I am beyond excited to have my story included in the Dirtbag Diaries annual Tales of Terror Halloween podcast. I have been listing to Fitz Cahall and others spin wonderful stories about the outdoors since the podcast began. Check out my spooky story, plus others by Micah McNulty and George Braun.
Also check out two of Fitz Cahall’s excellent films:
“A 33-year-old hiker is in stable condition at a Salt Lake City hospital after he was trapped in a drainage tunnel in the foothills east of the city for four days and three nights.
Daniel Samuelsen said he fell into the tunnel, near the mouth of Parleys Canyon, and broke his leg during a hike on Wednesday morning.
When his cell phone died, he found a rock and banged it against the tunnel walls in hopes of attracting someone’s attention. But no one ever came although numerous hikers passed by above the tunnel.
“I thought I was going to die,” Samuelsen told ABC affiliate KTVX in Salt Lake City.
By Saturday afternoon, after four days without any food or water since the fall, it became clear that he needed to take action. Samuelsen decided to crawl out of the corrugated tunnel. He was able to find a piece of wood and make a split of sorts for his severely fractured leg. He eventually crawled to a nearby highway, where he was discovered by a motorist.”
We are all familiar with the Aron Ralston story and other instances of folks surviving in the wild — either lost or injured. (For a fantastic look at search and rescue, read this piece from Outside about an eight-year-old autistic nonverbal boy lost in a Virginia park.) What would it be like to be in that sort of situation?
Neither the story nor the video make any mention of whether Samuelson told anyone where he was going and when he should be expected back. Heading out into the woods we generally prepare with the 10 essentials (food, water, appropriate attire, etc.), but we don’t always let others know of our plans. The mythologizing around Ralston’s story has always bothered me for this reason: If he had told somewhere where he was headed and a return time, he probably would have been found much earlier — and with his arm.
Ever wonder what the world’s ocean currents look like? NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio has crunched data from 2005 to 2007 and created a fantastic video representing the swirls, eddies and currents. You can clearly see the storms that cross the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn as well as the Gulf Stream. The patterns and whorls allow you see how mariners like Joshua Slocum, Robin Lee Graham and others who have been able to make use of the currents to reach there goals — and how the doldrums can thwarted them…
Full article from Outside is here.
WoM (Wife of Mine) and I recently visited Utah for our honeymoon. During the trip we visited Arches, Canyonlands and Zion National Parks. (Suggestion: Headed out that way? Visit and stay at the campground at Dead Horse Point State Park. Great place.)
While we were there at the end of April/start of May, it was dry. Well, it has been raining there and I found some posts showing the two side of what that can mean:
(Photo shared by Bill Church on Backcountry.com‘s Facebook page. The image is in Zion.)
The terrifying: Video of flash flood near Zion
Have you ever seen/experienced a flash flood?
The Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin reports:
After more than a decade of scrimping and deferring maintenance and construction projects — and absorbing a 6 percent budget cut in the past two years — the signs of strain are beginning to surface at national parks across the country. The 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway, which curves along the spine of the easternmost range of the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia and North Carolina, has a $385 million backlog of projects, mainly in road maintenance, and has been unable to fill 75 vacant positions since 2003. For the past three years, New Mexico’s Bandelier National Monument has lacked the money to hire a specialist to protect its archaeological ruins and resources.
Jonathan B. Jarvis, the National Park Service director, said in an interview that his employees have been “entrepreneurial” in devising ways to cope with rising costs on a fixed budget.
“But we’re kind of running out of ideas at some point here,” Jarvis said. For years, the Park Service has supported day-to-day operations by taking money from its maintenance and land acquisition budget, he said. “The challenge is, we’re robbing Peter to pay Paul.”
Annual attendance at national parks has remained about the same, though visits through July this year total 201 million, up 1.5 percent from last year. Park managers say they are alarmed at the prospect of both next year’s budget and a possible 8 percent across-the-board cut if negotiators fail to reach a budget deal by January. The president’s fiscal 2013 budget proposal — which was largely adopted by the House Appropriations Committee — would cut 218 full-time jobs, or 763 seasonal employees.
Full article is available here.
Do you support the outside groups that come together to aid parks? Do you have a favorite park you support financially or through volunteer work?
Suggested to Wife of Mine (WoM) that we take a rare free day and drive over to Old Rag Mountain for a hike to the summit. (If you aren’t familiar with Old Rag, check out here, here and here.)
WoM has never climbed Old Rag, but has done quite a bit of hiking — including a NOLs trip to the Yukon of which I am extremely jealous. Heights and precipices, however, do not rank high on her list of favorite things. I really want to make sure she will enjoy the trip, so I sent her a number of links, especially ones with photos, to gauge how comfortable she is with the exposure. We also talked about what to expect during the hike.
The most important thing we discussed was the idea of turning around. Climbing to the top will be fun, but what will be more fun is if we both have a good time. Dragging your partner (wife/husband, significant other, friend, child, stranger you met at the outdoor shop) along when you know they are miserable, is a recipe for bad times. I think this is especially true when you are doing something that triggers fear in the other person. Turn around. Change the goal. Adjust.
Now, I am not saying to just bail at the first rock jutting out from the ground or the first raindrop. It is good to push your limits, and it is good to push your partner’s limits. But you don’t want to cross the line with them. Where is that line? Well, that is something you need to figure out over time and in the moment. As WoM and I continue to head into the outdoors together, it something we will continue to work at.
Trip with Fitpacking to Rocky Mountain National Park in 2011. © RBJIII
An image to inspire as you get closer to the weekend…