Hope everyone enjoyed some time over the weekend with those lovely Mamas who brought us into the world... including Big Mama Earth of course.
Life, the Earth, freedom, family, your religion, my desert home. What's important to you? Maybe I'm getting older and sentimental. I hope you fight for what you value. I hope we can respect those who fight for their values, like Native Americans fighting for Bears Ears National Monument, or a minority fighting for their rights, or for their ancestral home.
Here's a great little pack that I haven't mentioned yet but deserves some praise. It's the Equinox Parula which is an ultralight, stuffable American made backpack that can be had for under $50. I took this on my trek to Everest a couple months ago as a super light day pack that I could stuff into my main ULA Ohm 2.0 backpacking pack. Unlike many of the tiny stuffsack like backpacks this one actually has good padded shoulder straps and a waist strap. I enjoy supporting the little cottage industries who make great equipment.
What's the answer? Trees are the answer.
This shot was taken at the beginning of Spring a few years back in Jiuzhaigou National Park where brilliant turquoise water flows between rugged, densely forested mountains.
Celebrating the Mother of all our celebrations, Earth. Happy Earth Day!
Keeping Earth foremost in mind is at the heart of the buy local movement and American Gear Guide's mission to support sustainable and ethical business practices.
Spring storms over the La Sal Mountains.
Spring showers make for peaceful moments. One of my favorite smells on Earth is the rich mix of Pinyon, Juniper, and Sage Brush after a storm... It's also a lot easier to find water to filter.
Here you can see Cooper's extreme daily training regimen to become the 1st dog to summit Mt. Everest and the oldest at 12 yrs old. He doesn't even break a sweat, in fact he can't even sweat. #AprilFools
Home away from home.
This is my Tarptent Double Rainbow Tent (made in Seattle, WA) which won our Best Buy Award. At under 3 lb it outperforms tents made overseas that cost nearly twice as much. The blue sleeping bag inside is my Western Mountaineering Ultralite (made in San Jose, CA) sitting on top of a Therm-a-Rest XLite Pad (made in Seattle).
The clouds really were that dark blue, and with the rocks below lit up... a different sky for sure. The image is straight out of the camera without editing. I stumbled into this sky while backpacking over the weekend; I can't believe how lucky I am to live in my favorite area in the world.
My friend Keith scoped this ski line a couple miles from our yurt. In honor of him we named the line Keith's Wet Dream. You can see from the smile on Keith's face that it lived up to its name.
Our backcountry yurt trip has become something of an annual tradition. I can't think of a better tradition.
Sometimes the alpenglow hits just right.
You can see our fresh tracks in the shadows. This photo is a jpeg straight out of the camera. I usually don't edit my photos much but this one had none.
"What beautiful feet you have", said no-one ever to me. My alien feet are showing off the American made Bedrock Cairn Sandals I've worn exclusively while in Thailand, covering jungle, beach, limestone scrambles, and perhaps foolishly while motorbiking. I initially didn't think these sandals would be nearly as secure and comfortable as they are. I'm pleasantly surprised to find that they're simply better and much lighter than my old Chacos who have sent most of their production overseas.
The other superb American made gear I've been using in Thailand includes: - ULA Ohm 2.0 Backpack.
- Equinox Parula Ultralite Day Pack
- Sawyer Micro Water Filter and Bottles
- Princeton Tec Sync Headlamp
- Surefire Titan (backup flashlight)
- Brunton Truarc 15 Compass (no GPS used, just map and compass)
- American Apparel Tri-Blend T-Shirts
- Oakley Twenty Sunglasses
- Croakies Arc Endless Eyewear Retainer
- McNett Gore-Tex Fabric Repair Kit
- Fisher Military Space Pen and Rite in Rain Notebook
Update: I'm now back home in the good ol' USA, and am immediately headed out for a backcountry yurt trip in the Tetons with my closest friends coming in from around the country. I've been missing out on tons of deep powder while away but will get right back into it now!
Spectacled Langurs = Real life muppet babies?
I can't help it, these guys are ridiculous. Do you see the muppet resemblance like I do?
Ton Sai, Thailand.
I found my beach. Ton Sai is a rock climber's paradise famous for its limestone karst cliffs, which is just a 10 min hike from the more upscale and crowded beaches of Railay. Other than hiking between beaches you can only reach Ton Sai and Railay by boat.
An elephant hug is one hell of a drug.
This was the Thai Elephant Care Center where old retired elephants from logging camps and elephant shows are ethically cared for and pampered with ground up grass and tasty tamarind / ginger treats for their toothless mouths. According to the guide, their oldest elephant is a "94 yr old grandma" nearly the age of my own dear 97 yr old Nana... but googling elephant ages says the oldest known elephant lived to 86 yrs old.