Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Definitions: Cone

This is from the Latin word "conus", meaning a wedge, or a peak, or basically anything unnecessarily pointy.

If you sleep on the ground then a cone can be a pine cone, a fir cone, a spruce cone, a twig, a stone, a shard of bark, a piece of glass, a rusty nail, teeth of a dead animal, or anything that keeps you from getting the rest you need, no matter how thick your sleeping pad is.

If you happen to sleep on unnoticed animal poo, well that stuff will not keep you awake the first night because it is so soft. (Mmmm, soft.) But you will find it the next day and just the thought of it will prevent you from sleeping for the next few nights. At least.

You get extra points if you manage to pack up in the morning without realizing that your new poo buddy is there, and then get the stuff smeared all over the inside of your pack and everything you carry there.

You get lifetime champion status points if you put your pack in some nice soft poo while setting up camp after sundown and then use your pack under your knees all night, and triple lifetime champion status bonus points if you do this while using a backpacking hammock, and manage to smear poo all over the inside of the hammock, the outside of your sleeping bag, your jammies, and of course have it all over your pack too.

Guess who did that once?

Yep.



Source: How to talk in the woods.

We few, we grumpy few, we rumply-hat geezers say to you Effort or Eff it. No sniveling then.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Fresh, June 26

 Astronomy Picture of the Day:  Galaxy and Planets Beyond Bristlecone Pines.  What's older than these ancient trees? Nobody you know — but almost everything in the background of this picture.  Read this...


 Alpine Mystic:  The Methow ~ The Meadow.  Lots and lots of meadow!  Read this...


 Ultralight and Comfortable:  Planning for Iceland.  In two weeks a friend and I will be heading out to Iceland to hike along the 75 kilometer Laugavegur trail.  Read this...


 The Hiking Life:  A Quick & Easy Guide to the Long Trail.  All logistical information has been updated as of June, 2016.  Read this...


 BackCountryJournal.net:  Hiking the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho.  We'd had enough of the crowds, and were headed for the backwoods of Idaho!  Read this...


 Carrot Quinn:  Denied entry into Canada/total change of plans.  I forgot that when you cross through customs into Canada they ask you a million questions.  Read this...


 Backcountry:  Backpacking the #Goatworthy Way.  It's true that backpacking with a small herd of goats might seem a bit quirky...  Read this...


 The GearCaster:  Columbia Goes PFC-Free.  You now get all the non-wet out and superior breathability benefits of OutDry Extreme with the added benefit of eco-friendliness.  Read this...


 Lady on a Rock:  Sierra High Route Here We Come!.  The route is the brainchild of mountaineer Steve Roper, who sought an alternative to the heavily pounded JMT.  Read this...


 PopUpBackpacker:  Lake Mead National Recreation Area.  Instead of boring you with a trip report, it would be better to discuss all of this National Recreation Area.  Read this...


 HikeLighter.Com:  100 Days of Soylent 2.0 + Greenbelly Bars.  Of the 100 days, I spent 84 of them out on the trail.  Read this...


 Sweeping the Garden:  Local Summer Sleep System..  For short trips in the local foothills, a simple, hot-weather sleep system is in order.  Read this...


 The Weird Life:  Plantain Pancakes.  They caramelize as they brown and make an incredible, dessert-like breakfast.  Read this...


 Section Hiker:  Rolltop Backpacks — Pros and Cons.  I recommend you check out rolltop packs with a large rear shovel style pocket, side mesh water bottle pockets, and hip belt pockets.  Read this...


 The Denver Post:  Grandma Gatewood's non-'pantywaist' gear guide to the Colorado Trail.  I want to take it down 2 more pounds. Good-bye, fleece. Cut the Ibuprofen ration in half.  Read this...


 Married To The Trail:  A Slow Readjustment.  I apologize if I let some of you down. I honestly thought I could pull the Calendar Triple Crown off.  Read this...


 Hiking The Trail:  Valley Food Storage — Food Review.  These would not only come in handy but taste much better than many of the other products on the market.  Read this...


 Hikers For Life:  Darkest And Coldest Before Dawn.  When the going get tough, just hang on a little bit more. Success is just around the corner.  Read this...


 REI Blog:  10 Tips for Becoming a Gear Storage Master.  Suddenly, it's 11pm on Friday and you're digging...to find that left hiking boot that has to be in there somewhere.  Read this...


 Modern Hiker:  ParkWatchReport App Helps Hikers Report Trail Vandalism.  What does ParkWatchReport do?  Read this...


 Global Possibilities:  Scientists Conclude Octupus Dna Is Not From This World.  The scientific report mainly concluded that Octopuses share 'Alien' genes.  Read this...


 sweetwilder:  Long Trail — Day 9.  "Rutland? Are you serious? It's the heroin capitol of the US."  Read this...


 Hyperlite Mountain Gear:  Pacific Crest Trail Thru Hike: Nine Tips For Success.  One-quarter of aspiring pacific crest trail thru hikes succeed: these tips can make the difference.  Read this...


 Avaunt Magazine:  The Worst Journey.  Three men who, trekking through the pitch-black Antarctic winter, survived temperatures of -60°C, crevasse falls and frostbite.  Read this...


 Aventuras:  Nature of Attraction.  Our four-day backcountry kayak trip was coming to an end and Glacier Bay was giving us a proper Southeast Alaskan farewell. We were wet.  Read this...


 PopUpBackpacker:  The Business of Backpacking.  I am not saying that all gear testers, ambassadors, or sponsored hikers are not 100% unbiased in their reviews, but Buyer Beware.  Read this...


 Bogley Outdoor Community:  Tooele County man indicted for trying to blow up BLM facility in Arizona.  Keebler is the commander of a citizen militia group known as the Patriots Defense Force, with headquarters in Stockton, Utah.  Read this...


 The Nugget Newspaper:  Camp Sherman Hasty Team rescues PCT hiker.  "...she is planning on purchasing a standalone GPS and refreshing her map and compass skills."  Read this...


 National Geographic:  "Bear Bathtub" Caught on Camera in Yellowstone.  New insights into bear behavior.  Read this...


 The Big Trip:  Eastern European Traverse Part 1.  I want to hike through Europe West to East - from Santiago de Compostella to Istanbul.  Read this...


 Trail Cooking:  Book Review: Outdoor Medical Emergency Handbook.  This isn't a happy read by any means, but it is a good one.  Read this...


 Cooking in Tongues:  Why I Don't Chase Travel Bucket Lists.  It's not the top destinations, but rather those unexpected gems that I knew little about that had the greatest impact.  Read this...


 Hiking in Finland:  The Week in Review 238.  "What are men to rocks and mountains?" — Jane Austen  Read this...


 Hiking in Finland:  The Week in Review 239.  'You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.' - Dr. Seuss  Read this...


 WTA Signpost Blog:  Will Hike for Catnip: Paddington the Hiking Cat.  "Is that a cat?" "Our cat would never do that." "How did you teach him to walk on a leash?"  Read this...


 Timothy McSweeney's Internet Tendency:  Who's a Good Dog With a Gun?  I'm a very good dog with a gun, yes I am!  Read this...


 LensCulture:  Jim Lou — Supercells.   A subset of my personal long term photo project following College of Dupage storm chase program.  Read this...


 Smithsonian.com:  These Drone-Lit Photos of the American West Are Straight Out of a Science Fiction Novel.  By highlighting specific elements of a landscape, rather than relying on the sun or moon, Wu renders them unfamiliar, unexpected and otherwordly.  Read this...


 Charlie Knight:  PCT Days 51-56: Lone Pine to Independence.  We went to a showing of Finding Dory in which the number of smelly hikers probably outweighed the number of children.  Read this...


 REI Blog:  How A Climber Manages Diabetes.  The Unstoppable Maggie Crawford  Read this...


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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Definitions: Bug Tent

(1) A bug tent is the place you dump your least favorite hiking companions, in hopes that overnight they will eat each other so you no longer have to hear them, see them, or deal with the idiot things they do to bug you all day. Or if not that, you hope that hordes of wild insects will take care of them for you. And sometimes that works out.

(2) A bug tent is a doll-sized tent to accommodate your pet cockroach Tina, so she can come backpacking with you. Which is what you've always wanted. Because that's the kind of person you are. Kind. And creepy. Which is why your trail name is Bugger. Which is yet another reason why everyone keeps far, far, far away from you. Far.

(3) A bug tent is a refuge from the most ravenous, persistent, and least predictable predators out there, most of which can fly, and all of which have more legs than you do, and use them to run ever so fast, and show ferocious persistence in homing in on your tasty, deliciously-salted flesh.

Typically, this sort of tent is just like a regular tent but without a rain fly, and consists of mesh strung over a frame. And it may be a regular tent from which you have temporarily removed the rain fly.

It can also be a frameless but well-architected mesh bag hanging under a tarp or a purpose-made job fitting inside a single-walled tarp tent. Mostly these meshy things are used for overnight sleeps on clear nights, but can also serve as places to eat meals safe from the nippy ones.

On slow days some people enjoy sitting inside their bug tents and pulling the little probing mosquito beaks off the heads of those critters as they relentlessly poke and poke through the mesh, hungry for blood.

(4) The last refuge for the bug-crazed, i.e., backpackers.

As always, Effort or Eff it. No sniveling.

Source: How to talk in the woods.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fresh, June 19

 Astronomy Picture of the Day:  A Roll Cloud Over Uruguay.  What kind of cloud is this? A type of arcus cloud called a roll cloud.  Read this...


 Ignant:  The Colors Of South America.  This continent leaves you speechless. Then it turns you into a story teller.  Read this...


 CBC Radio — The Current:  Nature soundscapes reveal environmental devastation.  Krause speaks with The Current about his work, and what he's learned from over 50 years of recording nature.  Read this...


 CBC Radio — The Current:  First mammal extinction by human-caused climate.  The little brown rodent lived on the small island of Bramble Cay in Australia's Great Barrier Reef where its last known appearance was in 2004.  Read this...


 Reuters:  LG Electronics sells mosquito-repelling TV in India.  The same technology, which was certified as effective by an independent laboratory near Chennai, India, has been used by LG in air conditioners and washing machines, the company said.  Read this...


 CBC Radio — Ideas:  The Degrowth Paradigm.  Degrowthers believe we need a more modest and sane alternative to the constant pressures of expansion that are destroying the ecological basis of our existence.  Read this...


 The Shooting Star:  One Year of Travelling Without a Home.  For one year, I have moved, uninhibitedly, as much within as with my feet.  Read this...


 The Guardian:  Above the streets, beneath the stars: why you should try urban rooftop camping.  "Here? In the city?"  Read this...


 Nevada Magazine:  Hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail.  One thing I like about the TRT is that, although challenging, it is doable for most people that are in reasonably good physical condition.  Read this...


 Cattywampur:  First Impression: Grayl Ultralight Purification.  So far the Grayl has passed my first impressions and made it into my pack for my upcoming trip.  Read this...


 Andrew Skurka:  Review: Salewa Lite Train Trail Running Shoes.  The Michelin-made custom outsole sticks to rock, and bites well into soft dirt, grass, and leaves.  Read this...


 eNZees Foot Soother:  Trip Report: A Marmot Attack in American Basin.  Marmots, it would seem, are notorious for this kind of behavior.  Read this...


 The Hippy Homemaker:  7 DIY Dehydrated Meals For The Trail Or On-The-Go.  3 different diets in one household make[s] things difficult.  Read this...


 The Mountains Are Calling:  Home/Adventure.  They blithely state that they will bankrupt themselves for the present, and will not worry about having to work at checkout stands at eighty.  Read this...


 Sage Clegg:  Oboz Trail Tales: Water in the Desert.  Some tips for staying hydrated in dry places.  Read this...


 Section Hiker:  SunJack Portable 20W Solar Charger and Battery Review.  This solution is more than sufficient for our current car camping needs.  Read this...


 Section Hiker:  NEMO Tetrapod Hammock Review.  It's a single layer, side entry hammock, best used for warm weather backpacking and camping.  Read this...


 She-ra Hikes:  Lessons Learned from a CDT Thru-Hike.  The CDT is definitely scary and uncomfortable.  Read this...


 Adventure Alan:  Non-technical Canyon Backpacking in Utah - a how to guide for getting started.  Ready for something stunningly beautiful and completely different but still safe and easy?  Read this...


 Bedrock & Paradox:  BD Alpine Carbon Cork 2013 v. 2016.  Overall it seems more relevant to ask why one wouldn't want Carbon Corks than the other way around.  Read this...


 Fixing Your Feet Blog:  12 Foot Care Tips for Success at 100's.  6. Use a high-quality lubricant like SportsShield, Sportslick, RunGoo, Trail Toes, or ChafeX. Do not use Vaseline.  Read this...


 Adventure Alan:  Nutritious Backpacking Meal Recipes.  Keep it simple.  Read this...


 Wandering On The Edge:  Sacredly, Secretly, Silently.  Autumn In Arizona--2015 Upper Desert  Read this...


 Seattle Backpackers Magazine:  3 Freezer Bag Cooking Meals for Backpacking.  The principle is simple: boil water, pour into the bag, stir, let sit, open and eat right out of the bag.  Read this...


 The Ultimate Hang:  Haeleum Braeden Insect Repellent Shirt Review.  The Haeleum Braeden is a long-sleeve, crew neck synthetic shirt designed to be worn close to the skin.  Read this...


 The GearCaster:  Free National Park Maps Online.  Holly began to work on the site during the 2013 government shutdown to digitize the paper maps he's come to love so much.  Read this...


 Modern Hiker:  Casey Nocket Pleads Guilty to Vandalism.  May be the most high-profile outdoor vandal in memory.  Read this...


 Adventuras:  Exposing Landscape Photography.  Get perfectly lit outdoor photos every time.  Read this...


 Jan's Jaunts and Jabberings:  Mt Whitney - Seriously? (Part 4).  I've been up since 3am. I've hiked to the highest point in the lower 48 at 14,508'. I'm elated.  Read this...


 Blissful Hiking:  Lightning Storms on Your Hike.  Watch out for danger signs. If your hair begins to stand up or your skin tingles...  Read this...


 Signpost Blog:  Lay of the Land: 11 Essential Things to Know about Hiking in Washington.  Getting the lay of the land isn't something that happens overnight. It takes years.  Read this...


 U.S. Department of the Interior:  Press Release.  Secretary Jewell, National Park Service Director Jarvis Announce New National Recreation, Water Trails.  Read this...


 LightHeart Gear:  How To: Repair a Zipper Failure in the Field.  Enjoy knowing new tricks, and never be caught out again.  Read this...


 Newport Jerky Company:  Edible Zebra Tarantula.  Product Description: 1 whole big hairy edible Zebra Tarrantula that has been baked with BBQ seasoning.  Read this...


 Hikers For Life:  What you need to know about Rat Urine Disease (Leptospirosis).  The bacteria invades human tissues and organs, particularly affecting the livers and kidney.  Read this...


 PCT Trailside Reader:  In the Middle of the Night.  First this sound resonates at one click per second; then two, then ten...The volume increases. I am fully awake.  Read this...


 HikeLighter.Com:  Unshoes 'PT Sleek'.  I decided I wanted to go with an over-the-toe style instead of between-the-toe style sandals.  Read this...


 Hike 734:  Black Phantoms - My Wolf Encounter.  A short film...about my wolf encounter on the Coal-Fielding trail along Muir Creek..  Read this...


 The Luminous Landscape:  Canyoneering Photography.  These photographs, more than any other, speak to the reason I go canyoneering.  Read this...


 Pacific Northwest National Laboratory:  Weird, water-oozing material could help quench thirst.  The discovery could lead to...fabric that automatically pulls sweat away from the body and releases it as a vapor.  Read this...


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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Definitions: Animal Unit

(1) This is another meat-in-a-box type of bureaucratic definition which stands in for one cow, one horse, five sheep, five goats, or four reindeer, provided they are all more than six months old. Six months in cow years means you're old enough to go into a bar and drink brew and moo without your parents. But if you're a reindeer you have to go in groups of four, I guess.

Who comes up with this crap?

(2) Or an animal unit could be your hiking partner, if you haven't yet gotten past the point of tolerance for his annoying habits and dismembered him. If you have already done this (the dismembering thing), then let's say just for fun and a more complete feeling of accomplishment that each piece counts as a separate unit, no matter how old they are, or what they smell like now, which couldn't be worse than how your hiking partner smelled before you converted him into kit form, right? It happens.

Footnote: In the interests of political correctness, equality, basic fairness, gender interchangeability, and all the rest, let's say that as used above, the terms "him", "they", "cow", "horse", "sheep", "goat(s)", "reindeer", "parents", and "bureaucrat" may be taken to refer to arbitrary units consisting of female, male, indeterminate, multiple, shifting, and who-the-screaming-fork-cares gender identifications, made either self-referentially by that specific meat-unit or applied to them, hem, hir, he, zhe, zer, she, (s)he, "s/he", hse, that, they, those, them, etc. by others. Are we OK with that? (If not, then you can always bark at the dark on nights with no moon.)

Examples from way back...

I love hir so tenderly that hir spottes, her blemishes and hir warts are deare unto me. -- "The Story of Paris", by Thomas Okey (Possibly a farm animal aficionado, but who can say? And is that a bad thing? What?)

She loked in the glasse, and was greatly displeased with hir self. -- Shakespeare (Citation uncertain, and did hse have reason to be "displeased with hir self" or was it some unfortunate artifact of the repressive culture zhe lived in? Etc.)

And I ioon (John) saigh the hooli citee ierusalim newe comynge doun fro heuene maad redi of god as a wyf ourned to hir husbonde. -- "The White Rose of Langley", by Emily Sarah Holt (Who was possibly and/or probably a womon.)

Remember, Effort or Effit, and peace be upon you then, and dust be off you, if you can manage it.

Source: How to talk in the woods.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Fresh, June 12

 Indiegogo:  Inti 2: The World's Most Versatile Tent.  A do-it-all shelter for your solo adventures, two-person backpacking trips, or camping groups of 4.  Read this...


 The Columbus Dispatch:  Hikers rely on Amtrak, shuttles on Glacier National Park trip.  We weren't driving, so yes, we'd have some wine. We then sat back and watched as 1,500 miles went by aboard the Empire Builder.  Read this...


 The Sacramento Bee:  Alaskan backcountry beckons wild at heart.  I felt relief when I saw the bus that would shuttle me out of the park. Soon I would be home.  Read this...


 Hammocker:  Emberlit Titanium Backpacking Stove- Review.  The stove is so light and easy to put together and dismantle that it's a winner in my eyes.  Read this...


 sweetwilder:  Gear List - Long Trail.  For me the focal point of this trip is nature, but I do care about what I carry.  Read this...


 The Big Outside:  The 15 Best National Park Dayhikes in the West.  I put together this list of 15 favorite national park dayhikes in the West based on personal experience.  Read this...


 GORE-TEX Blog:  Yosemite High Sierra Camps: How to Plan Your Trip.  The majority of the park's nearly 4 million annual visitors never venture out of the Yosemite Valley, which makes up just seven percent of the park's 747,000 acres.  Read this...


 Trail Climb Nation:  Zion Narrows Top Down Trail.  The route is a strenuous 16-miles. Fit hikers can do this as a long day hike (10-13 hours to complete).  Read this...


 Ray Jardine:  The Blood Cleaner.  When put on and powered up, the Blood Cleaner sends pulsed micro-currents through the skin and into the blood vessels.  Read this...


 REI Blog:  11 Camp Cooking Hacks From REI Experts.  Pop fresh popcorn in a soda can.  Read this...


 Oboz Trail Tales:  Dear World, Meet the Oregon Desert Trail.  By connecting remote and stunning regions in Oregon's high desert, hikers could be immersed in the land ONDA has been striving to protect for 25 years.  Read this...


 MSR Summit Register:  5 Advantages of Liquid Fuel Stoves.  Which one burns hotter? Which is more efficient? Which weighs less overall? Which is better?  Read this...


 The Ultralight Hiker:  Andrew Skurka on Down Versus Synthetic.  Synthetic insulations are absolutely not "warm when wet" like is often claimed.  Read this...


 Carrot Quinn:  Onward to the Great Divide Trail!  The GDT is extra, extra remote.  Read this...


 Feature Shoot:  Conservation Photography in the Age of Instagram.  Some litter; others try to take selfies with resident animals; a few even paint hashtags on historic rock faces.  Read this...


 Korpijaakko:  Crossing Greenland - So Familiar, So Different.  This was my second time crossing the ice cap, the first being in 2014.  Read this...


  Gossamer Gear:  DIY Self-Tensioning Guylines.  While there are some manufacturers who retail self-tensioning guylines, it is pretty easy to make them yourself.  Read this...


 The Atlantic Monthly:  Earth From Above: Expedition 47 Aboard the ISS.  An oblique view of the Himalaya Mountains, seen on May 15, 2016.  Read this...


 EasyKlip:  The World's Strongest Tarp Clip.  The harder the pull, the tighter the grip.  Read this...


 Pacific Crest Trailside Reader:  Escaping the Rat Race.  Backpacking in the great outdoors is almost always free. And day after day, there is simply nowhere to spend money.  Read this...


 Must Hike, Must Eat:  I'm In Love.  I'm in love with my life.  Read this...


 Married To The Trail:  Indecision At 10,000 Feet.  I've met several strong, confident men who have been struck by fear across these Colorado slopes.  Read this...


 Bedrock & Paradox:  LaSportiva Bushido review.  La Sportiva fits lower volume feet, with narrow heels and mid-width forefeet. That's my feet.  Read this...


 Section Hiker:  LightHeart Gear Rain Jacket Review.  A lightweight ripstop nylon waterproof rain jacket made the old-fashioned way.  Read this...


 Signpost:  Q&A with Craig Romano.  Washington's '100 Classic Hikes' Guidebook, Rebooted.  Read this...


 Rambling Hemlock:  Overnight at Elizabeth Lake.  I joined a loon and mountain goat survey trip to Elizabeth Lake in Glacier National Park.  Read this...


 Ultralight And Comfortable:  Recipe: Dried banana chips.  From energy bars to hiking snacks to breakfast, dried bananas is one of my most used.  Read this...


 Ultralight And Comfortable:  Recipe: peanut buttery butter bar.  Peanut butter in my opinion is the nectar of the gods and makes the world go round.  Read this...


 Ultralight And Comfortable:  Recipe: Pecan chocolate mush bar.  I'm weak as hell when it comes to chocolate. Or most things that require any kind of self discipline.  Read this...


 Must Be This Way:  Review: Inov-8 Roclite 295.  The bottom line was that the 295s performed superbly and I'm now back with Inov-8.  Read this...


 Rocky Mountain Journal:  Sightings of mountain lions common in Colorado.  The most common problems occur when they prey on pets or farm animals.  Read this...


 Backpacking Bongos:  Slackpacking Nidderdale.  It was not the snow that was impressive but the colour of the sky.   Read this...


 Hyperlite Mountain Gear:  The Hardest Thru Hike in the World.  Twenty-four astronauts left the Earth's orbit for the moon. But only 12 people have ever walked the length of Grand Canyon.  Read this...


 The Hiking Life:  Gear Review: Therm-a-rest NeoAir XLite.  This gear review is six years and 20,000 plus hiking miles in the making.  Read this...


 Sprinkles Hikes:  Tick Prevention for Summer Hiking.  Now that tick fears are in the forefront of my brain I'm choosing to pretreat some gear again.  Read this...


 Hike Now, Work Later:  Tide Crossing at Olympic Wilderness Area.  I have listed all 6 high tide crossings going from south to north.  Read this...


 Bogley Outdoor Community:  The Two Zions.  The second Zion is the backcountry wilderness...we saw no other people until a few feet from the trailhead.  Read this...


 fubiz:  Vast & Aerial Landscapes in Iceland.  Merlin Kafka recently did a journey in Iceland.  Read this...


 Hiking in Finland:  The Week in Review 237.  "Of all the paths you take in life make sure a few of them are dirt."  Read this...


 Section Hiker:  Zerogram Zero 1 Tent Review.  If you're not familiar with the manufacturer Zerogram, they are a Korean gear manufacturer founded in 2011  Read this...


 Discover Magazine:  Science in America's National Parks.  A century ago, Congress created the national park system — and ended up preserving some of the best research sites in the world.  Read this...


 Faith is Torment:  Remnants: Paintings by Kevin Peterson.  Paintings of children interacting with animals by Houston-based artist Kevin Peterson.  Read this...


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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Definitions: Bear Encounter

(1) When Harvey went for a walk that evening he was in for a surprise.

The sun had just set, and way over on the other side, near the horizon, the full moon was just starting its trip up into the sky.

The day had been warm but not really hot, and the evening air was calm, still warm, and heavy with the fragrance of many early summer blossoms.

Harvey felt good. Harvey felt at home. Harvey was at home. Harvey lived in the woods. Harvey liked the peace and quiet there. On an evening like this, just after supper but before bedtime, well, that was a good time to go for a walk.

Not a long walk. A short walk. Just enough. And then to bed.

Harvey felt really, really good. This would be fine. A little way down the path Harvey heard the happy sound of the little happy creek. His very own little happy creek. His little clear cool clean friend where he could always go for an invigorating drink of fresh icy water. The happy splashy creek, his friend.

Harvey came to the creek and continued along the path beside it, happy as could be. This was a fine evening, no doubt about that. Harvey thought that he would walk down to the bend in the creek, and then to the next bend beyond that. There he would have a drink, and turn around and walk home again, where he would climb into his bed and sleep a sound and contented sleep.

Life was good, but.

Just beyond the first bend Harvey heard a strange sound, a sound he had never heard before. The sound sounded like an animal, a strange animal making a strange sound. Harvey was not sure what to do so he kept walking. He wanted to see what this strange animal was, but he was not sure what he would do if he saw it.

So Harvey kept walking, but more slowly.

Before long Harvey saw the animal. It was a strange animal indeed.

Ah! It was many animals. Yes.

One animal with several friends, perhaps. They were all the same kind of animal, one that Harvey had never seen before.

They were sitting in a circle, something that normal animals never did, or almost never. Anyway, Harvey had never seen animals do that. And in the middle of the circle was another strange sight. There was a small pile of wood and it made a light, and something else (Harvey did not know what) stood right above the pile, on top of it.

It looked like streaming long feathers standing straight and waving at the sky but it was not a bird and it was not a bird's feathers and though the feathers kept waving and almost flying they never seemed to go anywhere. And they were very, very bright feathers, of many colors.

Harvey had never in his whole life seen a thing like this.

And then Harvey smelled food. He thought it was food. And if it was food, well the food smelled good.

The food smelled a smell that Harvey had never smelled before. It was a fine smell.

Harvey did not know until then that food could smell so strange and yet so wonderful. Harvey could not help himself. He had to go see.

Even though Harvey had already eaten he had to go see this food and see why it smelled so good, and maybe get a bite. Perhaps?

Harvey was not sure what the new animals would do but he thought they looked kind. Maybe they could all be friends. Harvey liked having friends. Maybe these new animals would invite him to have a bite or two. Harvey hoped so.

So Harvey walked on and drew closer. As he got closer and closer he got a better and better view of the new and strange animals visiting his yard. They were exceedingly strange animals.

They were long and thin and used only their hind legs and had odd wrinkly pelts that flapped around as the animals moved. Harvey knew all the animals in his woods and there were none like these.

Not a one.

These animals were very strange, and loud. They made loud and strange sounds, odd sounds, sounds that other animals would never think of making, or would want to make.

Most animals were quiet, but not these.

These animals jumped around a lot too, one or another of them. Odd indeed, odder and odder, but they did not look dangerous, really. So.

Harvey was puzzled, and unsure, but the food smelled so good that he thought he would invite himself in and see what happened. If they shared their food with him, he thought, then maybe tomorrow he could share some of his food with them. Harvey knew where the best, tenderest grasses stood, and where the ground squirrels were easy to catch. And where the honey grew.

He could share some honey. Surely they would want that. Wouldn't they? They would!

So Harvey kept walking, very quietly, for though his feet were large and flat they were soft on their bottoms, and Harvey had four of them to spread his weight around, and he always walked carefully so as not to hurt the earth.

Then Harvey came to the last shrub between the path and the new animals visiting his home, and he stepped off the path and out from behind that shrub and looked at the animals gathered before him. He was sure that they would all be friends together soon.

He hoped so.

Harvey stepped forward, drawn by the smell of food. The food was all on sticks, and it looked a bit like the pods of cattail plants but sideways somehow, all glistening and looking delightfully oily and rich.

And the smell! The smell! The aroma!

Harvey could not believe how good it all smelled and he began to drool.

This will be fine, he thought as he stepped forward.

But Harvey got a shock. Something happened. Something surprising.

The animals there, the new ones, all jumped up from their circle and stood right up on their hind legs. All of them. Every one of them.

Some of them dropped their sticks. Some of them made loud noises. One of them shrieked and ran away.

Harvey did not like the sounds at all. Harvey was doubtful, but he hoped that they were welcoming him in their own odd way, so he stepped forward and bit the piece of food closest to him, on the stick on the ground, to show that he accepted their offer of friendship.

The flavor was incredible! Amazing! Harvey had never tasted anything at all like that. It was warm and soft and spicy. And good!

So many spices, so many flavors all mixed together, so much better than ground squirrel, Harvey thought. So! Much! Better! Oh, this would be fun!

Harvey thought he would like some more. But the circle of animals seemed upset. They had all pulled away from Harvey, and as Harvey stepped toward the next morsel some of the new animals picked up big shiny things and made an awful noise.

Awful! Nasty! Banging! Noise!

Then one of these animals threw a stone and hit Harvey on the shoulder.

A stone! Thrown! At Harvey! And it hit! And it hurt!

Harvey had never seen such a thing happen. Harvey did not know that stones could be picked up, or thrown, or that they could hurt so much.

Ow! Harvey did not like this any more.

Luckily he got the second piece of food before the whole situation became painful, but after that, well, it got painful.

The odd upright animals were all throwing things, or banging on things and screeching dreadfully. Harvey was not sure if they were in pain, or dying of hunger, or delighted to see him in some very strange way, but the sounds were not pleasant, and neither was it pleasant to be pelted by stones. And branches and clods of earth, which were now raining down on him as well.

Harvey thought that maybe they were not delighted to see him after all.

Then one of the strange visitors to Harvey's yard picked up a piece of wood from the bright feathery pile they had been sitting around, and this stick or branch or whatever was bright on one end and had one of those strange long feathers swirling around it and the animal threw all that at Harvey, and it hit. OW! It hit Harvey.

OW!

OW!

Harvey got a hard bite on his ear and it hurt! A lot! And it kept hurting!

The thing was a bit of a tree branch, but it was bright and hot on one end, somehow like the sun, and it bit him!

This was not good at all, Harvey thought.

The evening had started so pleasantly, so wonderfully, so calm and fine, and Harvey had only wanted to take a short, quiet walk before bed. Harvey had not wanted this. The intruders in his yard, the smell of food, the bright biting thing, the screeching, the noise, the banging, the stones.

It was all too much.

Harvey had hoped at first to find some new friends but this was not looking very good at all, and Harvey turned to go home. Sadly, but he turned. He would just leave.

Harvey was sure that something was wrong here but he did not know what it could be. Obviously something was very wrong, and it seemed that the best thing to do was to go back home. He hoped that everything would be better by morning.

So Harvey turned, and instead of going out to the path, and walking home along it, near his little friend the little icy happy brook, Harvey crossed the trail and plunged into the deep deep dark woods and made a long walk of it, to his home, in silence.

He needed time to think, and some time to settle down.

True, he had gotten a bite of food, and that was good, and he would like some more of that warm and oily spicy food, but his ear hurt where the branch had bitten him back, his pelt was full of dirt, and his feelings were bruised as well.

Badly hurt. Badly, badly hurt.

Harvey had only wanted a snack and some new friends no matter how they looked (Harvey did not care how strange they looked, not at all, for the great wide wonderful world was completely full of strange wonderful things. And surprising friends.) but something had gone wrong and Harvey wanted to get over it, so he took the long way home.

So at least Harvey had a good long walk home.

A good long walk.

By the time Harvey got to his nest he was tired, and had almost forgotten everything that had happened. All was quiet again, and the sky was dark. The moon was way, way up in the sky where it belonged, and the air was beginning to cool the way the night air always cools so wonderfully.

"Good sleeping weather," Harvey thought to himself, "I should sleep well tonight. At least I should sleep well."

He curled up in his nest of grasses and clean dry mosses and fell asleep, feeling only a mild burning around the edge of his left ear, not quite painful, not quite enough to keep him awake, but not pleasant at all.

And then he fell asleep.

And so ended the encounter between the Boy Scouts and the marauding killer bear who savagely attacked them on their very first campout in the woods.

(2) A casual meeting. A short but minor fight. A hostile disagreement, face to face. A confrontation.

(3) A misunderstanding, that's all. It happens. Sometimes.

Source: How to talk in the woods.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Fresh, June 5

 National Geographic Society:  River Revives After Largest Dam Removal in U.S. History.  Fish are thriving and the environment has been reshaped following a major dam removal project in Washington State.  Read this...


 The Outdoor Society:  Saying Goodbye to the Olympic Mountain's Quickly Melting Snowpack.  In just a few weeks, the snow will be mostly melted out below 6,000 feet, directly impacting our rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs.  Read this...


 Richard Hikes:  Cottonwood Canyon State Park.  The pictures of the deep canyon with the John Day River snaking its way on the canyon floor have to be seen to believed.  Read this...


 Washington Trails Association:  Backpacking 101: Planning your trip.  You've decided you want to go backpacking. Now what?  Read this...


 Washington Trails Association:  Backpacking 101: On the Trail.  What are the best practices for camping in the backcountry?  Read this...


 The Mountains Are Calling:  The Head Net Diaries.  "We heard the mosquitoes stop after sixteen miles," they said. I laughed.  Read this...


 Married To The Trail:  Cuba, NM to Ghost Ranch, NM.  I really enjoyed walking with Muley.  Read this...


 Jan's Jaunts and Jabberings:  WA - Olympics - Colonel Bob, Temptations and Finales!  Today's weather fit my perceptions of the area.  Read this...


 Hiker To Hiker:  Woolpro - Really wool?  It was too light, too soft, and too supple to be wool.  Read this...


  Bogley Outdoor Community:  Red Draw/Upper Eardley Canyon.  Definitely a return place for me, in the future.  Read this...


 Summit Hut:  Kathy Simko's Arizona Trail Trek - Entry 5.  Next up were the stunning Superstition Mountains.  Read this...


 Gossamer Gear:  Easily Size and Fit a Backpack.  Dave Collins explains how to measure yourself for ultralight backpacks.  Read this...


 The Summit Register:  Backcountry Breakfasts: Overnight Oats.  For years, this porridge with its gloppy texture sort of terrified me.  Read this...


 Section Hiker:  Permethrin Soak Method Guide.  Only for treating clothing or outdoor gear and are not intended for human or animal use.  Read this...


 Hike Bike Travel:  10 Things You Should Know About Iceland Before You Go.  ICELAND is EXPENSIVE.  Read this...


 Willis Wall Multimedia:  Confessions of a (Prior) Sponsored Hiker.  I no longer want, nor would accept, sponsorship from any outdoor gear manufacturer.  Read this...


 Blissful Hiking:  Ticks! Prevention Tips.  This very tiny menace can wreck havoc on your body and cause a variety of illnesses.  Read this...


 The Sacramento Bee:  Lost hiker's experience offers lessons for others.  'I hope he bags the whole backpacking thing after his experience.'  Read this...


 Smoky Mountain News:  Glad to be alive: Bear bite victim tells his story.  That night near Spence Field Shelter in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park wasn't to be a slumber-filled evening.  Read this...


 Autostraddle:  The Starting Place: How an Unlikely Hiker Can Get Outdoorsy.  Hiking is a radical exercise in being present.  Read this...


 The Guardian:  So you're lost in the wilderness - these tips could save your life.  A survivalist taught me what plants were edible and how to skin a rabbit. C'mon. What hiker doesn't have a handful of energy bars in their backpack?  Read this...


 As We Saw It:  Panama to Colombia: Crossing the Darien Gap.  Yes, we're serious.  Read this...


 panafoot:  Where we have been - Mt Rainier National Park, Washington.  Now that I have done the Wonderland Trail I feel a sense of completeness.  Read this...


 Ray K Anderson:  Hiker Killed by Grizzly.  I'm running this post again, which appeared last year.  Read this...


 Fat Guy Hiking:  Cooking and Eating on the Trail.  You will not know what and how much you will need to eat before the hike.  Read this...


 Five Months to NowHere:  Care packages-what to send.  Don't forget to add a personal note in the box or letter. Something uplifting.  Read this...


 Hyperlite Mountain Gear:  Maps & an Ethical Compass For Grand Canyon Travel.  A master cartographer digs deep to find the navigational skills needed to succeed on one of the world's most extreme thru hikes.  Read this...


 Traversing:  New Book: Good Food for Outdoor Adventures.  This book was just released and it contains over 100 lightweight meals for backpacking, camping, etc.  Read this...


 the guardian:  Timelapse footage of supercell storm in the sky over Kansas - video.  Photographer captures Mother Nature in action with remarkable vision of a growing supercell storm as it swirls, hovers and swells over a field Leoti, Kansas.  Read this...


 Go 70° North:  [Photos] Bears, Northern Lights, Svalbard, Finnmark, Scotland, Georgia.  I am a biologist and researcher studying brown bears. I live and work in Northern Norway at approximately 70 degrees North.  Read this...


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