers later, Newbegin swirls a beaker under my nose. Piney, woolly, grassy notes hit me powerfully. Newbegin is not surprised. “This stuff is Ice Age,” he says. “You’ll respond regardless if you give a shit about Big Sur, because the love of nature is hardwired into us.”

See more of Jose Mandojana’s wonderful outtakes from the Men’s Journal shoot here.

August 14, 2013 | Camping, Flora/Fauna | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Pat’s Backcountry Beer

Pat's Backcountry Beer

Just add water and carbonation beer for the backcountry? Seems suspect, but holy, that’s a great/useless idea. For the alcoholics in all of us

How is such a thing possible? According to the company’s website, the beer concentrate isn’t made by dehydrating a conventional beer. “Instead, our process (patent pending) allows us to start with almost no water, and carefully control the environment of the fermentation,” says the site. The result is supposedly a beer that tastes like a “premium micro brew.” Each beer packet makes a single 16 oz. pint.

Pat’s Backcountry Beverages owner, Pat Tatera, says the beer is just barley, water, hops and yeast, writes “If you come into our facility, you’ll see fermentors, you’ll see a mash tun, you’ll see a brew kettle, but you’ll also see some equipment that looks like some sci-fi movie, and that’s where our very specialized technology allows us to do what we do,” he said.


August 13, 2013 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

I Loved It. I Loved It All.

Essay by Edward Abbey “I Loved it…I Loved it All” from Ned Judge on Vimeo.

There’s not too much to say about this other than…Edward Abbey video:

An eight minute film essay that I co-produced and directed with Ed Abbey in 1985. At the time I was working for a network magazine show. The executive producer took me to lunch one day. He told me that he was having trouble with his son who was 18. The son thought his dad was a corporate whore. He had told his father if he had any balls at all he’d put Ed Abbey on his show. That’s why the EP was talking to me. Would I see if it was possible? I had an acquaintance who knew Ed and he passed the request along. Ed responded that he’d give it a try. He signed the contract and wrote a script. We met in Moab and went out to Arches National Park to shoot some practice sessions with a home video camera. We would review them at the motel in the evening. After a day or two, Ed was feeling pretty comfortable on camera so we scheduled the shoot. We were all happy with the way it went. But then we ran head-on into network reality. Roger Mudd, the show’s host, was extremely negative about putting an “eco-terrorist” on the show. The executive producer caved (his son was right about him apparently). So this Abbey essay was put on the shelf and never aired. Abbey died 3 years later in March 1989.

August 12, 2013 | Desert Solitaire | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

Van Arsdale Maps

van arsdale map

I came across these Perry Van Arsdale maps at a small gift shop in Pinos Altos, a nothing town outside the Gila National Forest in New Mexico. They’re absolutely beautiful and wildly detailed, which is hard to see in the poor image above, the only one I could find on the ol’ internets. Van Arsdale made a few maps in his day, including Native American maps and a whole slew of pioneer maps that include old roads, trails, emigrant routes and supply points, railroads, towns, cattle trails, forts, mines, mining towns, stage and freight routes, cattle trails, fur posts, Indian tribe areas and villages. You can find them all here.

A little more info about PVA:

Perry Van Arsdale began his mapping of pioneer history (history prior to the 1900’s) because his 7-year old granddaughter needed help researching the Sante Fe trail. With his obsession for accuracy and his personal knowledge of the trail, he set off to correct the information he thought to be erroneous in his granddaughter’s textbook. Thus began an odyssey which would not end until his death in 1976.

Perry and his granddaughter began by sending postcards to local postmasters requesting information on ghost towns and mining towns. The postmasters put Perry in touch with judges, sheriffs, and descendants of historical figures. Encouraged by the enthusiastic written responses of people, Perry gathered his research tools – clipboard, paper, and pen – and his family to visit the people and places in person. After interviews, he followed up by verifying the accounts in town and court records. All the stories and facts were carefully recorded and transferred to 3×5 cards for future reference.

With a mounting amount of information, Perry decided upon detailed maps as the best way to easily pass his knowledge on to others. Over a period of 15 years, Perry produced a series of 9 hand-drawn and hand-lettered maps that depict the United States of America as she entered the 20th century. By combining names, dates, and events on a map, he was able to present history with the broad perspective that it requires.

In the 1970’s, Perry had copies of his maps made to give to friends and students. The popularity and demand for the maps grew as word of mouth increased. Word eventually reached the Smithsonian Institute which still has the maps on display. Today, his family continues to make his maps available through this web site.

Perry put his life into his maps in order to share with us the history that was omitted because it was ugly, political, or morally unacceptable. He wanted children and adults to learn about history as it actually occurred so he devoted himself to finding and presenting the truth. Each map took at least 2 years to research and draw. This is how he filled his “retirement years.” His final map was Illinois which was completed only a month before his death. His next map would have been California in its entirety, but his life ran out before his enthusiasm.

August 6, 2013 | Native American, Public Lands | Continue Reading | Comments { 3 }

White Sands National Monument



CS and friends spent a couple of days driving around the southern part of New Mexico last week, first stopping at the unbelievably beautiful White Sands National Monument. It had been 10 years since I’d stepped foot onto the long stretches of gypsum sand that make up the park and it was just as quiet and surreal as I remember it. There are about 12 backcountry campsites (which are seemingly never full) and holy holy are they humdingers. Except for a few lizards and moths, there’s barely any wildlife around, and without any trees to provide those old bumps in the night, it’s dead silence throughout your entire stay. Pure and open go-on-forever-white-sand silence. You can hear your body working.

More photos after the jump.

MP3: Jonathan Richman – The Desert

Continue Reading →

August 5, 2013 | Camping | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

Mikael Kennedy In Michigan





A couple of weeks ago, my friend and traveling partner-in-crime, Mikael Kennedy, set off for Michigan’s UP for Wolverine Traveler. It was a trip I was sadly not able to go on, but Mikael came back with amazing stories and, not surprisingly, even better photos. Read below for some CS exclusives and make sure to visit Wolverine Traveler for the rest of the goodness.


“I am glad that I shall never be young without wild country to be young in. Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?” – Aldo Leopold

I found that quote in the first few pages of a book I took off my mom’s bookshelf when I was 18 and hitting the road for the first time. The book called ‘On the Loose’, published by the Seirra Club in 1967 was a rambling vision of two young men’s journeys through the wild in the form of photographs and wandering thoughts. The quote which opens the book has stuck with me over the years as I’ve travelled, when I was younger my routes were always determined by the cities and where I new I had couches to crash on but eventually my taste and excitement for those faded and I found myself heading out into more remote parts of the country, trying to find places that were less touched by human hands.

When Wolverine agreed to send me out to the Upper Peninsula and to Isle Royale as the launch of our new Traveler series I was excited at the prospect of visiting one of the least visited National Parks in the Continental US. Last year Jeff & I hiked to the South Rim in Big Bend National Park another one of the lost parks. I do very little research when I travel, other than just the safety and neccessities, I prefer to be suprised by what I find. Isle Royale did not disapoint. An untounched wilderness in the middle of Lake Superior, just a stones throw from the Canadian shore, walking through the forests feels like you have travelled back in time before we carved our way through this country.

We flew in low over the islands surrounding Royale, landing in Rock Harbor, from there we explored the islands by canoe, boat and foot. Here’s a closer look after the jump:

August 1, 2013 | Camping | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }