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    Finallly some Snow

    The Big One has arrived after a dry year. The official snow total at Mammoth Mtn in the southern Sierra for the last couple of days is 9 feet. Around 2-3 feet at Lake Tahoe. About a foot here in the Valley at 5,000 feet. More on the way next week. Thank God. It is like money in the bank.
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    Thanksgiving at Home

    We are having two close friends over for the holiday. I will set up the Baker tent in front of the fire in the backyard campsite. We will be cooking a turkey breast and a meat dish, maybe buffalo maybe beef. Sheepherder bread, pumpkin bread pudding for dessert with bourbon sauce. Dutch...
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    Tearing into the 1953 Old Town Guide 18

    With all of this time on my hands, I have started repairing the cedar and canvas Old Town. The canvas is off and I am repairing some of the planking. Next the outwales come off and I start taking out some old busted ribs. A lot of sanding is required. Removing the varnish on the inside is...
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    Time for Camping in the Backyard

    We have campsite at our place and as soon as it stops snowing, it will be time to use it. A fire feels good. Time to cook in a Dutch Oven and stare at the Pine Nut Mountains.
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    Buying a Jeep

    I don't hke as much as I used to, but love being out there. It hit me like a flash. Buy a Jeep. I am thinking about a TJ Wrangler, 1997-2006. First Jeep to have coil over shocks instead of leaf springs. They are everywhere and well supported by after market parts. Anyone else belong to...
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    Now is the Time to Get Out There

    This is the perfect time of year to get outside. No bugs, no crowds, fall color, good fishing, active wildlife. A fire feels good. Today I am taking my dog hiking on the eastern slope of the Sierra. Then in a few days fishing on a local lake. Next month I plan to spend some time up by Mt...
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    Old Town Canadienne in Kevlar

    I need another canoe like I need more yard work, but this was too good to pass up. A 1989 OT a model designed by Ralph Frese and no longer made. I have the smaller one which is 15'10". It is modeled after the boats from Peterborough, Ontario. I met Ralph once in Chicago at the Chicagoland...
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    Winter Thoughts Jan 2019

    This is the slow time of year and a good time for reflection. The bald eagles are in the Valley for calving season. They show up for the calf placentas. We now have a festival called Eagles and Agriculture. Out in the yard, I love the smell of lodgepole pine burning in the woodstove. The...
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    Fall Camping Close to Home

    In late November I went camping 1/2 hour from the house with my dog. The first night I was the only person in a campground that is normally full in summer. Sitting in a Jeffrey pine forest, I had a nice fire going with some canvas hung vertically to break the wind and reflect some heat and...
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    Traditional Mexican Food Over a Fire

    Yesterday we had about 25 people over for a backyard get together at the campsite. I have several friends that were raised in a small town in Mexico that had no roads to it. They learned to do everything like make their own shoes and saddles. I have a large sheet metal stove that sits on some...
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    Teaching Kids to Ride

    My riding career is over after some serious injuries, but I am back in the barn teaching emotionally challenged kids to ride. We have a string of 9 really talented lesson horses, everything from rope horses, cutters, to hunter/jumper warm bloods. We teach the kids to handle horses from the...
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    Between Horses and Humans

    After hanging around with some really famous horse trainers this spring, I am back in the barn teaching emotionally challenged kids to ride. I miss horses, even the way they smell. The kids learn from big honest animals lessons that are hard to teach any other way. My feet barely touch the...
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    "I am the Grand Canyon"

    On a trip to northern Arizona last month, I ran into a book with this title by Hirst. It is the story of the Havasupai Nation and their fight to retain their lands. They traditionally lived in the Canyon on Havasu Creek in the summer, but spent the winter up on the rim where there is fire wood...
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    Watchya Making for Turkey Day?

    I am going to visit a group of close friends in Reno. I will toast them at dinner and tell them "you are just like family, except you are nicer to me." I am making some stuffing because it is impossible to have too much of it. Probably gong to add apples, dried fruit and nuts to make it stand...
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    Fancy Dinners at 9,800 Feet

    I just returned from a backpacking trip in northeast Nevada. No permits, no rules, and no sign in at the trailhead. We had 7 guys in camp after climbing a pass at 10,450 feet. Most of them were former marathon runners and bike racers. Many were older than me. One night for dinner the main chef...
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    Lightweight backpacking

    Has anyone tried any new equipment to save weight? Are you leaving more things out? I just bought a new pack after seeing the through hikers with them a lot. It is a ULA circuit made by a small company in Utah. It will carry 35 pounds plus and weighs 2 1/2 pounds.
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    Backpacking Without Re-Supply

    I was on a trip in Oregon on the PCT this Sept and ran into more through hikers than day hikers. Through as in Mexico to Canada. They have an amazingly similar routine. They carry light packs and eat bars, and Ramen noodles. Then every 5-7 days go off trail to gorge on food in town and...
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    Hiking Three Sisters, OR

    Just returned from a trip to the Oregon Cascades and the volcanoes. It was unseasonably cold and wet some of the time. The volcanoes we came to see were covered with fresh snow and obscured by clouds a lot of the time. We met few people including more through hikers going to Canada than day...
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    Rafting in Oregon

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    USAF Thunderbirds

    I heard some loud jet noise here in our little valley last Thursday and went outside. It was the genuine Thunderbirds practicing for the big air shows Sat and Sun. They have been flying around and over the house for 4 days. They start everyday at 1500 and go for about 40 minutes. There are six...