Monday, October 31, 2005

Trick or Treat?

The Wilderness Society, an organization which I consider to be in the mainstream of the movement, has released the Top 10 Halloween Horribles. It's a good synopsis of how the environment has been given a lot of "tricks" but not a lot of "treats" this year.
1. Giveaways to Big Oil Continue, Consumers Get Squeezed, Profits Soar
2. National Parks, the Newest Target
3. Playing Politics with Christmas Trees
4. All Tricks, No Treats for the Arctic Refuge
5. Putting the Road in ‘Roadless’
6. Taking a Chance on Oil Shale
7. Forcing The Choice: Heat or Food
8. Refineries Find Refuge
9. Mining
10. Selling Off Public Lands at Bargain Prices

Land of Many (Ab)Uses?

The Forest Service is starting to experiment with supervising "green" logging certifications on public lands. As of now they're only going to monitor a small fraction of the public land under their control. I see this as a hopeful step away from the net-loss logging that was (still is?) rampant only a few years ago. This is quote is emblematic of the bureaucratic largess of the Service:
"Here we are providing advice to other countries and not even doing it on our own land," said Sally Collins, associate chief of the Forest Service office in Washington, D.C. "It made us think we ought to at least test this, because it's becoming an international language and we ought to be able to show we manage our forests sustainably."
"Sustainability" should be number one priority in logging sales. Pinchot would have agreed.

Vote on Your Favorite Design

This is a grand opportunity. Public comment is requested to choose the logo of the California Coastal Trail! The CCT is a proposed 1200-mile trail down the entire coast of California. The designs are great and I had a hard time choosing which one I liked most.

Check out the designs by downloading this pdf (1.5 mg). Submit your vote to rnichols@coastwalk.org or go to the last public comment meeting. Post your votes here too!
San Francisco/Fort Mason
Wednesday, November 16, 7-9pm
Fort Mason Center
Building C Room C-205
San Francisco, CA 94123
Help Choose an Emblem (Insignia, Logo) for the California Coastal Trail

As the Snow Flies

While I can't tell from where I live, apparently this weekend was the start of the ski season. From the storms in the Northeast to some dumps in the Rockies, lots of snow sliders got their first turns this weekend. There's a nice thread over at telemarktips.com asking "Did you ski this weekend?"

All hail winter!

Call for Volunteers

Primal Quest is looking for people with disposable vacation time and a willingness to travel to help out with this year's adventure race. It's surely a great way to plug in to the adventure racing scene.
We're looking for an elite volunteer cast to oversee extremely important positions which are imperative to this years race. If you have camping, medical, biking, whitewater, climbing, media, event planning or event logistics experience we'd like to talk to you.
I couldn't find where the race is actually happening but they need help from June 20th to July 4th. Look at the registration information here.

Inspiration

Every once in a while you see something truly inspiring in the out of doors. Usually it's a dramatic vista, a wildlife sighting or an emerald blue lake. Recently however, I've come to realize that the most inspiring experiences come from the people that you meet.

Two weekends ago I was camped out at Coast Camp in Point Reyes National Sea Shore. About 30 minutes after I reached camp I saw some undeniable thru-hikers passing by. It was Gottawalk, a couple at the very tail end of the first continuous American Discovery Trail hike. Just getting to meet them was so exciting that it made my trip.

They seemed to be in a little bit of a surreal state. While happy to be finishing they seemed a little sad that the journey was over. The two were "sneaking in" a day ahead of schedule without the planned fanfare. They couldn't get a permit for camping so they were planning on sleeping in the parking lot and then being woken up at 3:30am for a 5am TV interview on the beach. Understandably, they wanted to finish the last mile and decline my offer of a campsite.

I'd like to commend them for an awesome journey. They're truly inspiring.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Tasty Localism

Every so often I like to snag a trip that's only a couple of hours long. Living in the Central Valley (flat, flat, farms, farms, sprawl, sprawl) there aren't too many options. Luckily, a visionary soul created a website that catalogs all of hikes in my county. YoloHiker.org should be emulated widely. I credit it for publicising the overlooked places out of doors where one can go if only for a few hours. Every county in America should have their trails documented online.

Last Wednesday morning, a friend and I headed to Cold Canyon for a sunrise hike. While we didn't see as many birds as we had hoped, it was still a wonderful way to start the day. I was even back before most of my friends had taken their showers.

When's Christmas?

Here is a pack that I'd love to get my hands on. The Marmot Himalyan 80 fits perfectly into my idea of what a pack should be. It's advertised as a square 3 lbs. 9 oz. and 4900 cubic inches. So you'd be carrying less than a pound of dead weight for every 1,000 cubes inside. It meets the golden 1:1 ratio of weight to volume.

This is no ultralight weenie either. The Kevlar/Nylon fabric should be durable enough to be dragged over rock and through brambles. Plus, with all of the removable pockets, one could easily leave a lot of weight at home. It seems like a great load carrier for those that need some extra capacity for the wintertime or anytime.

I've found no reviews online about this pack. If you have one, please leave a comment!

Photography for Dummies

To be honest, I don't have much photographic talent. Sure, lots of my pictures turn out great but I can take no credit.

Case in point is this picture that I took while traveling in Peru during 2004. There is no color correction or cropping on it. While I know how to use photoshop, I didn't. It's a quick shot, with a cheap Fuji camera, and cheap film and developing. The out of doors is just so beautiful that it's easy to take an amazing shot. The subject makes the picture.

This picture was taken on the Cordillera Huaywash Circuit. It was snapped on the move while gasping for air at around 14,000 ft. This family lives days from the nearest road. I'm proud that it was featured today over at Gadling.

Welcome

Hello readers and thanks for stopping by. This is the inaugural post to my first outdoor related blog.

The internet hiking, skiing and outdoor community is a strong one. I hope to add a little bit of unity to the various topics that face us as recreationists. Expect fun posts along with the informative ones as well.

Please bare with me as I sink my teeth into this endeavor.