Thursday, March 29, 2012

R.I.P. Earl Scruggs 1924-2012

Bluegrass pioneer Earl Scruggs revolutionized banjo playing with his syncopated picking style. He started playing banjo at 5 years old, developed his signature three-finger style when he was 10, joined Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys in 1945, and left the group with Lester Flatt in 1949. They performed together as The Foggy Mountain Boys or Flatt and Scruggs for 20 years. Scruggs won two Grammies, was awarded the National Medal of Arts, and even has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Day of Spring

Photography in Arches National Park, in the Heart of the Redrock Country of Southeastern Utah. To the South Is the Colorado River and the Picturesque Old Mormon Pioneer Town of Moab, 05/1972
If we had no winter, the spring would not be so
pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity,
prosperity would not be so welcome.

He that walks among briers and thorns will be
very careful where he sets his foot; and he that passes
through the wilderness of this world had need ponder all his steps.

- Anne Bradstreet

Meditations, Moral and Divine


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wasson Peak

view back downtrail
A modest 4687 feet gains Wassan Peak the title of the highest peak in the Tucson Mountains, which are partially protected by Saguaro National Park West. The walk to the summit is about seven miles or so, easy to follow, and popular. Lots of good desert plants and birds and a nice view at the end. I might suggest going during the week if possible. It's worth the trip out there because you can also visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and see the raptor presentation

two ranges
blue mountains

Unfortunately, my long-suffering camera is fading fast. The lens doesn't communicate with the camera body and I'm not sure the light sensor is quite right. I can usually finagle a few good shots out of it. Sometimes I get weird ones like this above, which is pretty cool.

crested saguaro
Crested saguaro are uncommon. Desert four-leaf clovers.
mineshaft entrance
Old mine shaft for what I think was the Gould mine...
tucson mountains from Wasson peak

Saturday, March 3, 2012

BASE Jumping

It must be rad to go BASE jumping.  I can't say I can begin imagine the nerve it takes to step out over the edge of some precipice thousands of feet up and place my faith in a little fabric parachute stuffed into a pack and strapped to my back, but I admire those who do and I hope the reward is worth it. It sure looks exhilarating.

Jumpers are recognized with a number when they have completed jumps from each of the four categories referenced in the BASE acronym - Buildings, Aerials (antennas), Spans (bridges), and Earth (cliffs). The first person to accomplish this earned BASE #1. Numbers are now being awarded around 1500. The clip is from Adrenaline Rush: The Science of Risk. It's on it's way from Netflix. The music in the clip is a Boards of Canada remix of a Boom Bip song called Last Walk Around Mirror Lake.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Coghlan's Backpacking Trowel

I've had this discussion on a couple occasions while talking about backpacking gear:

Me: I still carry a Coghlan's trowel.
Friend: A what?
Me: Orange shit shovel.
Friend: (recognition) Oh yeah. Ha ha. I have one of those.
The Coghlan's Backpacking Trowel might not be high-tech or fancy, but it's cheap and it's light. How cheap? Under five bucks. How light? 2 oz. This page here has a helpful comparison of several brands of trowels. Can't beat it.