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The Dipsea and Jack Kirk

Northern California’s Dipsea is the oldest trail race in these United of States. It started in 1905 and now falls on the second Sunday in June each year, which means the 2012 version happened just a few days ago. The Dipsea is a 7.4 mile course from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach. Not a bad place for a jog…

Jack Kirk, known as the “Dipsea Demon,” ran that race 67 consecutive times before passing away in 2007 at the age of 100. He won the thing twice and ran his last race when he was 95 years young. And the kicker no pun intended) was that he would show up in long pants, a long sleeve collared shirt (see photo above) and boat shoes. Genius.

Watch a short documentary about Jack here.

June 14, 2012 | History | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Spring Mountain Shelter Register

Thank you to the Appalachian Trail Museum for posting another Appalachian Trail log from 1983. This time it’s from Spring Mountain Shelter, located in Tennessee on the North Carolina border, just north of Hot Springs. The shelter is at 3,300 feet, 282.2 miles from Springer and 1898.2 from Katahdin.

MP3: Henri Tixier – Les Là-Bas

January 18, 2012 | History | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

Blackberry Brandy

Antler tells us to use blackberry brandy as a “telescope to bring the stars closer in.” What does 1911′s Harper’s Camping and Scouting: An Outdoor Guide for American Boys tell us to use it for? Yes, of course, diarrhea!

MP3: Medicine Head – Wishin’ And Wishin’

December 7, 2011 | History | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }


Boundary Rock was once a well-known landmark in southern Nova Scotia, a massive piece of granite that sat at the borders of several counties in the area. Fisherman and hunters, like the ones in the picture above, would take their picture at the rock while passing through. But over the last 100 years, Boundary Rock has vanished, sending people on quests into the woods to find out what happened. CBC’s Maritime Magazine did just that and you can listen to the podcast recounting their journey into the Tobeatic Wilderness right here. The pictures above are from the flickr of expedition leader, Philip Moscovitch. (Thanks to reader Andrea for sending this to me.)

Do they find it? Well, you’ll have to listen to find out.

MP3: Sibylle Baier – I Lost Something In The Hills

November 2, 2011 | History, Long Hairs | Continue Reading | Comments { 4 }


The United States Geological Survey has loads of maps for sale on their website (shocker, right?) and some of their National Park and Forest Service maps, which come in the historic variety (the image on top is a map of the Great Sand Dunes National Monument, now the Great Sand Dunes National Park) and the modern variety (the RoMo map on bottom) can even be downloaded for free. And they’re huge files, so if your little heart desires, you can blow them up and hang them on the wall of your apartment/office/bathroom/yurt etc. Have at it.

MP3: Ween – So Long Jerry

August 9, 2011 | Camping, History | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Nemo Letters

Everett Ruess (NEMO) (1914-1934?) was a young artist and poet that explored, wrote about the high desert, and captured the lust of Utah and the High Sierra in linoleum block prints (with which he traded with Ansel Adams). Jon Krakauer likens Christopher McCandless to Everett Ruess in Into the Wild, in a gripping, harsh retelling of Ruess’ escape to the wilderness and proposed fate, leaving only his pen-name “NEMO” scrawled on the stone walls in his wake. In 2009, it was thought that Ruess’ remains were found, being believed by some that he was attacked and killed by Ute indians, an assumption that was taken back by a Utah archeologist after thorough DNA analysis. If you haven’t read the book Everett Ruess: A Vagabond for Beauty, a book written in 1983 about Ruess’ life, buy it this morning.

Cruising eBay an hour ago I ran across these gems that an antique seller recently grabbed from a California estate sale: newspaper clippings about Ruess, 2 photos of Ruess (one with an American Indian mother and child), as well as handwritten letters/poems by Ruess (!), all found in a dusty leather case (included).

More resources about Ruess and his life can be dug through here.

May 23, 2011 | History, Long Hairs | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Old Man of the Lake

The Old Man of the Lake is a 30-foot tall Hemlock stump that bobs and floats vertically in Crater Lake (Oregon), and has since at least 1896. Scientists have studied the stump for over 100 years, chalking it’s longevity and oddity up to Crater Lake’s ice cold, clear, clean water. During one month in 1938, it is noted, the Old Man traveled at least 62.1 miles with the ebb and flow of the lake.

Learn more here, I did.

May 11, 2011 | History | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

The Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Filmmaker Werner Herzog was interviewed yesterday on NPR’s Fresh Air about his 2010 film, “The Cave of Forgotten Dreams“, just before it’s US release at the end of April. This film, shot in 3D (I know, I know) contains footage of some of the oldest cave paintings on the planet. The Chauvet Cave in Southern France is closed to the public, due to it’s immense sensitivity and presence of harmful levels of radon and carbon dioxide. Herzog, creator of many films, including Grizzly Man and Encounters at the End of the World, is known for going to unprecedented lengths and some of the most inhospitable places for footage. I don’t know about the whole 3D thing (Herzog speaks to this skepticism which he initially shared) but this looks amazing.

Check out the trailer here.

April 21, 2011 | History, Music/Movies/Books | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Fight for Wild America

The 2005 documentary about David Brower’s life and career, titled Monumental: David Brower’s Fight for Wild America, is available to watch on Netflix. If you haven’t seen this yet, get inspired. David Brower, the former leader of the Sierra Club and noted by many as responsible for the modern environmental movement, is held in high-regard for his steadfastness and unwillingness to budge in defense of wild America, alongside Edward Abbey and few others. Beautiful film with some amazing footage of the American west from the 30′s onward.

Check out the trailer after the jump.
Continue Reading →

April 4, 2011 | History | Continue Reading | Comments { 3 }

Bev Johnson

Regarded by most as one of America’s greatest climbers, in 1978 Beverly Johnson was the first woman to ever climb the Dihedreal wall of El Cap in Yosemite, and did it alone in 10 days. Born in 1947, Johnson was putting up first ascents all across the country before many of us were even born.

Read a great summary and check some other great photos of Johnson’s career over at then pick up the book about her life, The View from the Edge.

Hats off.

March 30, 2011 | History | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }