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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 }


In 1985, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Monkey Wrench Gang, Dream Garden Press founder, Ken Sanders (who we interviewed on CS a few years back), suggested that R. Crumb illustrate a special edition of the Edward Abbey classic. You can only buy the Crumb version here (along with t-shirts), so if you don’t have a copy, get up on it.

**Keep your eyes peeled for the Abbey/Crumb calendar on eBay. It’s a real humdinger.

April 4, 2013 | Desert Solitaire | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }


Cold Splinters is heading to the southwest section of these United of States for Christmas, so there might be some crickets around these parts for the next week or so. Have a wonderful holiday and we’ll see you in 2013. It’s gonna be a real good one.


I’ll meet you in the Organ Pipes
All alone on a winter’s night
You’ll say, “Come Home.”
I’ll stay.
You won’t.

MP3: Steve Earle – Goodbye’s All We’ve Got Left

December 14, 2012 | Desert Solitaire | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }


The Western National Parks Association has published some pretty wonderful books since it was founded in 1938. (Back then they were called the Southwest Monuments Association.) They now operate bookstores at 66 NPS sites throughout the western United States with a flagship/headquarters in Tucson. I’ve found and bought a bunch of these while traveling these last few years - Flowers of the Southwest Mesas, Flowers of the Southwest Deserts, 70 Common Cacti, 100 Roadside Flowers  – and they’re pretty darn easy on the eyes. You can see more old covers at the NPS’ website here and you can order books, patches and a whole lotta Prickly Pear Cactus Candy directly from the WNPA here.

Thanks WNPA.

December 11, 2012 | Desert Solitaire | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }


One of my favorite and most unnecessary purchases in the history of having a CS eBay account. Though I suppose you can never have too many copies, right?

MP3: Bombino – Tenere (The Desert, My Home)

March 28, 2012 | Desert Solitaire | Continue Reading | Comments { 5 }


A few weeks back, I was held up in southwest Texas – Big Bend National Park, to be exact – with Mikael Kennedy, writing a story for the wonderful Garden and Gun. (It’ll be out later this summer, so stay tuned.) With work and travel and bla bla bla, this last Thursday was the first time that Mikael and I were able to get together since our little adventure. A winning combination of Guinness and Ful Medames.

We both had books for one another, each one slightly commemorative of the Great Big Dry Nothing that was home for a few nights. I gave him a copy of The Desert Is Theirs and he gave me Twelve Lessons Of The Desert. Mikeal met Sam Richardson, the book’s author, while down in Taos, NM two weeks ago, and after telling him about our time in Terlingua, Richardson directed him to the local book store.

Twelve Lessons is a “collection of aphorisms, nature notes and essays written over a period of 17 years by river guide, artist, writer and storyteller Sam Richardson.” I haven’t started it yet, but when I do, I’ll make sure to do a full report. In the meantime, learn more about Sam here.

Thanks Mikael.

March 19, 2012 | Desert Solitaire, Music/Movies/Books | Continue Reading | Comments { 5 }

Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering

If you’re in the area, head on over to Alpine, Texas this Friday and Saturday for the 26th Annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Festival. Hells bells, there’s even a tribute to Marty Robbins on Friday morning! (Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs was a major part of the soundtrack for Cold Splinters’ Texas adventure. They even sold the album at the Panther Junction Visitor Center in BBNP.) Ima miss you Deep West Texas.

MP3: Marty Robbins – They’re Hanging Me Tonight

MP3: Marty Robbins – Running Gun

February 21, 2012 | Desert Solitaire | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

The Desert, My Home

I imagine that many of you are getting away for the holidays: Whether that means going home to see ma and pa, going on a road trip to some far away place filled with cactus and cholla, or, hopefully, a combination of the two. Cold Splinters is off to the California desert for a couple days (Palm Springs + Joshua Tree National Park) then to to the foothills of Colorado (Boulder + Nederland), and in preparation fore the trip – at least the desert portion – we’ve been blasting Bombino’s Agadez over and over and over. (Thank you Justin Gage.) Sure, it’s the wrong desert (his is the Sahara), but the sentiment is the same. I guess the only real difference is an Ace Hotel, right?

MP3: Bombino – Tenere (The Desert, My Home)

MP3: Bombino – Iyat Idounia Ayasahen (Another Life)

December 13, 2011 | Desert Solitaire | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Deserts To Finally Die In When The Heart Fails

I’ve posted this before, but I spent the better portion of yesterday listening to Freedom and Wilderness from Moab’s Back of Beyond Books. It’s just so so good. Enjoy it.

We need wilderness because we are wild animals. Every man needs a place where he can go to go crazy in peace. Every Boy Scout troop deserves a forest to get lost, miserable, and starving in. Even the maddest murderer of the sweetest wife should get a chance for a run to the sanctuary of the hills. If only for the sport of it. For the terror, freedom, and delirium. Because we need brutality and raw adventure, because men and women first learned to love in, under, and all around trees, because we need for every pair of feet and legs about ten leagues of naked nature, crags to leap from, mountains to measure by, deserts to finally die in when the heart fails.

MP3: Ed Abbey – Excerpt from “Freedom and Wilderness, Wilderness and Freedom”

May 18, 2011 | Desert Solitaire | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }



April 25, 2011 | Desert Solitaire | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }