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Showing posts from October, 2018

The Courage to Do the Unpopular

A canine friend and a two-legged friend and I are checking out an area not so far from the overcrowded tourist hellhole of Moab, UT. This place is so uncrowded that it is almost funny.

How do you explain this? It has wonderful physical assets, not just in terms of "Wow," but also in terms of variety. But as I said before, it is uncrowdedness that really counts in modern America. Perhaps it is blessed with scenery that is just short of being a national park. That means it lacks the razzle-dazzle to get on the bucket list of millions of idiot-tourists. This area is like a picturesque mountain in Colorado that is 13,950 feet high.




The town doesn't really have a bicycle culture, but it could. In fact it has built its first mountain bike singletrack close to town. It has a hip coffee shop. Of course, with mountain bikers being the besotted sybarites that they are, the town probably needs a microbrewery. 

Tomorrow we will ride that trail. It doesn't seem to have many customer…

Constructive Use of Honduran Marchers

Much of this post will seem like an impractical 'thought experiment.' But I still think it can be worthwhile.

Let's imagine that the Honduran marchers actually make it all the way across Mexico in large numbers. That would be quite a feat, wouldn't it?! At the very least you have to admire their gumption. Where would you find 5000 Americans who could accomplish something like that, for any cause?

To me, a demographic invasion should be handled with the same seriousness as a military invasion. But before resorting to drastic methods like that, we need to ask a couple questions:

If invading somebody else's country is an act of war -- and it is! -- why hasn't America's meddling to our south been seen in that light? We have committed one crime after another down there since the days of Teddy Roosevelt. It was and is immoral and disgusting.

We have been invading other people's countries in the Mideast for 17 years. Most of those peoples had nothing to do with &#…

The Stow-away

If you live long enough, you will experience just about anything and everything. The other day I actually rode a technical mountain bike trail and enjoyed it -- not in spite of its technicalities, but because of them. Credit the soft sandstone geology of Utah.

I consider that last example to be extraordinary, but if the reader isn't a mountain biker, they may not care.

OK, try this one on: I left the dispersed camping site near Moab a couple days before two friends were planning to. I stopped at one guy's van to say goodbye, while keeping an eye out for his little dog, so I wouldn't run over her. But it was a bad time for him, so I kept going. Everything seemed smooth.

Unaccustomed as I am to wasting time and money in coffee shops, I did stop in at the one in Green River, Utah. There I noticed a message from one of the friends back in Moab. (My phone volume had been turned off because of some telephone spammers.)

The message said that Olive, the little dog, was missing. And wo…

Turning the Murder of a Journalist into Electoral Success

The independent punditocracy is criticizing the Establishment Media for paying so much attention to the murder of Khashoggi by the Saudis, given that it has paid almost no attention to the death rained down from the skies by the Saudis onto miserable Yemen.

But there is an explanation, and it shows that the Establishment has learned something from their Kavanaugh debacle.

The Establishment cannot have an overhang, a positive aura, survive until the mid-term elections, to the benefit of the Republicans. They can't have voters still thinking about the deplorable behavior of the Democrat groups during Kavanaugh's confirmation.

So attention must be diverted elsewhere, and quickly! If the Never-Trumpers are lucky, Trump will be seen as the defender of cruel, spoiled, despotic Saudis. And perhaps this time, the guilt will be established. It is possible the Trump is stupid enough to fall into this trap: after all, Israel and Saudi Arabia are allies in everything but name. 



Or maybe split…

Hiking in Cold Wind

I don't do much hiking these days. Normally it is suffocating and stultifying. But it sure is nice when it is too cold to ride a bike.



Today Coffee Girl and I did a nice hike in our "back yard," while camping near Moab, UT. Most of the hike was along a windy cliff-line, in abnormally cool October weather. I have no photos to show you, because the closer scenery was austere to the point of being ugly. But that is a good thing! It made the distant scenery look that much better. 

But then, scenery wasn't the point anyway. When hiking in cold air, my "spiritual" battery is on a fast charge; walking discharges the battery at roughly the same speed.

Something similar happens with summer hiking, but in reverse. There are softies out there who will tell me that it is "negative thinking" to hate hiking in warm weather. Not so! The intensity of the pleasure coming from cold-weather hiking is proportional to the intensity of the displeasure during warm weather.

What Would Edward Abbey Have Thunk?

Moab, UT. The world is still full of people who have to be given credit for good planning of a certain type: they arranged to be born in the right year. In fact, most people who chose to be born from 1945 to 1960 in Europe and North America should get credit for this.

The author, Edward Abbey, also deserves credit for being born in the last decade or two when one could still experience the glories of Moab, UT. What would he think today?

I believe it was in "Desert Solitaire" that he wrote about being so tired of the summer heat in Moab that he got in his car and blasted down a washboarded gravel road on his way to the LaSalle Mountains, in order to cool off. 'The ultimate test of man and metal,' was how he put it.

Let's consider his example of deliberate hardship and postponed release, and see if it applies to my situation today.  I was able to use it by remaining parked in a ghastly place, just to milk the act a bit.  I "enjoyed" tourist helicopters overh…

How Not to Shut Down So Early at Night

It has only been a couple weeks since I stopped my incessant whining about hot sunlight and dry air. And now I am already whining about too many hours of darkness, and getting cabin fever during rainy days.

There is something to learn from the campers who wear headlamps at night. They continue to do useful things at night, instead of limiting themselves to boob toob, yoob toob, or miserable books.

In fact modern headlamps having gotten ridiculously good. No longer are you allocating one hand to carry things, while trying to get things done with the other hand. Have you ever tried to operate a zipper with one hand? A camper spends most of the day fighting zippers, especially in winter.



The other day somebody went mountain biking by me at night. I couldn't believe how bright his headlamp was. I am still not motivated to ride at night, but it would sure be great to stay active in the evening with daily chores.

Ahh, but there's the battery, the weak link in any of these electrical gad…

Missed Opportunity: Camping at Fairgrounds

What a pleasure it was to saddle up the ol' hound dog and go for a walk in town to all the places that one needs to live. I like to take the pulse of a town in this style, and walking is the best way to do it.

I am camped in a low-budget county fairgrounds in western Colorado. It is hard to believe that "low budget" and "Colorado" could appear in the same sentence, but they can, once you avoid the tourist traps. Better yet, you can sometimes get quite close to tourist traps without suffering the disadvantages.

All it really takes is the willingness to get interested in something besides how 'breathtakingly beautiful' it is, aka, how big, freakish, and vertical it is.

And why shouldn't it be economical to camp at the county fairgrounds? The facilities have to be put there to service campers using the fairgrounds during the half-dozen festivals that happen every year.  Any additional camping fees are just "dessert" for the fairgrounds.

And if th…

BREAKING NEWS... Russians Put Kavanaugh on Supreme Court

Boris & Natasha (*) are at it again. Wasn't it bad enough that they installed their agent in the White House in 2016?! But now they appear to be on the verge of installing another agent on the US Supreme Court...unless there is some 11th hour and 59th minute surprise. 

The mainstream media hasn't quite yet broken the bad news to the public. But I owed it to the readers to do so. Nobody else will commit quite yet -- except maybe "The Onion."

(*) For the benefit of young readers, there was a cartoon back in the Cold War, The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, that featured two Russky spies, Boris and Natasha. 

Best Fall Color Experience Ever

A new reader to this blog might expect a photo-dump after a title like that. But I didn't even bring my Canon digital camera. (I did bring the smart phone, but just don't take it seriously as a camera. Maybe I should.)

My friend and I were mountain biking down a trail along a "draw" in the Gunnison CO area. Despite the anti-scenery slant on this blog, I just had to stop and ogle what was there: about 20 aspens, blazing yellow of course, that were pinned between the cliff and the dry creek. 

It was really sagebrush country, but the small aspens had managed to survive in their chosen niche. There was a drama to their tenuous existence. Also, it had rained a little recently, and the tiniest bit of moisture seems miraculous to me, after this summer! 

The autumnal morning's sun was just clearing the cliff, so that it illuminated the tops of the stunted aspens. The rest of the area was dry sagebrush, in all its glorious austerity. What a contrast!

This was a powerful examp…