Dangerous trend – elective amnesia on climate consequences

Grist put out a couple of articles today that show who we (especially Americans) choose to forget (not remember) tales of natural disasters and what makes them worse / more frequent … oh, change MY behavior? You must be kidding, right!

#1 – The impact on mental health and the resources required to help

#2 – Amnesia about hurricanes

Here’s the gist, quote from #2 above:

After Laura hit on Thursday, smoke billowed across the sky from a chemical fire from a plant a few miles away from Lake Charles, where the poverty rate is almost double the national average.Read the rest


PCT: Scott Trail to Obsidian Trail

This PCT section hike completes a good segment of the PCT (in my terms) from Devil’s Lake / Moraine Lake Trail to Mckenzie Pass, Hwy 242. The southern most section was completed last week with an ascent of S. Sister (part 1 | part 2). Last year, I hiked Scott Trail to Mckenzie Pass w/ hiking buddy.

I left home very early forgetting what it is like to drive up Highway 242 at night, yet arrived at the Scott trailhead before 06:00. It was so cold that I put on socks, shoes and packed my bag in the car – tho chose to hike in shorts albeit with long sleeve shirt.… Read the rest


E-learning increases costs to families

This was a surprise! I thought that staying home would lower costs for materials and apparel. Ok, but expenses for the digital connections are more and Statista put it well, quote:

“More than half of the roughly 7,500 U.S. consumers surveyed expect at least some classes to be taught remotely this fall, while only 26 percent expect most or all classes to be held in person. At 72 percent, the vast majority of those expecting students to be at home for some classes believe they’ll need to buy items specifically to accommodate e-learning.Read the rest


Gear review:  Topo Athletic Terraventure 2 Trail-Running Shoes

Purchased at REI:

These shoes are fabulous. I have terrible feet with bunions on both big toes and the aches / pains / deformities one would expect from a 40+ year distance runner. This Topo style fits my feet, though I do have to wear different sock combinations due to inconsistent foot sizes and toes. I put around 150 miles on my first pair and will wear them for another 50 miles or so … (i replace running shoes at 200 miles too)

What I liked

  • light
  • dries quickly after crossing streams
  • comfortable

What I did NOT like

  • no ‘catch’ on the back for gaiters
  • fabric allows very fine dust to penetrate – cascade volcanic dust fills up
  • fabric started to tear slightly at high use / friction points around toe bunions

Would I recommend buying Topo Terraventure 2 trail running shoes?… Read the rest


Gear Review:  Granite Gear Crown2 backpack

Gear purchased at REI:

The Granite Gear pack was selected over a couple others from REI around the same price range +/- $75. With special REI promotions, I ended up paying <$150 for the pack delivered to my front door.

Weight is good with sufficient straps, adjustments and side & belt pockets. The main compartment is one big bag with a roll top and a detachable top pouch. The material seems sufficiently strong / thick though see ‘heat’ below.

What I like

  • Light weight
  • Size and weight capacity can easily carry >5 days of gear
  • Rolldown top
  • Detachable top pouch

What I did NOT like

  • Side pockets are hard to reach for water and skinny bottle required
  • With light load & without top pouch, pack just was not comfortable – not good ride found
  • Internal temperature was high on hot day; seems like an oven inside pack
  • No good way to attach sleeping pad (i use Nemo foam) below pack so it covers outside stretch pouch
  • Belt is long – I am size 31″ waist and it is just too big and not adjustable

The first use was 2 days of day hikes w/out top pouch and I was ready to take it back.… Read the rest


Mozambique makes 35 Africa countries to ban single use plastic

Greenpeace posted this today and provided a run down on the other 34 countries.

quote, “Out of 54 states, 34 have either passed a law banning plastics and implemented it or have passed a law with the intention of implementation. Of those, 16 have totally banned plastic bags or have done so partially without yet introducing regulations to enforce the bans. Compared to the rest of the world, the continent is seemingly doing a great job, but let’s look at the reality of plastic bans in Africa.”

Sad part is that in US, local cities are making these decisions, not the federal government as they should.… Read the rest


Solar panels – the next garbage problem?

The problem of disposing of expired / old solar panels came across on multiple news feeds this week. Like technological gadgets that we love to buy and then throw away (regardless of where they eventually end up), these solar panels are going to create a problem – somewhere. … ‘not in my backyard goes the familiar refrain’. Once a process is created to effectively and cost neutral recycle or at least safely dispose (it’s an engineering problem right?), there’s some money to be made eventually and a planet and its people to be better protected.… Read the rest


Lost ice

Statista quotes a research study from Leeds and Edinburgh on the amount of ice lost between 1994 and 2017. Lost. Gone. Melted.

Quote: “Their findings were published in online journal Cryosphere Discussions, stating that there can be little doubt that the cause is global warming.”

Infographic: Earth Lost 28 Trillion Tonnes Of Ice In 23 Years | Statista

Unfortunately, these numbers are so large that it’s way hard for me to internalize and visualize. Not to leave me helpless, Statista folks added an analogy, quote: “Group member Tom Slater was quoted by the Guardian as he put the figure into perspective. He said that “28 trillion tonnes of ice would cover the entire surface of the UK with a sheet of frozen water that is 100 metres thick,” and that “it’s just mind-blowing.””Read the rest


Environmental impact of the different ‘milk’

Statista put out this data, and there were some surprises for me. I knew that cow-milk was the most impactful but this data visualization and narrative makes it pretty clear that a better milk can be found – environmentally speaking.

Quote: “Since the production of oat and soy milk is so light on the environment, packaging and transport actually becomes the bigger component, according to a report by the BBC. Depending on the location of the drinker, one of the two could be more likely to have been imported from a far-flung location, but its not always easy to find out where the products used in a specific plant milk originated.Read the rest


South Sister & a PCT twist: part 2

Part 1 was the up / down South Sister to Moraine Lake Trail- post.

Starting from Moraine Lake trail, getting to the PCT starts with more alpine meadow views of South and then into burnt forests until Middle Sister appears.

Much of this section was a blur given the fatigue and need for water! I original planned to camp at Mesa Creek where I did finally get good water, but it was too early to stop ~2:30pm. I talked to a PCT thru guy who told me about a pond / lake that would be a great camping spot about 2 miles further … off I went with good water, and what a decision!… Read the rest


South Sister & a PCT twist: part 1

Last year I said that I would NOT scramble up South Sister again given the over crowded trail (post). Well, I did it again, but I decided to add a PCT twist. Hike up South with full overnight backpack and then take on another chunk of PCT returning to Devil’s Lake trailhead. Original plan.

An additional post from this trip is here, and this post will have two parts: 1 – Up/down South Sister (USFS), and 2 – Moraine Lake trail to PCT to Obsidian Creek (& back) post.… Read the rest


The Three Sisters & cloud dancing

While on a recent backpacking trip in the Three Sisters Wilderness, dancing clouds caught more of my camera than I thought until I reviewed the pics.

This set of pics covers all the views captured, and another upcoming post will focus on one sequence. My two days in Three Sisters Wilderness were all between Obsidian Creek Trail and Devils Lake (map); my original plan had me off PCT, but my feet stayed on PCT and S. Sister Climbers’ trail.

All pics were taken over 2 days, and the only pic manipulation is Adobe’s ‘auto’.… Read the rest

Climate, Culture

Grist on power of story

Facts, figures and details sometimes get in the way of prompting people to both understand and take action … something we all need more of to reverse climate change.

Story telling has long be THE method of transferring information from one human to another … goes way back in our history as humans. I learned this first hand studying oral tradition with Lilyan Kesteloot in Dakar (bio). She understood the power of story and was taught by some of the last great African griots.

From Grist, “The research jibes with other studies suggesting that scientists and activists might rely too heavily on facts and evidence in their attempts to persuade people to take action, and not enough on stories like Mode’s.Read the rest


Mt Thielsen via PCT

Day 1 of 3 … Drove straight to the trailhead – North Crater Trailhead which is very close to the northern entrance road to Crater Lake National Park.

This was my first experience on Thielsen, and the PCT southern approach in August was not the best choice … dusty, dry and hot. There some thru hikers going south, but for the most part, I had the trail to myself until I reached the climber trail.

The trail starts off in the now familiar ‘bent knee’ forest.

bent knee forest

As the PCT climbs higher to the ridge that intersects the climbers’ trail, more views of Bailey, Thielsen and Diamond Lake appear and one gets a good idea of what is ahead.… Read the rest


Mt Bailey via Silent Creek

After awaking to the singing of multiple coyotes, day 2 was set aside for Mt Bailey. I had even thought about punting on it and redoing sections on PCT, but kept with the original plan and headed out for Bailey … walking from Broken Arrow.

The start of the trail – Silent Creek – hits the lake as one of those slow lazy central Oregon trout creeks. That quickly changed to a faster moving creek with all these blowdowns across the creek, and every tree was covered, i mean COVERED, in pretty little yellow flowers.… Read the rest