Saturday, June 30, 2012


Crater Lake National Park

Petrified Forest National Park

Death Valley National Park

Denali National Park

Photos courtesy of NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center and the Landsat satellite.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


During the past century cougars were primarily restricted to the west of the Rockies. In the early 19th century state sponsored bounties were enacted to protect livestock (and supposedly humans) which led to these amazing animals' extermination in the east and Midwest. Things started looking better for big cats in the 60's and 70's, when one-by-one, bounties were lifted and states made cougars a managed game species. (Check out this informative timeline.)

Earlier this month The Journal of Wildlife Management published research confirming locations of cougars collected from 1990-2008 in 14 states and provinces of Midwestern North America. Breeding populations were established in South Dakota in the 90's then the Badlands and Nebraska in the following decade -- The animals appear to have continued their eastward spread from those three locations.  Some of you may have seen my post from last year when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared the eastern cougar extinct.  However, this research gives me hope that one day cougars will recolonize the east.  Just remember, keep them wild!

Friday, June 15, 2012


The photo above was taken from a book titled Rules and regulations, Yellowstone National Park, 1920.  The inn was built in 1903, opened in the spring of 1904 and is the largest log hotel in the world.  Flash forward over a century, and although several renovations were made, the inn relatively looks the same.

Photo by Randy Watson (2011)

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Some of you may not know this but during the early years, Cannondale didn't just make bikes and panniers, although I would love a "Bugger".

Cannondale had a full line of framed and frameless packs, sleeping bags, tents and mountain wear.  Check out the following scans from some of their early catalogs.

Want more?  You are in luck.  Head over to Vintage Cannondale for more complete catalogs starting in 1973.

Friday, June 8, 2012


"Many of you love mountains, many of you longed to be among them and have been awed by their beauty from distant valleys; or you may have wondered what it is that drives men to climb, to carry heavy loads mile upon mile up winding trails. We hope that you want answers and that you desire the opportunity to experience mountaineering adventures yourself, to enjoy at first hand the magnificence of wilderness travel and to share in the unparalleled experience of standing atop a mountain and drinking in the panorama that lies below you. If you have a thirst for discovery, a wish to find the truth in yourself and to discover a real happiness, these are within your grasp. For learning well the knowledge that appears in the following pages and applying it can open you and applying it can open to you a new world of adventure and happiness." -Excerpt from the foreword

Nestled in the bookshelves of the Creak of Boots reading room is the 3rd edition of Basic Mountaineering by the San Diego chapter of the Sierra Club.  This gem was printed in 1972.

Here is an illustration on how to deal with a snake bite. NOTE: The "suck and spit" method is now considered ineffective.

Belay positions!

Quite possibly my favorite part of the book is the first aid notes and rescue signals tear-out page. This two-sided tear-out is crammed with useful information. It's primarily first aid; however, once you immobilize that compound fracture you may need to signal that search plane using international ground-to-air visual signals.